Posts tagged: Career Mistakes

Job Search is Taking Longer – Duh!

Why is Your Job Search Taking So Long - Does it Feel Like you Keep Falling Back to Square 1?

Does it feel like you keep falling back in your job search to square 1?

In a front page article in New York Times today, the point was made that the average timeframe for conducting a job search is now 6 months. Executive and Senior Management Job Search is typically 2X-3X the average professional job search time period.

Although this is NOT earth-shattering news, it does reflect a confirmation in a well-known publication of the obscene length of time it is taking most job seekers to find a new job.

Here’s the bad news: not only is it taking longer to conduct a job search in one of the worst job markets in the last 25 years, but the worst job market is far from over. Given what we see going on in managerial and executive hiring, if the market returns to “normal levels” within the next 18-24 months, it will be a quick recovery.

The length of time it takes to complete a job search will only increase.

Can you imagine being out of work for a year – 2 years – longer?

Forget about the difficulty on finding a job, as the front page article declares – a larger problem is the long-term financial impact. Let’s not dwell on that issue in this blog post. You can read the depressing article for more information.

I’d like to dwell on why it takes most managerial and executive job seekers 12-18 months to find a new job.

Our experience is that if you use the most common and simple best practices in job search, you should be able to cut the time it takes to find a job in half. Imagine that instead of taking 18 months, it only takes 9 months.

Simple Job Search Best Practices — we talked about this a few blog posts ago – you don’t really have to master each one – you just have to do each one! Skipping one of these best practices is what causes your job search to be a never ending quest.

We call our framework of Job Search Best Practices the Career Success Methodology. This is an integrated and structured approach to executing flawlessly against the most common best practices in conducting an effective job search.

Are you using job search best practices to systematically reduce the time it takes to find a great opportunity?

Benchmark yourself by taking our Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard.

Rate yourself on 8 different dimensions to determine if your job search plan encompasses the necessary best practices required to conduct an effective job search.

Barry Deutsch

Join us in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group to discover the most common job search best practices and benchmark the effectiveness of your job search.

Job Search Networking Using LinkedIn

Using social media in your job search can be the key to your success. Recruiters, HR and hiring managers are using social media sites like LinkedIn more and more every day.  As a job seeker you should be using LinkedIn daily. This program outlines 5 or 6 techniques you can use that don’t take a lot of time but will have tremendous impact on your job search. These few things will make you findable, will set you aside from others, will ensure your network expands, will guide you through the maze of social media traps and most importantly help you move rapidly down the path to your next job.

While listening to the radio program be sure and download our 8 Point LinkedIn  Profile Assessment guide so you can follow along.

All our radio show recordings are in our audio library for you to download and listen to anytime. CLICK HERE to review the programs by title.

How to Make Sure You’ll Fail to Achieve Your Goals

Failure to Achieve Your Job Search Goals or to Conduct an Effective Job Search

Don’t write down your goals – that’s pretty much it at a basic level.

NOT writing down your goals is almost a guarantee of failing to achieve them. This is true for your financial objectives, personal life, business career, projects, and perhaps most importantly right now, your job search.

I wonder how many managers/executives conducting a current job search do not have written goals (not tasks and activities) which are revised weekly and monthly.

Who carries these goals with them and looks at them frequently?

I recently read an article posted on a well known blogger’s website, John Chow, that referenced a rumored Harvard study which found that the 3% of the population which makes the effort to write down their goals makes over ten times as much as the other 97% combined.

Although the study was not true, many studies and research projects have been conducted that indicate written goals lead to higher levels of execution, accomplishment, success, and focused effort.

Many candidates struggle in their job search because they work “in their job search” NOT “on their job search”. Michael Gerber, in his famous book, The E-Myth, extended this same concept to the failure of entrepreneurs in building their businesses. Entrepreneurs tend to work in their business instead of on their business – and consequently fail as a result. They spend too much time absorbed by the activities and tasks of their business – NOT the vision, goals, and objectives of what they would like to accomplish.

