Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard – NOW Available – FREE

Effective Job Search - Are you ready to take time off in the race to finish your job search?

Are you ready to start conducting an EFFECTIVE JOB SEARCH?

Are you ready to take time off in the race to finish your job search?

As promised, Brad I committed to release our long-awaited, deeply researched, field-tested, and validated FREE Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard.

You can download the Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard and tool by joining our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group. We apologize about this two step process. However, Brad I have made the commitment to our job search community to release all new scorecards, self-assessment tools, templates, and other FREE Job Search Resources into our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group first.

We’ve worked very hard over the last few months to put together a FREE simple scorecard and tool that can make a dramatic difference in your job search.

If you take this self-assessment and work very hard to improve your scores from “0” or “1” into the “2” and “3” levels, you’ll be able to significantly reduce the time it takes to complete an effective job search.

Not only will this scorecard help you in overcoming the Top Ten Job Search Mistakes, but it will also help you in your job search by reducing the time it takes to find a great opportunity.

Here’s a great example: If you’re an executive and the average time in this poor job market is 9-12 months to find a new executive level position, this Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard will help you cut in half the time it should take to find a new job. Imagine saving $30,000-$60,000 in reducing your job hunting time by conducting a more effective job search.

Join Brad and I on our Weekly Internet Radio Talk Show this coming Monday – August 31st – 11-noon PST on LATalkRadio. We’ll be talking about how to overcome the Top Ten Job Search Mistakes and Errors by using our new FREE Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard.


P.S.: We look forward to your comments, ideas, and thoughts in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group. How might we improve this scorecard in a future revision? What insights about your job search effectiveness did you gain after spending a few minutes taking the assessment? After you take the assessment, what’s your specific plan to improve your job search?

Avoiding Age Discrimination

My last article, “Busted, Age Discrimination Reveal” I gave two examples of reverse age discrimination. As a short refresher, I was working two searches for two different companies. In both case they selected the older more experienced people, over the younger candidates with less experience. These were both very senior level positions and even the younger candidates had 20+ years experience. The older candidates had 30+ years experience.

So if age discrimination is so wide spread, one has to ask themselves, “How could this happen in two completely different companies and for two completely different positions?”

Regardless of your viewpoint as to the extent of age discrimination what is clear there are a few things you can do to help minimize it.

I firmly believe there were two major contributing factors that came together:

  1. Position level: These were very senior positions and the two older candidates were not only highly qualified, but were not taking a step backwards. I am approached on almost a weekly basis by candidates claiming to be “qualified” for a search I’m doing. Yet, when I read their resume it is true they are qualified, however they are over-qualified. For example, a CFO willing to accept a Controller position, a VP Sales interested in a Sales Manager, a CEO interested in a VP level job. I’m not saying they couldn’t do the job I’m working to fill. In fact, most have done the job 5 or 10 years ago. Recruiters are looking for someone who has done the job 5 or 10 years ago. They were qualified 5 or 10 years ago. They aren’t qualified today.
  2. Presentation: In what I believe is one of the most important blog articles for candidates to not only understand, but to actively implement into their job search was, “The Three Most Important Words In A Job Search.” A job search is all about the presentation. At the end of the day, the one that makes the best presentation usually wins. Couple a great presentation with extraordinary experiences or qualifications and you have a winner every time. So then what is a great presentation. The most common complaint, feedback, comment or whatever else one wants to call it for those older candidates is, “They seem like they just want a place to ride out until they retire.” or “They come across as just needing a job.” Generally, due to a poor presentation. Some thoughts
    1. If you look old you will be discriminated against. I am not known for my tact and political correctness. Don’t kill the messenger. This is a fact like it or not. In our job search workbook we talk about the 4 A’s required to get a job. Appearance is one of them. These were given to me by a VP Human Resources at Rockwell. If you don’t know the 4 A’s or know them but aren’t doing them you can get them for free, just pay the $5 shipping charge. The candidates that were hired, no one knew their correct age. They all presented themselves extremely well.
    2. Energy/Enthusiasm. Too often candidates come across burned out, desperate or tired. Their body language even communicates this. The problem is most candidates think they can mask this. FEW CAN. So few that it would be inappropriate to assume you are one of the few. I know you all know this. However, demonstrating these during an interview is a completely different thing. So if you know this, “How are you demonstrating these?” “Have you tested your demonstration to a non-biased (i.e. not your spouse or neighbor) person?” If you haven’t tested this too ensure you are sending the right energy then you may have a problem. Again, everyone of the candidates hired, the hiring manager never questioned their energy or if, “they were just looking for a place to retire.”

