Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I Got a Contact Name. Now What???

People often tell me they were on LinkedIn, or went to a networking group, or met someone when they were out-and-about and got a name of a potential contact for their job search, but don’t know how to reach them.

“What good is the name without their phone number or email address? It doesn’t do me much good if I can’t connect with them!”

It’s great if you are given a phone number and/or email address with a name, however, with a little creativity and initiative you can certainly find other ways to get in touch. Here are some ideas and techniques to make those connections:

~ Call the main number! Often people forget the simplest and most obvious solution to getting in touch with a new contact… call the company and ask for them! It’s ideal to have a direct-line phone number to the person you’re trying to reach. However, if you don’t, it’s generally pretty easy to find the main company phone number (either from their website online, a phone book, or calling 411), call and ask for the person by name. Generally a phone receptionist won’t put you through to anyone if you ask a general question like “May I speak to the Accounting Manager, please?” However, if you ask for someone by name, they will always put you through. Even if the person works at another company facility than the one you are calling, they generally have the overall company directory and can put you directly through to that person. Call and ask for them by name.

Additionally, if you call after business hours, many companies have an automated answering system with a company directory that will often tell you the extension of the person you are trying to connect to. That’s often a great way to gain the direct-line number of someone.

~ Google! As with so many things… Google is a tremendous resource to find contact information. More than half of the time I'm trying to find contact information, I’m able to do it by searching their name and company name through Google. If, for example, I’m trying to find John Mansky at XYZ Company… I simply search: "John Mansky” “XYZ Company”

I make sure to put his name in quotes to avoid unwanted results like John Smith and Bill Mansky

Scanning down the list of results, I often find some document or site that has their phone number and/or email address. If there are too many results, I may try to narrow the search by trying his name with their web domain. For example: “John Mansky” “”

Their email address is likely to include their web domain, so if the address is “” the search is likely to find it.

If that doesn’t work, I may do a search to find ANY email address at that company to discover what their standard email format is. For example, I may simply search:
email “”

If someone else’s email address pops up that is in a format of '’, for example, I know it’s a very high likelihood that my contact’s address is in the same format. If it’s wrong, their email server will simply bounce the email back to me and no one is the wiser. If it does bounce back, I simply try other common formats like:
…or other combinations.

~ Check emails4corporations! Another great resource to help you find the standard email format for the company where your contact is employed is emails4corporations. Someone has compiled a tremendous list of standard email formats for companies all over the country.

You can find them at:

Enter the company name in the search box at the top right corner of the homepage and it will show you the company, email format, address, and phone number. It doesn’t cover every company, however, is a great help if yours is included.

~ Try! is probably the worlds largest ‘Rolodex’. It includes the business card information of millions of people. It rarely lets me down and is the last resort resource for me when trying to find someone’s contact information. You can either use it by paying for the service, or for free on a give & take point system. So it take a little money or some effort on your part. However, for me as a recruiter, or you as a job seeker, I believe it’s a very worthwhile resource when you need contact information you can’t seem to find anywhere else.

~ Paid Services. Certainly there are a number of additional paid services (Spoke, ZoomInfo, and others) available online that can provide the information for you as well, however, I’m generally a big fan of “FREE”. It’s pretty rare that I can’t find someone’s contact information through one of the means listed above. Try those and then depending on how badly you need it, a paid service may be worth it.

Generally, I don’t recommend contacting someone directly through LinkedIn’s system. Many people receive a lot of communications through there and have become conditioned to treat them like Spam. It’s generally best to reach them by phone, a professional voicemail, or email first. However, if none of those works, as a last resort, you have nothing to lose by trying the LinkedIn contact system as well.

As always, make sure your communication is professional, well prepared, and succinct!
You can gain more help with that by reading Keys to a great email in your job search! or What to do in an effective networking call!

Be creative, take the initiative, and find the way to connect with those job search contacts!