So – how do you work on your job search and develop appropriate goals that lead you to finding a great job opportunity in half the time it would normally take your peer group? My partner, Brad, and I have developed a simple and easy step-by-step approach that has been proven to dramatically reduce the time it takes to complete a job search. We call this job search structured approach the Career Success Methodology. You read about the details of each of the steps, including building your Personal Success Profile, developing a targeted plan to identify new opportunities, and creating a Compelling Marketing Statement on our website.

We have an extensive e-commerce section with a catalog of products and services to support your implementation and execution of the Career Success Methodology, including a Resume Kit, a comprehensive Home Study Job Search Kit,and other tools to develop a powerful job search.

Best part of our website is the extensive FREE resources we’ve developed for those conducting a job search, including samples, templates, checklists, scorecards, and the audio library from our weekly Internet Radio Talk Show.

Finally, don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group – one of the fastest growing groups on LinkedIn for job seekers. Join the vibrant and active discussion around best practices in running an effective job search.

Barry Deutsch

Social Media Is Good and Bad For Your Job Search

At a recent Vistage meeting of about 20 CEOs  we were discussing using social media as a way to find people. One of the CEOs indicated it is also a great way to eliminate people.

I wasn’t overly surprised to learn that many hadn’t thought about social media for hiring, but I was surprised to learn that many don’t use it as a screening tool. Obviously, after hearing the story from the one CEO, most will reconsider.

Apparently they were in the process of interviewing a candidate for a sales position,  and like most hiring processes it takes a couple of weeks to get through all of the interviews. Over this couple of weeks the company started tracking this person’s Tweets on Twitter and looked up the candidate’s profile picture.

OOPS major faux pas.

Apparently as it was relayed in the meeting, this person’s picture was – let’s just say not professional, and the tweets were completely inappropriate as viewed by the company. The language was foul, the topics discussed rather vulgar, and for a professional sales person raised a lot of red flags.

The company was scared of a sexual harassment lawsuit and how this candidate would communicate with employees and customers. Not to mention what customers would think if they saw this person’s profile picture and followed them on Twitter.

Social media is a double edged sword. I follow Twitter on a regular basis, and I am surprised at how many people looking for a job use inappropriate language, brag about being lazy, tweet about how glad they are about not working, or demonstrate a lack of willingness to be employed. They come across as wanting a job but not willing to work. This is not what a future employer is seeking.

Take care to ensure that you manage  your social media properly and professionally during your job search. Others are watching and listening to you.

If this was helpful to you, it will probably be  helpful to others. Please consider passing it on so they too can benefit. You might add it to your Facebook page, update it on your LinkedIn status, email it to friends or to your network. We all need to help out. One tip can make a huge difference to someone.

Join our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group and stay connected with the other 3500+ members. CLICK HERE to join.

We offer free recordings of our radio talk show heard every Monday at 11 AM PST on To listen to past shows on social media, resumes, interviewing, finding the hidden job market and common job search mistakes CLICK HERE to review our library. All are FREE to download.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

11 New Year Resolutions For Your Job Search

It is time to look forward to 2010. Regardless of 2009 happenings and all its trials and tribulations, 2010 is upon us and now is the time to think about how best to approach the year with regards to your career or job search.

Here are some ideas that you might want to consider:

1. If you are actively searching for a job, make a serious evaluation of your 2009 search. What worked, what didn’t, what successes did you have, what are the strong points to your search and what areas need to be improved in 2010? To help you do this, you can download for free our 8 Point Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. This will highlight some of these areas.

2. Dust off the old resume and update it. All professionals should maintain an updated resume. Even if you are not searching this is just prudent. It is useful to ensure when you do need one that it is ready, as it reduces the stress of trying to remember what happened in the past, and helps to identify whether or not you are growing or doing the same thing you did last and the year before that.

3. From the resume, step back and take a look at your career and either update or create your career plan. Remember the 6 Ps – Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. This is true in business and in your career. You should be able to answer some basic questions:

A. What are your career goals for 2010? This doesn’t have to be advancement to the next level. It could be what additional experience, training or skills you would need to reach your goal.