Granted there are a lot of other things one can do to help reduce of discrimination. I’m not suggesting these are the only two. I’m just suggesting these are the two most common I encounter.

If you think you have been discriminated against then the best way to avoid this in the future is to ensure you don’t fall into one of these categories.

If you haven’t joined our LinkedIn job search networking group please consider it. We have over 2000 members. This is a very active group dealing with job search issues. You can post your background and let 2000 people see your experiences. Click here to join.

Also we have a free download to assess the quality of your LinkedIn profile. This is one of the critical aspects to be found on LinkedIn. Click Here to get your free assessment to make sure your profile is the best it can be.

Listen every Monday 11 AM Pacific time as Barry and I discuss critical issues in your job search. You can hear us live on

Is Your Fear of Networking Leading to Job Search Mistakes?

Is your job search network leading to job search failure - learn how to overcome the most common job search networking mistakes and errors

Job Search Mistakes and Errors – Classic Example

The Wall Street Journal Laid-Off and Looking Blog just posted a great story profiling F. Ellen Whaley, an out-of-work introverted executive fearful of rebuilding her network.

The example could be a poster child for the classic job search mistakes and errors facing most executives and senior managers when they begin their job search. Read the full article here.

Here was my response to the example posted on this blog regarding ineffective networking as one of the key job search mistakes and errors made by those starting or stalled in a job hunt:

Great example of not considering the value of networking while working. The vast majority of candidates we work with in our Executive Search Practice come to us with a woefully inadequate network to begin their job search. Most have no idea where to start in using social media as a tool in leveraging networking.

Like the commercials about loans, the time to do it is when you don’t need it. Networking should be something you do through-out your entire career so when you need it – it’s there for you. When senior managers and executives start networking for their job search, it can take a minimum of 6 months to establish an effective network that will begin to generate an abundance of job referrals and leads.

My partner and I host a weekly internet radio talk show on job search on at 11-noon PST. This show and the FREE archived broadcasts on our website dealing with job search networking and LinkedIn are some of our most popular downloads. A month ago we posted a FREE scorecard (available to members of our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group – join the group and get the FREE Scorecard) to assess the effectiveness of your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search – the response has been overwhelming.

Interesting side note: of over 2000 job search candidates that have shared their Linkedin Profile Assessments with us, less than 10% meet a minimum standard for using the tools LinkedIn provides for effective job search networking and personal branding.

If you’re an executive and trying to figure out why your job search is a failure, stalled, or ineffective, you might not need to look any further than your network itself and the activities surrounding it. A weak network and lack of classic “old-school” networking disciplined methods will cause your job search to go from 6 months to 12-18 months.


P.S.: On Monday Brad and I will be discussing on our radio show at 11-noon The Top Ten Job Search Mistakes and Errors and the use of a brand new FREE Assessment Tool covering your entire job search – within minutes you’ll be able to discover do you have a job search headed for a downward death spiral or will you quickly being to generate an abundance of job search leads, referrals, and offers.

P.P.S.: We’ll post the link to download the new Job Search Plan Assessment Tool exclusively into our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group on Sunday prior to the Radio Show Discussion.

What if Your Job Search takes 2X-3X longer than expected?