Harry Urschel has over 20 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @eExecutives.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

10 Confidence Boosting Tips for Interviewers

Job interviews can be intimidating and nerve-racking in a crippling way. But allowing your personality to show through –even if you’re faking it—is the only way to take charge of your interview and have any hope of landing the job. No matter what kinds of qualifications you have, employers want to sit down with an individual who can conduct themselves professionally and charismatically, and if you can’t even hold yourself together to keep up your side of the conversation, you may go unnoticed altogether. Instead, prepare to manage the interview session in a way that puts you in control and limits any awkward moments. Here are 10 confidence-boosting tips to help you do just that.

1. Understand the importance of an in-person interview. An interview is your opportunity to brand yourself in front of your potential boss and really lay down the line for how you’d like to be treated in the office. Don’t come across as cocky, but understand that acting meek and embarrassed during your interview will immediately make your boss feel like he or she can get away with dictating your every move.

2. Smile the very first chance you get. A warm, natural smile exudes confidence and sets the tone for a professional but friendly encounter.

3. Practice your handshake. A good handshake can be exhilarating and empowering, but an awkward fumbling or weak handshake dashes any hope of a dazzling first impression. Practice ahead of time so that it comes naturally.

4. Research the company. Be ready to talk about the company and position you’re applying for by doing a little web research ahead of time.

5. Come with questions. If you have a list of questions to ask, you’ll be ready in case of an awkward silence.

6. Realize that they probably already like you. The very fact that you’re even sitting in the interview seat means that someone liked your resume and believed you’d make a good candidate for the job.

7. Dress professionally. Wear something that makes you look professional and neat but is still comfortable. Something that’s too tight or too bulky will make you feel uneasy. A good tip is to wear something you’ve already worn few times, so you won’t be caught off guard by any wardrobe malfunctions.

8. Sit up straight. You want to appear alert and confident, so sit upright in your chair with your hands folded. Leaning back to far will make you appear arrogant, while hunching over will make you seem nervous and self-conscious.

9. Value the opportunity for what it is. The more you value the interview as its own learning experience and opportunity to practice your interviewing your skills, the more natural and confident you’ll feel asking questions and talking with the interviewer.

10. Review your resume. You may take it for granted that you know everything on your resume since it’s your experience, but understand that all the questions your interviewer will have for you are going to come directly from that resume. Take a few minutes to look over the skills and experience you’ll be expected to discuss.

Guest Expert:

Rose Jensen writes about the best online universities. She welcomes your feedback at

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Monday, August 02, 2010

How to Apply Perfectionism to Your Career and Life

In business school, if not earlier, we've all learned about Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs, and we've been told that what's called "self-actualization" is the highest, or rather, most pressing human need, on which all other "lower" needs serve as only building blocks. While Maslow's theories have earned their fair share of criticism, I'd like to defer instead to a broader set of ideas in moral philosophy collectively called "perfectionism" and then discuss how these ideas can be successfully implemented in your daily life as well as your career.

I'm sure we've heard our friends, family, or perhaps even ourselves referred to as "perfectionists," with little thought to what that may actually mean. The image of the perfectionist in modern society is often marred with a hint of criticism. We think of perfectionists as compulsive, almost neurotic. This image should perhaps be more rightfully attributed to a person who struggles with some form of obsessive compulsive disorder, and it is not the image to which I am referring when I say "perfectionist." To give you a basic idea of perfectionism as a philosophy, Wikipedia offers the following: "…perfectionism is the persistence of will in obtaining the optimal quality of spiritual, mental, physical, and material being." Sounds tough, huh? Impossible, you say? Well of course, attaining perfection is certainly not possible in one lifetime, but a philosophical perfectionist completely understands this. The key word here is "persistence."

Of course, what counts as perfection will inevitably be based on what an individual values most, but in terms of your career, perfectionism is simply striving to do your very best, every single day, no matter what the size or import of your task at hand is. Surely, the bigger picture does matter, but the successful completion of the optimal life is all in the small things. The devil may be in details, as they say, but so is god, the personal god in each of us that longs to order our lives by standards of excellence.