B. If advancement is your goal, are you able to get the right experience in your current company? When you write your resume and find you have been doing the same things for the last 2 years you may need to reconsider. Did you add  to your marketability in 2009? This doesn’t mean in terms of dollars. In today’s market, getting a job without going backwards is a good thing. So are you more employable today than a year ago?

C. What experience, skills, or training, does your boss have that will help you be qualified for their position?

4. Write out a job description that meets your goals for 2010. Include the additional experience you need to move your career forward. For example, manage people, participate in system implementation, additional experience in running a trade show, experience in assisting with union negotiations, international sales experience, these are all examples of some experience to include in a job description.

5. Schedule a  1-2-1 with your boss. This should be a separate meeting from your annual review. Make it clear that this meeting is about you and  your career. Sit down and do some career planning with your supervisor. Discuss the issues in #3 above. Is your manager willing to help you get this experience? If so good, if not, then you have a decision to make. It is possible that your manager may be able to provide some additional experience you never thought about obtaining.

6. Identify at least two organizations you will actively participate in. If you already belong to a professional association then become an active member. Active means attending at least 80% of the meetings, serving on a committee, becoming a board member, etc. Do whatever it takes so that people in these groups get to know you and know you well. These associations are prime hunting grounds for recruiters looking for top talent.

7. Consider serving on a nonprofit board. This serves the community, makes you feel good, helps others, and it helps with getting more people to know you and your abilities. Great referral sources.

8. Consider working with a certified career coach. Highly skilled career coaches can really help. They help you clarify the issues above and assist you in making a plan that makes sense to you.

9. If you are in a job search get an accountability partner. We have two articles available to help you identify the characteristics of a good accountability partner and the duties, tasks and responsibilities of a good partner. (See these two articles).

10. Identify the resources you need in 2010 to advance your career. What books, classes, white papers, etc., do you need to make sure you stay on your career path? There are a wealth of resources and tools, many of which are free on the Internet, to help you with your career plan. (This is NOT The Position I Accepted was written specifically for this purpose).

11. Implement. Planning is great, but absolutely worthless without execution. Set up some 30, 60 and 90 day goals. Once they are achieved, then schedule out the next 30, 60 and 90 day goals. Trying to schedule a year out leads to, “I will do that next month as I still have plenty of time.” Before you know it, the year is over. Short term goals are easier to manage and achieve.

2010 is a great year to take control of your job search or career. There are so many resources to help you, that all you need to do is take control and do it.

For some free resources to help you consider:

  • Joining our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group. There are numerous discussions and articles to get you started in 2010.
  • Download the Skills Assessment in the What’s New section at the bottom of our home page. It starts with identifying your skills and finding out which ones are transferable.
  • Download the sample cover letter from the What’s New section at the bottom of our home page. This is a great tool that will align your resume with the company’s needs.

If this has been helpful to you, then please consider helping others by passing it along to them. Consider forwarding the link to your network, tweeting it on Twitter, adding the link to your Facebook, or updating your LinkedIn status. Let’s all try to help others in 2010.

I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions.

Brad Remillard

It Takes Skill to Trip Over Flat Surfaces – How to Screw Up Your Job Search

Could you be tripping in your own job search?

Just the other day, my son sent me a graphic he had downloaded on his ITouch. The graphic showed someone falling down after slipping or tripping. He sent this to me since many of the girls on my HS Basketball Team are constantly slipping, falling, tripping, flopping down on the ground without being within 10 feet of anyone else.

I suddenly started thinking that it takes skill to screw up a job search. How many managerial or executive candidates are stuck in a job search with no “real” prospects, leads, referrals, or opportunities? How many job search candidates have NO light at the end of their tunnel?

Conducting an effective job search is EASY – NOT Difficult – when you use best practices that are widely published and a systematic approach, such as our Career Success Methodology.

How many job search candidates have failed to conduct an effective job search when the quality and quantity of great ideas, best practices, and creative solutions are staring them in the face?

NOT taking advantage of the wealth of content in published materials, templates, audio programs, video demonstrations, and other tools is like “slipping on a flat surface – it takes real talent!”