Amazing how time keeps marching forward in your job search like the sand through an hour glass. Every day, week, and month not spent conducting an effective job search drains your wallet and puts an unbearable level of pressure on your job hunting activities.

Miriam Salpeter, who writes a blog at Keppie Careers,  recently posted an article titled “What’s the Cost of Being Unemployed?”  Great article.  Miriam gave a few good examples:

If you expect a $20,000 salary, your weekly salary is $384.61 and an 18 week job hunt will cost you $6,992.98.

If you are looking for a job with a $50,000 salary, your weekly salary is $961.54 and an 18 week job hunt costs you $17,307.69.

If you are hoping for a $100,000 salary, your weekly salary is $1,923.08 and an 18 week job hunt costs you $34,615.38.

Many readers of our blog are in the $150K-$200K plus range. What’s the cost of your job search moving from a traditional 6 months out to 12-18 months?

Here’s the comment I wrote to Miriam’s Blog posting:

Excellent point about the cost of an extended job search. Most of the candidates I work with are significantly north of $150,000-$200,000 in annual income. Imagine the cost of a search that has gone from a traditional 6 months and is now approaching 12-18 months.

Here’s the irony: We provide many good products and services, like you and other gurus/experts in this field. Yet, my experience is that the vast majority of managerial and executive candidates would rather flounder around for 12-18 months at the cost of $150K-$200K instead of investing $29, $59, $99 in a proven validated product/service that will take months off their job search.

I realize folks who are out of work don’t want to spend money unnecessarily. However, like most things in life you’ve got to make a few key investments and spend a little money to make money. Most candidates we encounter have no clue what to do in an effective job search – and they’re trying the same strategies which may have worked 8 – 10 -15 years ago. Whether it’s our products/services, yours, another well-known expert – my recommendation would be for job seekers to become masters of the job search process. To do that requires purchasing audio, video, kits, courses, books, and workbooks. On top of all that great content is an extraordinary amount of FREE resources which few people take advantage of.

I just wrote a recent article on my blog about mastering the job search. My partner Brad and I will be discussing this idea in our weekly radio show on Monday.


P.S.: On Monday in our Radio Show we will release our long awaited Self-Assessment Scorecard to determine if your Job Search Plan is adequate to complete a quick and effective job search.

Interviewing Faux Pas To Avoid.

An Innocent Comment Kills The Deal

A few years ago, a client in Arizona was searching to fill a VP US Sales position. The search was narrowed to two finalists. One lived in New York and the other in Southern California. The final round of interviews included the CEO and two board members. The candidate from NY made a comment she felt was in jest or just off the cuff, however, it was fatal. She rather flippantly said, “It is really hot here. People must be crazy to live here.” The CEO was offended by this comment and felt that someone at this level should be careful with such comments. He was very concerned this kind of comment could turn off a customer.

Moral of this story, be on guard at all times. Even an off the cuff comment can kill a deal.

Words say a lot but the body speaks louder

While doing a search for a VP of Sales, one of the requirements was up to 50% travel. Although the candidate knew this going in, when the subject came up in the interviews he apparently squirmed in his chair and lost eye contact. The client wasn’t convinced that he was really comfortable with this amount of travel. We discussed this with him in detail and in fact he was comfortable with it and had been doing that much travel for some time. He couldn’t explain the reason for their concern. We were able to overcome this with the client, but only after many conversations with the candidate and client; he did in fact get the offer. However, if he had represented himself and not had us to clarify the situation he would never have gotten the offer. Worse yet, he would never have had the chance to address this point.

Just remember, your body may speak louder than your words do, which is another good reason to hire a coach as they can help you with your interviewing style. Before you do this CLICK HERE to listen to our radio show interview on Career Coaches.

Little things that candidates rarely find out about can dramatically impact the interview. We recommend in our job search workbook some things you can do to make sure these examples don’t happen to you. For example, have you video recorded yourself in a mock interview? This is one of the most revealing things you can do to improve the interview. We make this job search workbook available to you for only the cost of $5 shipping. CLICK HERE to at least review the book to see if it will help you.

