It Is OK to SWEAR In An Interview!

There seems to be two types of candidates in this world. Those that ramble on and on hoping if they talk long enough the person will forget the question they asked or the candidate that gives one or two word answers to every question. It is like pulling teeth to get a complete answer.

There is a happy medium between these two.

We suggest never talking more than two minutes without re-engaging the hiring manager. To re-engage, simply ask a follow-up question. For pain questions we use the acronym S.W.E.A.R. to format an answer, tell a story and stay within the two-minute rule.

  • Statement – Repeat the question in your own words to clarify you heard the question. This should take five to ten seconds.
  • What relates in your background – Select an experience or accomplishment in your background that relates. Give enough background information so the interviewer can put the example in the proper context. This should take twenty to thirty seconds.
  • Examples – Next describe a specific example ensuring that it directly relates to the question. Use a recent accomplishment. The example must address their pain and show a benefit to them. This should be one of the five accomplishments you developed during your preparation. Keep this from forty-five seconds to a minute.
  • Action – What specific action did you take? Use action words such as: led, developed, implemented, changed, or improved.
  • Results/Re-engage – This is the most important component in the answer and one that is generally left out. Quantify the results you achieved. How did the company benefit from this, what changed for the better as a result, what savings occurred? How did you calculate the savings? How did management make better decisions as a result? Sales people refer to this as the WOW factor. The hiring manager should think to themselves, “WOW, that is what I’m looking for.” This should take about fifteen to twenty seconds.

Finally ask a follow-up question that gives you feedback and re-engages the hiring manager.

Pay close attention to the hiring manager’s body language. If you notice any change in body language, you need to determine if it is positive or negative. If you determine it is negative stop and re-engage. Don’t keep on talking. They are not listening anyway.

In our job search workbook, “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” we go into great detail on the interviewing process. There is so much to the interview that most candidates can’t possibly absorb it all in just one posting. Right now you can get the complete job search workbook for just the cost of shipping $5. You should at least CLICK HERE to take a further look to see if it can help you.

Also, we offer a comprehensive home study course for those that want to learn at their pace. We will send this complete course to you for $14.95 plus shipping. Again, at least take literally one minute to review the content of the kit to see if it will help you get out of search. CLICK HERE to review the contents.

Every day you spend looking is costing you a few hundred dollars in lost wages. If either of these tools or resources can reduce that by even one day you win. Please take a moment and see if this will help you.

Are You Difficult to Connect with on LinkedIn in Your Job Search?

Why hide and put a lock on your contact information on LinkedIn if you are conducting a job search? Recruiters and Hiring Managers will ignore you if it's too difficult to network with you on your job hunt.

Many candidates are obsessive about protecting the confidentiality of their contact information on LinkedIn when they are in a job search, even when they indicate on their LinkedIn Profile that they are open to career opportunities.


This doesn’t make any sense!

Here’s the sad part: Most recruiters, human resource professionals, and hiring managers will skip right by you on LinkedIn searches for candidates when recruiting if you make it too difficult to connect with you. When I do a search on LinkedIn for candidates in our Executive Search Practice, if you make it too hard to connect I’ll move on to the next candidate – I might sound a little harsh – regardless of how much you might be a perfect match – I just don’t have the time to play games or dig too deeply – particularly when there is lots of other great talent available.– I’ll define “too hard to connect” as the following:

  • You have no phone number on your LinkedIn Profile
  • You have no direct email on your LinkedIn Profile
  • You have not checked the settings for “open to career opportunities”
  • You have not checked the settings for “open networker”
  • Your group settings prevent me from sending you a direct message if we are in the same group

You could be missing out on great opportunities because of inappropriate fears of confidentiality or security. What’s the risk that someone has your cell number or email address when you’re looking for a job. At a minimum, what’s the risk in adding to your account the “open networker” designation so that recruiters and others do not have to use up their precious allotment of inmails?

I’ve had my phone number and email address on my LinkedIn Profile for years. I can count on one hand the number of solicitor calls and inappropriate emails from that contact information. It’s irrational to think you’ll be bombarded with solicitors and crank calls/emails. Take a risk and make yourself available – you’ll be amazed at the increase in the number of calls and emails you get when recruiters, human resource professionals, and hiring managers reach out to you when they are recruiting to fill an open job.

Take a look at my profile on LinkedIn as an example. I would also recommend joining our Discussion Group on LinkedIn and participating in the discussion regarding LinkedIn Profiles for your Job Search.


Your LinkedIn Profile as an Expanded Multi-Media Presentation of Your Resume

Is your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search strong enough to STAND OUT and capture the interest of recruiters and hiring managers?