Brad and I have been very active in the recession providing free audio broadcasts of our weekly internet show, samples such as cover letters and resumes, and templates such as our scorecard to determine if your LinkedIn Profile is effective in catching the eye of recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring managers.

Do you take advantage of these tools, tips, techniques, and best practices. Do you strive daily to improve the way you conduct your job search?

OR are you basically conducting your job search in the same approach that you started with 9 months ago?

The materials we offer in our FREE Resources is but a small microcosm of the wealth of great ideas, suggestions, recommendations, and content available to improve your job search.


We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on why your stuck in a rut of using outdated and ineffective methods to find a job when the path to your next job is staring you in the face.

Respond with a comment regarding:

What’s your favorite source of job search related information?

What’s the most recent new piece of learning you’ve gained regarding your job search?

Where do you turn to on the Internet when you need an answer to a job search question?

Who do you follow that blogs great content about job search?

What information can you NOT find on the Internet regarding your job search?

STOP Tripping over yourself in your job search.

Make every day a day in which you learn at least one new thing to improve your job search effectiveness!

Barry Deutsch

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group where you discuss best practices and identify new areas of learning and growth to conduct an effective job search.

Job Search 2010 Get Started On The Right Foot Part 2

In Part 1 I discussed the need for getting an accountability partner and what an accountability partner is. This article will be about what an accountability partner should do to help you.

A good accountability partner can make a major difference in one’s job search. I have seen people spend months looking, but once they engage an accountability partner their search takes off. You can call this coincidence if you want, I did for a while until I saw it happening over and over, and the people using the accountability partner were giving them the credit for their success.

So what should an accountability partner do? Here are some of my thoughts, and please add your thoughts and experiences in the comment section so others will benefit.

1) Accountability. Sounds obvious doesn’t it, but this is the main goal. A good accountability partner will hold your feet to the fire.  First and foremost, they will hold you accountable to do what you say you are going to do.

2) No Excuses. They will listen intently to your excuses and then hold you accountable to what you say. A good accountability partner knows the difference between excuses and real road blocks.

3) Empathy Not Sympathy. Accountability partners  understand the emotional  ups and downs. They understand  your feelings but don’t become emotionally involved or attached.  They can separate their feelings from yours, which allows them to stay objective.

4) Listen Well. They know when to let you blow off frustration and vent. They recognize this is part of the process. However, they don’t let that get you off your plan or off track. They will still bring you back and hold you accountable to what you say you need to do.

5) Help and Guidance. Most job searches get stalled at some point. An accountability partner has the experience and knowledge to help you redirect your search. They have the experience to recognize opportunities you, the candidate, may never have thought of or when you are just not doing something effectively.

6) Tough Love. A good accountability partner is not there to be your friend. Get a dog if that is what you want. They are there to give you tough love when needed. Sometimes even make you angry or embarrassed if you aren’t delivering what you said you promised to do. They call it as they see it. Would you really want anything less?

7) Willing to Meet Regularly. They will meet you at least weekly to discuss progress and lay out a plan for the following week and month. If your plan is weak, they will push you to improve it. They keep you on schedule and on track. They will take your calls and reply to your emails. Yes,  it is a lot of work and time.

These are some of the key functions of an accountability partner. It is not by any means a complete list. If you get these in an accountability partner  you will be off to a great start in 2010.

Please add other key functions that you think are important or have benefited from in the comment section. We welcome and encourage your thoughts, comments and input.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group. 3400 other people are benefiting from the discussions and articles. CLICK HERE to join, it is free.

Turbo charge your search in 2010 by evaluating its strengths and weaknesses with our FREE Job Search Plan Self-Assessment Scorecard. This will help you and your accountability partner get your search started out right. CLICK HERE to download your scorecard.

Need a great cover letter? A free sample cover letter that has proven to get you noticed is on our Web site for you to use with your resume. CLICK HERE to download yours.

If this was helpful, then please help others by forwarding it on to your network, posting on your Facebook page, Tweet with the link, post to your Linkedin groups or status update.  Let’s all do everything we can to help those looking for employment.