Get Ready for the launch of our FREE Tool for a Self-Assessment of your Job Search Plan

Learn how our Job Search Planning Self-Assessment Tool can help you to conduct an effective job search

On Monday at 11 AM PDT in our Weekly Internet Radio Talk Show on, Brad and I will discuss, launch, and describe in detail one of the most powerful tools you’ll probably ever use in your job search planning and preparation.

This Self-Assessment we’ve developed will become one of the most important tools in your entire job search toolkit. You’ll take it at frequent intervals and refer to it constantly in tweaking your job search for exceptional results

I know those are very bold statements. However, Brad and I are very excited about this tool. We’ve been working on it for quite some time. We’ve “field-tested” it with hundreds of candidates – revising, adjusting, and modifying it based on their feedback. We’ve validated over a 3-6 month period that the Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Tool can dramatically reduce the time it takes to find a new job. In some cases, candidates have reduced their job search by 50% or more from the average timeframe most candidates will take at their level.

The Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Tool follows the structure of our Career Success Methodology, described in great detail in our recent book titled “This is NOT the Position I Accepted” and expanded upon in our Job Search Home Study Course.

If you follow our Career Success Methodology — which is the ONLY systematic approach to conducting a job search that has been deeply researched, field-tested with live candidates, and validated for success – you’ll significantly reduce the time it takes to complete your job search.

There are lots of experts out there – resume writers, interview coaches, personal branding experts, job board consultants – however, none of them bring an integrated approach and systematic methodology to the process of conducting a job search.

The Career Success Methodology starts with Day One of your Job Search and takes you through every step of the process to the end-point of negotiating your expectations, resources, compensation, benefits, and long-term opportunity.

If you take this Job Search Plan Self-Assessment, even if you don’t invest or agree with our Career Success Methodology, you’ll still be able to identify the key areas in your job search which still require significant work and improvement.

After just a few minutes, the scoring will reveal why your job search is taking too long, why your job search is stalled, or why your job search is NOT generating the level of job leads, referrals, interviews, and offers you wish you could obtain. Most of these problems stem from making the same job search mistakes over and over again.

Join us Monday on at 11 AM PDT to discuss, comment, and share your insights from the Job Search Plan Assessment Tool. We’ll provide the link to the tool in our LINKEDIN Discussion Group by Monday morning at 8 AM PDT so you’ll have an opportunity to score yourself prior to joining us for the radio show.

In the Radio Show, Brad and I will talk about how the Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Tool will help you overcome the most common Top Ten Job Search Mistakes. We’ll walk you through each of the main scoring categories and talk about steps to improve your job search and reduce the time it takes to find a great opportunity.


P.S. Join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group for one of the fastest growing and vibrant job search discussion groups on the Internet

Resumes have only one purpose

We were working to fill a VP Operations position. A candidate we had known for a few years was out of work and we believed he was a good fit for the position. While we were talking on the phone, the candidate mentioned the VP Operations position had been open for a while and he had submitted his resume but never heard back. We explained the company had tried filling the position, but was unsuccessful, so they decided to retain us to conduct the search.

When we met with the hiring manager we mentioned the candidate’s name. The hiring manager pulled out a file from the drawer and sure enough there was the candidate’s resume. It became clear why the hiring manager hadn’t gotten back to him. The resume was generic and very general. It did not address any of the specifics of the job. We worked with the candidate and developed a resume that highlighted his accomplishments that tied directly to the position. It was easy to get him the interview, now that the hiring manager could see how well he fit the needs of the job.

He ultimately was offered the position and accepted. Had he taken the time to revise his resume the first time, he would have been successful.

Remember, always align your resume as closely as possible to the accomplishments the company is looking for. A specific resume, for a specific job, with specific accomplishments, that are directly linked to the needs of the position will always beat out a generic resume.