Although it can be difficult to appreciate the necessity of doing the small things right, I usually defer to my favorite sport, golf. When I focused too much on the outcome of the total score—I'd constantly be adding up figures as I'd step up to the tee box—I'd get hung up on the big picture, and my final score would suffer. However, one day I tried something different. I focused on only each single shot, and told myself that this one shot was the only shot I'd have to take. When I placed greater importance on individual shots—on the small things—I noticed I was doing better on each hole. Still I didn't add up scores. I just marked the number of shots per hole, threw the scorecard back in my bag and moved on. By the time I finished up on the eighteenth hole, I had tallied the totals and—not kidding—it was the best round in my life.

In the final analysis, perfectionism is not an end goal, but a state of mind. If you strive for a systematic approach to perfection, one that keeps in mind the details with a steady, reasonable approach to the big picture, then you will find that unexpected aspects of your life—career and personal—will begin to fall into place as if by magic.

Guest Expert:

Angela Martin writes on job search topics at Job Search Websites. She welcomes your comments at her email

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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Body Language: Be Careful What You Don't Say

What your body language says is often more important than what you say verbally, especially when the two conflict. When they’re in sync, your movements are a reflection of what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling: your conscious and your unconscious. But when they aren’t, the unconscious prevails.
Why? Because while people will make themselves conscious of their words, few are conscious of their feelings and how that translates into body language, much less what that body language is saying. And in an interview, that can result in sending a message opposite what you intend.

A person who was recently fired or laid off is a good example of this dichotomy, especially when the termination takes place for reasons that have little to do with any situation the individual instigated. You did nothing to cause the severance, but you feel responsible anyway.

Since few job seekers know how to put a termination in perspective and handle it appropriately, it comes out how they move and how they conduct themselves. Almost every action is an apology. You knock gently on the door when the administrative assistant says, “Mr. Jackson can see you now.” You not only ask permission to sit, but you ask which chair. You either over explain or under answer.

Instead of speaking smoothly in a relaxed manner, your voice is too loud or can’t be heard. You say “um” or “ah” at the beginning and in the middle of your sentences. Everything about you screams insecure, even though you’re managing to articulate your accomplishments.

The result is that the hiring authority is puzzled as to how you managed to achieve so much, when your manner isn’t conducive to making things happen. It leaves him with a question about you. Hiring authorities don’t like to be left with questions; they want to be 100% confident of who they hire. So you’re out of the picture.

But this conflict doesn’t only occur with those have been dismissed by their employer. It can also happen when someone doesn’t have a degree, but has excelled in their career and frequently ends up competing with those who do. Or when you’ve been unemployed a long time, and you really need a job. Or if you’ve had your eye on being part of this company and finally you’ve snagged an interview. Or if you’re just plain insecure.
There’s a plethora of articles that list hundreds of body language cues you should pay attention to. But that’s like trying to learn the different interview styles and how to respond to each one. It’s a waste of time. You’ll spend so much time trying to remember what to do, how to do it, when to do it, if what you’re doing is correct or not, that it becomes difficult to focus on selling yourself and learning if the company is compatible with who you are and what you want.

It starts with your head. If you don’t feel confident, then stop thinking you aren’t. Find the reasons why you’re an asset to a company. List your skills and contributions. Put together a sales pitch on yourself, and then take it to heart. Actions mirror thoughts and thoughts mirror actions. When you’re thinking confidently, you behave confidently and vice versa.

At the same time, you can program one to follow the other. Pay attention to yourself, what you’re feeling and what’s going on around you. If you notice yourself shuffling in through the company door, pick your head up, put a smile on your face, and walk into the office as if you belong there, because you do. You have an interview, and they’re expecting you.
An interview is a sales presentation. You’re the product, and the hiring authority is the buyer. If you’re communicating that you’re not good enough to be hired, why would a company think differently?