I’ve posted a Slideshare Powerpoint file through LinkedIn as a demonstration of one small aspect of how you can improve your personal brand and visibility on LinkedIn. Do you STAND OUT among a crowd of “me-too” profiles?

Here’s the actual Slideshare link to view or download the presentation. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do a voice-over narration of this Powerpoint as an additional test. You can do this too.

I’ll be adding audio and video files to my LinkedIn Profile to demonstrate how you can leverage simple tools on this wonderful service to dramatically improve your job search. Take a look on slideshare at some of the other Powerpoint and Video files other job seekers have posted.

Employers and recruiters (including Brad and I) would love to hear you talking about your expertise and accomplishments, view a video of you answering interview questions, and be able to download a powerpoint presentation about your job achievements. Imagine LinkedIn as an expanded multi-media platform to enhance your traditional resume.

The funny thing is that less than a tenth of one percent of all job seekers are using all the available tools on Linked for their job search – and the tools are available for FREE – go figure!

What a shame!

Try it – look at my profile or Brad’s profile on LinkedIn. Look at some of the profiles of the masters of job search personal branding and job search networking. I’ll feature once a week a candidate who is truly leveraging LinkedIn for their job search – for each person selected every week, they’ll get a FREE copy of our book. Would you like to throw your profile in the ring to try and win a FREE copy of our book, This is NOT the Position I Accepted. Be the first to volunteer!

In the meantime, if you would like to start taking months off your job search, start taking the initiative to improve your LinkedIn Profile as a small step forward.


P.S. Don’t forget to take the Self-Assessment of your LinkedIn Profile by using our FREE scorecard for assessing your LinkedIn Job Search Profile to determine your effectiveness of being found by recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers.

P.P.S. Brad and I also did a broadcast on our radio show about this LinkedIn Profile Self-Assessment Tool and how to most effectively improve your visibility.

What’s the difference between “good-to-great” recruiters and bad recruiters?

Image of Bad Recruiter abusing a job search candidate

There are a few “good-to-great” (to borrow a popular phrase from Jim Collins) recruiters out there. Brad and I have trained thousands of recruiters over the last 25 years. The vast majority I wouldn’t want to work with if they were the last recruiters on Earth. They fall into the category of being a “broker” – pushing paper to make a buck – sacrificing ethics, relationships – all to earn a commission.

Conversely, a good-to-great recruiter exhibits the following 6 characteristics:

1. They are responsive

2. They follow-through on their commitments

3. They have a “trusted-advisor” relationship with their clients

4. They are knowledgeable about their client, the client’s industry, and the role

5. They position themselves as a “consultant” not a slick salesperson or “broker”

6. They have a deep understanding of how to measure talent and ask outstanding questions

Have I missed any important differences between bad and “good-to-great” recruiters. What’s your experience? Do you have a favorite story or recruiter behavior you would like to share with our subscribers?

One of the major mistakes many candidates make in working with recruiters is choosing to work with a bad recruiter. The risks including damaging your reputation, screwing up a job opportunity, and providing you with terrible job search or career advice.

Make sure you use the checklist above to ensure you’re working with a reliable, trustworthy recruiter who you know will “get your back” around issues of confidentiality, salary negotiation, presenting your background to client’s, and protecting your reputation.

We’re in middle of developing a scorecard for assessing recruiters. Share with us your key issue that leads to your love of working with a particular recruiter, or the issue that sends you running in the opposite direction. If enough people share your key issue, we’ll feature it as one of the core assessment categories on our recruiter scorecard.

We’ll be giving away a limited number of copies of our popular job search e-book to those who respond before the end of Friday. Shoot us back a quick comment on the blog and share your “burning” recruiter frustration or joy with the rest of our job search community – and perhaps be eligible to win a copy of our e-book based on the original soft-cover workbook, This is NOT the Position I Accepted.

While you’re thinking about your “recruiter issue”, take a moment and check out the extensive list of FREE audio programs we’ve archived on our web site. Every week Brad and I host an Internet Talk Radio show on Mondays 11-noon on, alternating with job search and hiring manager topics. We’ve discussed a few times in the last 6 months various issues of working with recruiters. There are also a series of articles on this blog about how recruiters find candidates and other related topics. Be sure to type recruiter into the search dialog box at the top of the page.


Key Word Searches For Resumes

“I’m perfect for the position. So why didn’t you call me?” Have you ever thought or said something similar to this?

The answer to that question in my experience is that candidates rarely demonstrate in the resume they are the perfect fit. Most important word is, “demonstrate.”

So I decided to test this theory.