We have extensive resources available to you that will help you with your resume. Our audio library has a one hour free audio file “Why Traditional Resumes Are Worthless.” We also have numerous articles on the homepage of the career blog that discuss in great depth how to get your resume noticed.

Right now you can also get Complete Resume System for $39.95 plus shipping. Others charge up to $250 and The Ladders can charge up to $700. Our comprehensive job search workbook is also available to review for just the cost of $5 shipping and our complete home study course can be reviewed for just $14.95 plus shipping. These tools have extensive information on resumes, templates to develop an effective resume, examples of what a winning resume looks like, four resumes that didn’t get noticed and why they missed the mark, and resume do’s and don’ts, just to name a few tools available. All for less than many will spend at Starbuck’s in a week.

Job Search Mistake #1: Not Having a Systematic Approach to Conducting a Job Search

Metaphor for most job searches which are more dependent on luck than a systematic plan

Is your job search systematic or more dependent on luck?

Many candidates approach a job search “willy-nilly”. The approach goes something like this “I’ll tell my friends I’m looking for a job, I’ll call the 3 recruiters I know and tell them to start circulating my resumes, I’ll dust off my old resume and update it for my last job, I’ll sit down tonight and look a few job boards to see what jobs are being advertised.”

After 25 years of executive search, over 1000 search assignments, and beyond 100,000 candidate interviews, I can guarantee that “willy-nilly” approach to your job search is a recipe for disaster. Unless luck intervenes, you’ll probably fall victim to one of two unfortunate job search failure scenarios:

Job Search Failure Scenario #1: You’ll take 2X-3X longer to conduct a job search than is necessary. If the average time to conduct a job search for your level of position is 4 months – it will probably take 8-12 months. Imagine the savings if you could knock a few months off your job search.

Job Search Failure Scenario #2: You’ll take a job that is not a good fit out of desperation and lack of clear thinking and planning about what is the right role for you. This job search scenario will force you into what we term is the “Circle of Transition”. You can read more about the Circle of Transition in our blog post on this subject and download a visual representation of this depressing cycle many individuals fall into during their career and from which they cannot escape.

A systematic plan requires the ability to conduct effective job search preparation, develop a compelling resume through a personal success profile, prepare to win every phone interview and face-to-face interview, master networking, and create a powerful personal brand that makes you visible to recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers.

We’ve developed a FREE Job Search Planning Self-Assessment Tool to determine if your job search is systematic or if it’s “willy-nilly”. This tool can help you restart a stalled job search, get your job search off to a rapid start, and most importantly, help you to reduce by half the time it normally takes to complete an effective job hunt for an ideal opportunity.

This FREE Job Search Planning Assessment takes our 25 year mountain of research across every dimension of job hunting and walks you through the steps of our Career Success Methodology –  a deeply researched and validated systematic job search system.

The FREE Assessment will be made available within the next 24-48 hours only to those who are members of our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group. This is an exclusive offer to the 2,000 plus members of our Discussion Group. You can join the group by clicking here.

By the way – as an added bonus, we have also developed a FREE Assessment to determine if your LinkedIn Profile is effective in making you visible to recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers. This FREE LinkedIn Profile Assessment is also available through membership in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group. You’ll see it immediately upon joining as one of the featured discussions.

Our Job Search Home Study Course takes the Career Success Methodology and presents it through a comprehensive workbook, templates, and audio programs. After completing the Job Search Home Study Course, you should be able to dramatically reduce the time it will take to find a great opportunity. If you’re not happy with the course, use our guarantee to return it at no obligation.


Busted – Age Discrimination Revealed

Anyone that has read the discussions in our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group knows that I am not a big believer in age discrimination. That doesn’t mean I think it doesn’t happen. What it does mean is that I don’t think it happens as frequently as many candidates do. In fact, I believe it is far more rare than most.