Guest Expert:

Judi Perkins, the How-To Career Coach, was a recruiter for 22 years, consulting with hundreds of hiring authorities throughout the hiring process. She’s seen over 500,000 resumes, knows how hiring authorities think and how they hire. As a result she understands and teaches what other coaches don’t: why the typical strategies in finding a job so often fail, what to do instead, and why. She’s been on PBS’s Frontline, will be in the May issue of Smart Money magazine, and has been quoted frequently in numerous articles for CareerBuilder, MSN Careers, Yahoo Hot Jobs, and the New York Times, among others. She’s also been featured as an expert in numerous career books. Sign up for her free newsletter at!

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Words and Music: The Secret to Writing a Great Resume

Too many old school job seekers believe that on their resume employers are interested in a summary of their qualifications, experience and job responsibilities. What they forget, or were never taught, is that as seen through the eyes of qualified HR or private recruiters and decision makers a laundry list of key words and on-the-job responsibilities are synonymous with your possessing the minimum qualifications to qualify for a new position. With the competition being what it is today, offering up only this information is not enough.

Demonstrating that you have the 2-15 years of work experience the company desires in a certain function says nothing about how well you've performed. You may have been performing at a minimal skill level for all 15 years or at the highest level of competency for 3 or 4 years. The people who matter can not determine how talented you are based on equating the number of years of experience to competence.

If you have been reading my blogs you know by now that employers are more interested in knowing about your body of work and how it relates to the job at hand, and about the individual accomplishments that will validate your candidacy.

This premise is borne out every day all over the web, and especially in the blogosphere and on Linked-In discussions. All of us new school thought leaders are telling our clients and readers that qualifying and quantifying your past in relation to an employer’s needs and desires is the # 1 difference maker on a resume, and qualifying and quantifying specific accomplishments in terms of bottom line $ / % results is a great way to do this.

You need to realize that hiring managers envision prior achievements in a similar situation as a predicator of what they might expect from you in the future, while experience and key words tell people only about what you've DONE in the past.

However, not all accomplishments matter to a hiring manager. What you consider impressive accomplishments for past employers will not impress prospective decision makers unless they accentuate proven solutions to problem they are looking to solve.
Still in the dozens of accomplishment based resumes that are emailed to me every week for a free resume critique I find the presentation of accomplishments and vital supporting information as presented by a professional and an amateur are as different as day is to night.

In the movie Eddie and the Cruisers there is a dialogue I love as Eddie Wilson, the writer and band leader tries to explain how to play a love ballad he wrote to band members who want to play it too fast and too sloppy. "Words and Music man - Words and Music... without both it aint worth playing."

The same holds true for a resume. Putting down the correct thoughts is not enough. Just as every person is different, so too should the resume that introduces them be. Just like a song, you need to know how to pace a resume. This means you need to know where to strategically place information, the order in which it must appear, and it must have the perfect combination of words and actions convincingly tell the reader what they want to hear.

The bottom line for me is a resume must paint a masterful picture with colorful imagery, while telling a mesmerizing ‘Hero Story’ that resonates with the readers. So as you write your resume remember what Eddie said; ‘Words and Music man.” Without both your resume is not worth submitting.


Perry Newman, CPC CSMS is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach, AIPC certified recruiter and SMMU certified social media strategist known for his ability to help his clients get results. You can view his sample resumes at, and email him your resume at for FREE resume critique.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

10 Secrets for Nailing the Job Interview

I am grateful for the opportunity to share with you the following career advice from Pat Williams, senior vice president of the NBA's Orlando Magic. Pat co-founded the Orlando Magic in 1987 and is one of America's top motivational, inspirational, and humerous speakers. He had addressed thousands of executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies and national assocations to universities and nonprofits. Pat and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children, including 14 from four nations.

Pat Williams is the author of over 55 books including the recently released Nail It! 10 Secrets for Winning the Job Interview, written with Peggy Matthews Rose.