Brad Remillard


How To Leverage Your Network And Get Others To Help You

Most everyone in the market is out doing all the networking they can. Sooner or later they will hear the saying, “Networking is about helping others.” or “Networking is giving before getting.” Both are true and critical to a successful networking process.

But what exactly does this mean? How do you implement this concept?

My experience has been that most are more than willing to help out when asked. Most will make introductions when asked. This is great, but there are other things one can do to give and help others. Even when not asked.

I think one of the best things you can do is share information. My partner Barry and I try to do this daily. We post articles so others can read them and benefit from our 30 plus years of experience. From time to time we will get an email thanking us. In fact, I received one today which was the catalyst for this article.

Here are other ways you can help others.

  • How often do you forward articles  you found helpful to your network?
  • How often to you post the link to your Facebook page allowing all your friends to benefit?
  • Do you post the discussion or forward the article to your Linkedin groups?
  • Do you share it with your Linkedin connections?
  • Do you Tweet and include the link so all of those following you can benefit?
  • Do you make announcements at networking meetings about how you benefited from this article?
  • Have you passed along YouTube videos that you found helpful?

Do you do this? Do you do it on a regular basis out of habit?  Or like many, do you  just read the article and never think about proactively helping others? If you benefited from it so will others.  Just one right tip from you, one article reaching the right person at the right time, may help them land an interview or even a job.

Sharing information is just as important as sharing leads. I could make the argument that it’s more important. Leveraging your network by helping others, makes others want to help you. People generally want to repay those that have helped them.

It is also a tremendous way to keep in touch with people without bugging them. You are helping them and they will appreciate it. So stop worrying about bugging people in your network, instead start helping them by passing on helpful and informative information.

I would like to challenge you to not wait until people seek your help, instead be proactive. Send them information you find helpful so they can benefit. I bet you will start getting emails thanking you for helping.

What a great way to be branded as a ” giver.”

I think this is an excellent way to continue to engage your network and at the same time help others.

Isn’t that what true networking is about?

If this was helpful, then please help others by forwarding on to your network, posting on your Facebook page, Tweet with the link, post to your Linkedin groups or status update.  Let’s all do everything we can to help those looking for employment.

For lots of articles and great discussions to start sharing, join our Linkedin Job Search Networking group. CLICK HERE to join.

Download our free sample cover letter that is proven to get results. If you like it, you can share it with others. CLICK HERE to download.

Build a compelling Linkedin profile to  help  you get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers. Our 8 Point Linkedin Profile Assessment Tool can help you. CLICK HERE to download yours. Then share it with others that don’t have a compelling profile.

Brad Remillard

10 Simple Job Interviewing Questions Most Can’t Answer

I was sitting in on an interview with one of my clients recently, when out of nowhere came a question that not only made the candidate take pause, but also probably eliminated him for the job. It wasn’t a trick question or illegal question. It wasn’t a question that the candidate couldn’t answer. In fact, it was so simple the candidate should have been able to answer it easily. Instead, he sat there like a deer in the headlights thinking, because he didn’t have an answer. The mere fact that he had to think on such a simple question was a problem to begin with.

So what was this simple question, “What is the most recent book you have read that will help you be a better employee?” This could be any business related book on,  leadership, management, social networking, staffing, biographical,  functional, organizational, self-improvement, etc in the last 6 months. The person has been unemployed for 3 months so it isn’t  unreasonable to assume they read, or is it?

So what would you have replied? Please leave your answer in the comments section.

I find it amazing how many professional people don’t read on a continuing basis. If for no other reason than to stay up to date on trends, changes and advancements in their field. So many candidates stop reading non-fiction after college. We find that the very best candidates we work with are continually improving themselves by reading. Not just periodicals like the WSJ, trade magazines, or blogs, but books.

I started thinking back about other similar questions I’ve heard asked, usually by CEO’s, during an interview that most can’t answer. I’ve listed them below to help you out, so you don’t end up looking like a deer caught in the headlights.