I circulated a search that I was working on for a VP Contract Manufacturing and Supply Chain. The total ad was about 6 sentences. In the ad, contract manufacturing appeared 7 times and supply chain appeared 6 times.

Just curious, what KEY WORDS do you think I’m looking for on your resume?

Only 2 of 188 resumes received made it a point to ensure these words would stand out on the resume. The 2 had accomplishments using these words, they had them in the heading, the words appeared in multiple positions and they also were in the cover letters/emails. The words were not highlighted in yellow or bold. They just appeared frequently on the resume.

Most of the other 186 simply sent me a generic, one size fits all resume. Some mentioned in the cover letter/email that they had this experience, but many didn’t even do that. Yet their email stated, “I think you will find my background a good fit for this position.” REALLY?

So who do you think got the call from the recruiter?

Another way to look at it is 186 candidates are wondering, ‘Why didn’t I get called for the position, I’m a perfect fit. Those recruiters never call me.”

There are three mistakes these 186 candidates made.

  1. Humans look for key words just like search engines. People reviewing resumes are looking for certain words to stand out on the resume. It is the only way to screen the volume of resumes. In this case, it couldn’t have been clearer what key words I would be searching for.
  2. One size fits all resumes don’t work in this market. Companies are looking for specific and very targeted candidates. It is the candidate’s responsibility, NOT THE READER OF THE RESUME, to ensure the right information is communicated.
  3. Cover letters/emails are not a substitute for the resume. Just because you state it on the cover letter/email doesn’t mean you can leave it off the resume. In fact, just the opposite is true. If you claim in your cover letter/email to have the right experiences, then the reader is going to expect to see it on the resume. Hopefully, under multiple positions.

Your resume is your marketing document. Like all marketing documents, it must get to the motivations of the reader. If it doesn’t motivate the reader then they will move on. The 186 did not get to the motivations of the reader.

You can download a free audio on, “Why Traditional Resumes are Worthless” from our website. CLICK HERE. It will point out some of the frustration recruiters and hiring managers encounter when reviewing resumes, but that isn’t the reason to listen to this. The real reason is that it will also help make sure YOUR resume stands out. THAT IS THE REAL BENEFIT.

Mastering Your Job Search – Radio Show

We discussed how to master your job search in our weekly Internet Radio Talk Show on We’ve posted the audio file on our website in the FREE Audio Library at

If you can master your job search by becoming an expert at resume writing, interview preparation, job search personal branding, and job networking, you have the opportunity like thousands of other candidates to dramatically reduce the time it takes to find a new job.

Thousands of candidates who have employed the simple, but effective strategies of our Career Success Methodology, have reduced their job hunting time by 30%, 40%, and as much as 50%.

One of the first steps in mastering your job search is to uncover all the best practices known in the core areas of conducting a job search, such as developing a job search plan, preparing a resume, interview preparation, job networking, and job search personal branding.

If you would like to immediately reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your job search, get a copy of  our popular job search book. You can download it right now at

You’ll be working on mastering your job search within minutes.

There is no reason you need to conduct a prolonged job search – if you apply all the job search techniques we describe in our book, you’ll stun your peers by dramatically reducing the time it takes to land a great job.

The Barry and Brad Job Search Show

How to Mistreat Your Recruiter

Job Search Candidate mistreating their recruiter. Why should the recruiter want to help the candidate?

Recruiters also need a little love

Why do many executives and managers mistreat recruiters when they are employed – yet beg recruiters to return their calls and present them on search assignments when they are unemployed or into a major job search for new position?

Is there a touch of irony to this scenario?

Let’s discuss precisely what it means to mistreat your recruiter:

1. When the recruiter calls you to discuss an job opportunity, you don’t return the call, are rude, or slam down the phone impatiently stating you don’t have time to talk.

2. When the recruiter asks you for a referral on an existing search, you indicate that no one comes to mind or you cannot think of one person out of the hundreds you’ve interacted with over the past few years. There is no risk in making a referral – is that not what networking is all about?

3. When the recruiter asks for an introduction to one of your peers or other executives who are looking to employ a recruiter to fill a position, you refuse to make the introduction.

4. When the recruiter who placed you or has worked with you before, calls to check in, buy you lunch, develop a relationship to get to know you better, you drop the phone like it’s a hot potato – why would you want to be caught meeting with a recruiter – wouldn’t that give your peers back at the office something juicy to gossip about?

Brad and I have been conducting executive search for over 25 years. Learn more about one of the most successful Retained Executive Search Practices in this country. We’re highly sought-after speakers, facilitators, and keynoters on the subjects of recruiting, hiring, and job search.