1. What inspired a sports executive and father of nineteen to write a book on job interviewing?

Life is all about being prepared for what’s next, Brent. Whether you’re an eighteen-year-old heading out on your own for the first time or an 81-year-old looking for ways to stay in the game, we are always looking for our next job. Wouldn’t you agree? As a dad, I’ve seen more than my share of wobbly beginnings. As a sports executive, I’ve seen stellar careers ended overnight, lives in desperate need of a new beginning.In addition to my wonderful and often challenging family, I’ve been blessed to work in professional sports my entire adult life. And I can say that nowhere is the demand for high caliber employees greater, both on the court and behind the scenes. So it’s just made sense to me to study what makes one candidate stand out over others. Winning jobs is really an elimination contest in so many ways. When no one is keeping score, what defines a winner? Over the years I’ve had many opportunities to share the insights I’ve gathered one-on-one. And now with the competition for jobs higher than it’s been in decades, I believe it’s time to get those tips into more people’s hands. That’s why I wrote this book.As a dad, I can say that the challenges of raising 19 children, many of them from international cultures, and helping them find their way in the professional world, has been often daunting. By now they’ve all begun charting their own roadmaps, but a book like this one would have come in handy for me then—and it’s a great resource for them now.

2. You've been involved in professional sports for over 40 years. How did you get your career started in that industry?

As a kid I was so blessed to have a dad who loved sports and who inspired me to love sports too. Baseball especially was a big part of my life and I aspired to be a major league catcher. I was good enough to play in the minor leagues but not good enough to make the “bigs.” So at age 24 I became the general manager of the Spartanburg Phillies. I figured I’d stay in baseball, but the next year, 1968, baseball legend Bill Veeck, with whom I’d been blessed to develop a close relationship, recommended me as general manager of the Chicago Bulls—and my NBA career was launched from that moment on. What a great ride it has been! Parents, if your kids are inclined to love sports, I can’t urge you more strongly to encourage them in every way you can. Sports offers the best training field for life I can think of. And if it’s a job you’re looking for, sports involvement offers a great way to make connections that lead to satisfying careers.