Well I am wrong. Age discrimination is alive, living, and doing very well. My last two executive searches prove that I’m wrong and it definitely exists.

I have been retained to fill a CFO and VP Manufacturing search. Both positions are very senior level spots and in two different companies. In a normal search, we will present 4 or 5 candidates to the client before they hire one of them. These two were a little different. I had presented my normal 5 candidates and the client was interested in, but not sold on, a couple of the candidates. They still wanted to see a few more. (By the way as a side journey, in today’s market that is very common. Clients seem to always want to see a few more. After all, there are so many candidates on the market.)

The candidates they liked were all 7 or 8’s on a scale of 1 – 10. They all had 15-20 years of experience and judging from when they graduated from college, ranged in age from late 30’s to mid-40’s. Both of these jobs were very senior, and due to the nature of the challenges facing the companies required a real depth of experience and not just the normal depth one gets in 15-20 years. These candidates just weren’t “mature or experienced” enough were the words the clients used.

As the client requested, I presented 2 more candidates to each company. These last 4 candidates all had no less than 30 years of experience, and all had graduated from college in the late 70’s and early 80’s. You can do the math on their ages. My guess is mid to late 50’s and possibly even 60. To no real surprise my clients each hired one of these 4. The comment the client made to me at some point during the hiring process was, “If I can get a good 3-5 years from them, that is all one can expect in today’s world, and I’m more than fine with that. Hell, I may not even be here in 5 years.”

WOW, a clear case of age discrimination if I ever saw one. The first group was clearly discriminated against due to their age.

Again, before you write me a nasty comment, I agree age discrimination exists. But it works both ways. I also don’t believe every time a person doesn’t get a position, especially more senior candidates, it is age discrimination. Often they are just plain over-qualified for the job, just as these candidates were under-qualified for these jobs.

Part 2 on this topic will be more in-depth as to some other contributing factors that helped the second group win the job. There is hope, and by following the suggestions in part 2, you can avoid age discrimination on either side of the equation.

We provide a large repository of free tools and resources (CLICK HERE FOR LISTING) for candidates of all ages to help you significantly reduce your time in search. Every day of lost wages costs you hundreds of dollars and stress. I personally want to encourage you to spend some time reviewing these. There are audio files (CLICK HERE to enter the audio library), templates, assessments, and articles. The topics cover just about every aspect of the search process, networking, branding, resumes, interviewing, common mistakes, leveraging social networks, etc.

Our bi-weekly Candidate Open Forums are available to all who want to participate. You can speak directly with myself or Barry on the conference calls. Our homepage list the upcoming forums. CLICK HERE FOR LIST.

We are committed to assisting you in your search as best we can. These free resources are the best we can do for now. We have even more ideas coming and all will be free.

IMPACT Hiring Solutions Weekly Job Search Blog Round-up: August 22, 2009

The IMPACT Hiring Solutions Weekly Job Search Blog Round-up

In case you missed some of the individual blog postings this week, here’s a round-up of some of the more popular posts Brad and I wrote for the Job Search Blog:

It’s Okay to Swear in the Interview: Learn the secrets of a structured response to every interview question. Follow this format in responding to interview questions and hiring managers will move away from box checking to engaging with you in a conversation and dialogue about the job.

Your LinkedIn Profile as a Multi-media Expansion of Your Resume: LinkedIn provides a wealth of tools for job seekers for personal branding, networking, self-promotion. Are you using all these tools to become visible to recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers?

Keyword Searches in Resumes: You might think you’re perfect for a job – but hiring managers would disagree after reviewing your resume. By not focusing on the proper key words – are missing out on job opportunities?

Honesty + Guts Works in the Interview: Can you look a hiring manager in the eye and challenge them in the interview if you disagree with their expectations or perspective. Are you praying things might be different when you join the company. The interview is the time for honest and direct dialogue without being confrontational.

Brad and I wish you much success in your job search in the coming week.