The first people we think of on a new search is “who do I have a relationship with that is an outstanding candidate?”. Our second step is then to start networking through our relationships for candidates we don’t know intimately right now.

What defines a “relationship” with a recruiter. It’s an individual who goes “above and beyond” their peer group in building a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with a a recruiter – one who doesn’t mistreat their recruiter.

Are you guilty of mistreating your recruiter?

Remember – recruiters also need a little love (or at least a pat on the back).

When was the last time you hugged your recruiter?


P.S: Don’t forget to check out the extensive archives on our site of FREE tools, templates, audio, and examples Brad and I have posted for the candidates who do show us a little love now and then.

Don’t forget to join Brad and I in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group by clicking here for the invitation.

We would like to hear how you’ve either mistreated your recruiter or hugged them by going beyond your peer group to create a relationship.

Honesty + guts works in an interview.

Speak up and be honest

Two different situations explain why, no matter how desperate one is for a job, interviewing the same way you would if you had the best job in the world, is the difference between getting an offer and not getting one.

As the economy is slowing we were conducting a retained search for a CFO for a small company in Southern California. The company was starting to consider budget cuts. The final two candidates, in the final interview with the president/owner were both asked; “As my CFO, you will lead the cost reduction program, where will you begin?”

Candidate one answered the usual stuff, look at reducing inventory, cutting overtime, review benefits, and require an across the board reduction in the budget, etc.  A solid safe answer the president told me.

Candidate two had a more direct and to the point answer for the owner. He looked the president straight in the eye and said, “I would start with your salary and then the rest of the executive team.”

The president later told me, “any CFO that has the guts (he used different anatomical parts) to tell me that directly to my face is the kind of CFO I want.”

Second situation:

On another retained search for a Director of Human Resources, the candidate was interviewing with a large very well-known multinational company. The final interview was a panel interview. In all of the previous interviews she was kept waiting as much as 30 minutes. Prior to the panel interview it was close to 45 minutes.

She was asked in the panel interview “What would be one of the first changes you would make as the Director.” Her answer was; “The way you hire people. The process of letting candidates wait in the lobby for so long is inappropriate and turns good candidates off. In fact, I was ready to walk out just before someone came to meet me.” The panel apologized. They know she was right and had the integrity to tell it to their face.

The new Director of Human Resources later told me she was informed by those on the panel that not one other candidate brought this point up. We both found that to be amazing.

Displaying confidence is a key attribute in the interview. Too often candidates take the easy or safe answer path and miss a great opportunity.

Just be honest. If you are right, and hiring manager doesn’t want to hear it, the bigger question for you is, “Do you want to work for this person?” If they can’t accept the truth now, what will it be like once you come on board?

If you do accept the position I can almost guarantee you, you will end up in the “Circle of Transition.” As our job search workbook and blog article indicates this is not the place anybody wants to be.

If you aren’t familiar with the Circle of Transition, I strongly encourage you to download a free copy of the “Circle of Transition” by CLICKING HERE.

I believe this is one of the most important issues for candidates to know, understand and implement in a job search.

Learn How to Master a Job Search

Join the IMPACT Hiring Solutions LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group and learn how to master your job hunt

Simple Action: Job search discussion group

Brad and I facilitate one of the largest and fastest growing job discussion groups on LinkedIn and the Internet. The discussions are lively, helpful, informative, and dynamic.

Are you missing an opportunity to find a great opportunity, improve your interviewing, and cut your job hunt timeframe in half?

If you pick up one tiny morsel of information that generates a new job lead, scores a point in an interview that leads to a another invitation to come back, or improves your job hunting productivity and slices an entire month off your job search – would the investment of joining the discussion group be worth it?

What a stupid question! Of course it’s worth – especially since it’s FREE and the quality of information exchanged is extremely high.

This begs the question of if you’re not a member of our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group, you’re probably not taking advantage of the numerous opportunities the Internet offers for discussions, information, audio, video, and a wealth of other free material on how to conduct an effective job search.

There are many great discussion groups on LinkedIn. You might be reading this blog post if you’re a member of one of those groups, like Career Rocketeer, Grafton, or Exec-u-net. There are just a few of the other great groups/publishers of outstanding content for job seekers. There are Yahoo discussion groups, Ning Groups, and hundreds of blogs focused on job search, interviewing, networking, and personal branding. Many outstanding career coaches publish their own blog with great content being posted every single day.

Shame on you if you’re a candidate in thick of a job search, and you’re not taking advantage of all the FREE job search resources available to you.