3. You've outlined 10 secrets for nailing job interviews. What information can you share about each?

These “secrets” were culled over the years by top human resources professionals and represent the qualities they look for in a successful job candidate. In reviewing them, I found they are practical life principals as well. They include:
  1. Networking – Getting your next job is less about who you know than it is about who knows what you know. Start where you are and widen your circles of influence. Get involved in professional organizations, social networks, affinity groups—go anywhere you can meet people in your area of expertise who would be glad to know what you can do for them. I’ve always said that life is about “collecting people,” and nowhere is this truer than in our professional lives.
  2. Being ready for the questions an interviewer is likely to ask you – and the best way to do that is to have a life plan. Know where it is you are headed, what you want to “be when you grow up.” When you have a clear sense of your purpose and your goals, you can see the mile markers along the journey that each job interview represents. Beyond that, study sample interviews and do your homework regarding the companies with which you plan to interview.
  3. Being prepared – In all my years as a speaker, I’ve found that at least 90% of each event is what happens in advance. If I’m not prepared to go up there and address the audience, they’re not going to be happy with me. The same is true when we go in for the job interview. In these highly competitive days, we’ve got to see it as auditioning for American Idol: only the top performers are likely to be called back. So before you speak to anyone, whether in person or on the phone, have a solid hold on what you’re going to say and how you will say it.
  4. Display professionalism – Here’s an elusive word, “professionalism.” What does it really mean? We spend this chapter helping you get a grip on this concept, from what not to wear, to developing a mindset, to seeing professionalism as a standard of living. If a world-class career is what you’re after, it’s critical to dress, think, and live as a professional, 24/7.
  5. Exuding self-confidence – If you’re naturally shy or insecure, this one might seem the most challenging of our tips. But the winning candidate is the one who knows she knows what she knows, and can confidently communicate that image. In this chapter, I tell the story of my son Alan, who did NOT want to hear Dad talk to him about leadership. Then came the day I picked him up from school and he excitedly told me he’d been selected captain of his basketball team. “Well guess what that makes you, Alan?” I said. He thought a moment and squeaked, “A leader?” Turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened in his life. It’s all about believing in yourself. So if you have any doubts, I’m telling you right now that I believe in you! You should too, for that is the person most likely to win the job interview.
  6. Exhibiting communication skills – Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter tells us, “Without credible communication and a lot of it, the hearts and minds of others are never captured.” It may not seem to you that this is your mission in the job interview, but it is! Your goal is to convince the hiring manager that you are the person they’ve been looking for all their lives. That means you’ve got to sound like the right candidate when you speak and that anything you’ve written—from your resume to an email—to that individual reflects a polished, confident, professional demeanor. If you need to, join a group like Toastmasters to improve your speaking skills or take a business writing class.
  7. Radiating energy and enthusiasm – Have you ever spoken to someone who seemed to blend in to the wallpaper? Perhaps you’ve forgotten the experience because that person was so, well, forgettable. Don’t let that be you! The way to stand out from the crowd is to do so with energy. Think Richard Simmons here. You don’t have to jump around or dress in strange gym shorts—please, don’t do that! But you do need to “look alive,” as they say. I’ve found the best way to make sure you radiate energy is through choosing a healthy lifestyle. Eat right, exercise daily. Read inspiring books. Become the person anyone would be proud to hire. It really is a mind game, in that it begins and ends with how you think of yourself.
  8. Revealing your extraversion – Some of us are naturally outgoing, while others are like that guy we just talked to, Wally Wallpaper. But we can all practice being more outgoing. My writing partner in this book, Peggy Matthews Rose, remembered her first job working in retail when she was asked to greet “perfect strangers.” The requirement did not feel natural to her, but in time she was able to turn on the smile and make the customers feel welcome. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about being the best you that you can be on behalf of your employer.
  9. Being a person of integrity – In a world that often seems to be turning upside down before our very eyes—a world full of corruption, dishonesty, uncertainty, and often fear—we are hungry for men and women of integrity. People who say what they mean and mean what they say. People who are honest, undivided, and trustworthy. People who can be counted on to always do the right thing. It may not always seem like it when you read the headlines, but that is the kind of person every company wants representing them. That is the person who will change his or her world.
  10. Revealing your creativity – No matter what the position is you’re interviewing for, every company appreciates creativity. Don’t think that’s you? You might surprise yourself if you just try. It begins with realizing that you are a uniquely created individual, made in the image of a creative God. We imitate him every day, whether we know it or not. So look for creative ways to express yourself in the interview. It might be through a portfolio, or you might be like the guy who sent the Magic office pizza with his resume printed inside the box! The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Those are the top ten, Brent, but of course—every game needs a free throw. So we added what I think is one of the most important tips:

Be yourself – And to do that, you first need to see yourself as you really are. Who are you? Try stepping outside yourself and sit for a few minutes on the other side of that interview desk. Would you hire you? If you’re out of work right now or looking to transition into a new position soon, take some time first to figure out who you are and what it is you really want to do. If there is any way possible, go after your dream job. And then be realistic. You may not get that job. But if you don’t it won’t be because you didn’t give it all you’ve got. It may simply be that it’s not the right time for you, or there is something better down the road. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be a person you respect and someone others can look up to. If you can nail that, you are way ahead of the game.

4. Over 1.4 million college-educated individuals will enter the U.S. labor force this year. What advice can you offer professionals who are just trying to get their foot in the door?

Be persistent. Never give up. I can’t think of better advice than that. It’s so easy to become discouraged in this highly competitive world we live in. Don’t let the gloom of a failure or two settle in on your soul. Get back out there in the game and keep knocking on those doors. One day a door will yield to your knocking and it will lead you to just the place you need to be in that moment. But when you get there, don’t rest on your laurels. Keep growing and stretching. Keep networking and keep on knocking.

5. In conversations I've had with unemployed experienced managers, they are questioning whether to accept significantly lower salaries or keep looking for the right opportunities. What are your thoughts?

That’s a tough one, Brent, given our current climate. My gut response is to say “go for the gold”—keep looking for that right place. But ultimately it does come down to putting food on the table and making the monthly rent. We must keep in mind that all work is honorable, so we shouldn’t have the mind set that, well, that job is beneath me. If it offers you an opportunity to grow and become a better person along with making those monthly bills, you might need to accept the lower salary for a while. Remember that all things come to pass. So roll with the lumps when you have to but don’t get stuck in them. In other words—take the lower salary for now if you must. Be practical, for goodness sake! But keep your eye on home plate. Never stop looking.

6. Nationwide unemployment is approximately 10% while overall underemployment is closer to 20%. If you could offer one final tip for job seekers, what would it be?

I’ll go back to my last remarks if I may and say—folks, it’s a tough world out there and very tough times we are facing. There is no doubt about that and no easy answers. We all want the dream job, the killer career, the fourth floor corner office. But now might not be the right time for it. I fully believe God has a plan for each of our lives. But we must be patient with the process and face facts when they are staring at us. Be patient, keep looking, stay strong. Never compromise your integrity. Do what you must. Keep growing. Keep looking. As Phil Jackson might say to his team, “Move the ball. Make the shots.” Stay focused and you’ll win in the long run.


Brent Peterson, PMP, MS, MBA, is the founder of Interview Angel Inc, a company that offers a comprehensive guide and toolkit for job seekers to use in interviews. Interview Angel is in use at universities, corporations, non-profit agencies, and local governments.

Discover customer testimonials, blog posts, upcoming events, and media interviews at Brent is also in LinkedIn ( and on Twitter (@InterviewAngel).

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beyond the Resume: Part 2

Using a Personal Profile to Connect With A Prospective Employer

In today’s challenging job market, job seekers have to make every effort to go above and beyond what is normally expected, to differentiate themselves in the eyes of the hiring manager. No matter how hard you try, attempting to differentiate yourself solely through your resume is extremely difficult.

Consider creating a “Credentials Package” for your prospective employer to consider, which can include other components in addition to your resume. One additional component is the Personal Profile. The Personal Profile outlines in a single page, for you initially—and ultimately for your prospective employer—all of your unique personal qualities, including your passions, hobbies and special interests, personal development activities, family, and other unique or interesting qualities about yourself.

To highlight the 5 reasons why the Personal Profile is important:
  1. You are more than your “work.”
    You are so much more than what could possibly show up on a résumé. If others prefer to be considered, judged, and selected based solely on their work experience, let them. You want to make it personal.
  2. It’s all about relationships, and it’s always personal.
    If you want that new career opportunity, you have to convince your prospective employer that you bring positive personal qualities to the work and team environment.
  3. It’s all about differentiation.
    A hiring manager may have difficulty choosing between two candidates with similar work experiences, but the personal information you provide will always be unique and different.
  4. Let them know now who you are.
    You want your prospective employer to know exactly what—and who—they are getting. Even if you have the opportunity to meet with your prospective employer, you usually don’t get into this topic during an interview. Why should they wait until six months after you’re hired to find out what a great and interesting person you are? Let them know now.
  5. Your personal qualities are as important as your work experience.
    Your unique personal qualities determine how you will approach a given job, how you will interact with others to meet objectives, and ultimately how successful you will be.

In addition to aiding the employer in understanding who you are—before the interview even begins, the Personal Profile is also extremely important in helping you determine if a given opportunity is right for you. By identifying and understanding all of your personal qualities, it will help you evaluate and select career opportunities best suited for you, and will help you to answer that typical and often challenging “Tell me about yourself” question you often hear during the interview process.

Add a Personal Profile to your credentials package today. Start to develop a personal relationship with your prospective employer, before the interview even begins.

Guest Expert:

Over a 25-year period, Dan Burns has realized a successful career as a corporate manager, entrepreneur, educator, business owner, and now as a full-time writer.

Prior to writing, Dan served as owner and Executive Vice President of a national technical and management consulting company, providing consulting and employee placement services to Fortune 500 companies and helping people successfully obtain their next great career opportunity.

In May 2009, Dan published his first book, The First 60 Seconds: Win The Job Interview Before It Begins. Through his book and speaking engagements, Dan is helping thousands of people to be more successful in today’s challenging job marketplace.

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