Here are some questions to think about if you are in a job search:

  • What discussion groups do you belong to on LinkedIn?
  • Do you follow the LinkedIn Q&A – posing questions and answering questions?
  • Do you participate in Yahoo Job Search Groups?
  • Do you participate in Ning Groups on Job Search?
  • What blogs do you follow on Job Search?
  • Do you frequently scan iTunes for new podcasts on Job Search topics
  • Do you look for new videos on Youtube regarding job search topics?
  • Are you active in following job search experts on Twitter who are recruiters or career coaches?
  • Do you have a master list of all the job search Internet Radio Shows being broadcast on a weekly basis

As an Executive Recruiter, one of the things I measure in candidate is a level of learning, personal growth, and professional development. I’ve seen many a 55 year-old with a much higher level of personal growth than many 25 year-olds. Job Search is no different than your trade, professional expertise, functional discipline like accounting or marketing.

I’ll ask at the end of an interview “what else are you doing in your job search to learn how to improve your job search knowledge, skills, and capability? You guessed it – Duh — and a blank look.

If you want to master your sphere of influence, you’ve got to become an expert. To differentiate yourself and leverage your skills/knowledge as a competitive advantage in a job search, you’ve got to learn everything there is about job search best practices and what top talent does to consistently find and obtain the top job opportunities.

Small caveat to following “experts”: Some “charlatans” pass themselves off as understanding the job search process and they don’t have a clue – if you follow their advice your job search will either take longer or fail completely.

However, the vast majority of publishers, facilitators, content generators in this field are great individuals who have done deep research and are willing to share that information with you. In a future blog post, I’ll be sharing some of the better FREE Internet Resources.

To see all our FREE Resources for job seekers, browse our extensive library and archives of examples, templates, and audio programs.


P.S. Join our LinkedIn Discussion Job Search Discussion Group today and get access to our brand new Self-Assessment Matrix for Determining the Effectiveness of Your LinkedIn Profile. Are you visible to recruiters and hiring managers?

What Fish are In Your Networking Pond?

Image using the metaphor of fishing to convey what people (fish) should be in your network (pond)

Let’s continue along my last post about fishing and networking. As you’ll recall, we were extending the wonderful post about fishing as a metaphor for job search networking that Anna Farmery from Buzz Networker had brought to our attention a few days ago.

One of the points that Anna raised was what kind of network are you looking for – or to continue our fishing metaphor – what type of fish should be in your network?

I’ll be so bold as to suggest that most of the fish in a job seeker’s network STINK!

It’s not that most networking contacts are bad people – but rather the network that a typical job seeker has assembled to help generate job leads and referrals is nothing short of useless in most cases. Brad and I take you through this introspective look at your network in our networking chapter in our book “This is NOT the Position I Accepted.”

One of the services that IMPACT Hiring Solutions provides is Job Search Networking Strategy and Coaching. Every day, Brad and I are immersed in reviewing the networks and networking activities of job seekers within our job search network (those that have participated in our tele-seminars and webinars, those who have downloaded our FREE Internet Radio Shows on conducting a Job Hunt, and those who participate in our LinkedIn Discussion Group for conducting an effective Job Search.

Although I have not yet quantified the data (do you sense another survey/research project coming on?), I’d surmise that less than 5% of the networks most candidates are using – are useless and yield very little in terms of job leads and referrals.


It’s because you have the wrong fish in your network. As a candidate involved in a job hunt, you need four classes of fish to have an effective network that can generate an abundance of job leads and referrals.

The four classes of fish (network contacts) are:

  1. Hiring Managers who might potentially hire you for a position
  2. Contacts who would know the hiring manager (peers competing for a similar position and peers of the hiring manager)
  3. Recruiters who fill the positions you want
  4. Personal Service Providers (lawyers, benefit consultants, CPAs, construction company project managers, landscape service businesses, leasing agents, etc.) The key to having these folks in your network is the ones who are “trusted advisors to their clients” (more about becoming a trusted advisor in a future post).

If you can assemble a network of individuals balanced among the 4 classes of fish we’ve defined, you’ll begin within 3-6 months to generate more job leads and referrals than you can handle. It goes without saying that once you’ve pulled all your fish together, you’ve still got to do all the little things that comprise best practices in networking activities.

Pulling together the “right” job search network is only the first step in reducing the time it takes to conduct a job hunt in half. This is the core theme of our entire Job Search approach: The Career Success Methodology – Cutting your job hunting transition time in half!

Thousands of job seekers have shared their success stories with us that by following the Career Success Methodology they’ve reduced the time it takes to find a job by 50% or more compared to their peers conducting a similar job search.

Having the right contacts in your network who can deliver an abundance of job leads and referrals is only one important element of the disciplined job search approach found in the Career Success Methodology.