1. What do you do to stay current and up to date in your profession?

2. How many workshops, seminars or training programs have  you attended in the last year?

3. What is your favorite book on leadership?

4. What book has impacted how you manage or lead the most?

5. If  you could only refer one book to someone coming up the ladder what would it be?

6. What do you do regularly to improve yourself?

7. In your annual reviews, what has your boss recommended you need to work on or improve on? After they answer, the follow-up is, What have you done to work on those issues?

8. How many books have you read in the last year?

9. What periodicals do you read daily or weekly?

10. What is your favorite business book of  all time?

I have heard all of these asked in one form or another in my 30 years as a recruiter. In fact, I even ask them when I know a client will ask them.

The fact that these questions may not directly link to one’s ability to perform in the job, they do reveal a lot about the person and their understanding to constantly improve themselves. A CEO that wants to constantly improve the company wonders how a candidate can do this, if they don’t even work to improve themselves.

I hope this helps you better prepare not only yourself, but for an interview.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group. 3400 others have joined in on the discussions and articles. CLICK HERE to join.

Download our FREE sample cover letter. This is a proven cover letter that gets your resume noticed. CLICK HERE to download.

Have you browsed our FREE audio library?  All of the recordings from our talk radio show are there for you to download and listen to for free. CLICK HERE to download.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Job Hunting Three “P’s” Will Change Your Results

In my recent article, Job Stalled? Do What the Pro’s Do, I discussed how when things aren’t going well or when results have changed, it may be time to get back to the basics. Take a look at what has changed from the past, reevaluate what was working and what wasn’t. Most processes have certain basics that must be followed. If we get away from these basics things go sideways.

One of those basics is following the three “P’s.” You can’t get much more basic than these. Take an objective look at  your search and see if you are effectively implementing these in your search.

1) Presentation. I harp on this all the time. Candidates so often down play this or take it for granted. For some reason candidates just don’t focus enough energy here.  This is the most basic of basics. Remember the most qualified person doesn’t always get the job, but the person with the best presentation and some minimum level of qualification will often get the job. PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION is the place to start.

Start with  your resume. How does it present you and your accomplishments, experiences and skills? One big presentation error we regularly find, and also one of the biggest complaints by other recruiters, HR and hiring managers is  that resumes leave off very important and vital information for the reader. Is yours doing this?

Video your interviewing presentation. If your body language, hand motion, voice inflection and eye contact is weak work on getting help to fix these. Again, very basic but one of the most overlooked problems by most candidates.

2) Preparation. If the presentation is working, now it is time to start preparing. This is a big job and again so often taken for granted by candidates.

Prepare your marketing plan. Are you in the right networking groups? Maybe it is time to change the groups you are attending. Are you meeting the right people? Look back over the people you met with in the last 3 months and evaluate who and what types of people have been helpful and those that didn’t provide any assistance. Identify companies and people you want to meet. Set up a plan to meet them. If you contacted a company 6 – 8 months ago things may have changed, so consider reconnecting or finding another way into the company.

If you haven’t video recorded yourself in a mock interview,  I promise you it is time to do this. Before you do, prepare yourself for what you are about to see. Most don’t like what they see. Have someone else with you when you view the recording. This person needs to be someone who will be objective and honest. Listen to the constructive criticism.

3) Practice. This is probably the most important of the three “P’s.” Everyone has heard, “Practice makes perfect.” Well that also applies in a job search. Practice your body language. DON’T JUST THINK, “I now know that so I won’t do it in an interview.” Of course you will, it is your nature, and with all of the other distractions in the interview you don’t need one more.

Practice exactly how you are going to answer the standard questions asked in just about every interview. If you don’t know them, our book, This Is NOT The Position I Accepted, has a list of the most commonly asked questions in an interview. You can get the book now to review for just the cost of shipping $5. Might be worth it. (CLICK HERE for details).

These should be so well rehearsed that they come off as if it is the first time you answered the question.

Underestimating these three “P’s” is a fatal job search mistake most candidates make. They either take them for granted or will read this and say, “I already know this,” then go back and do the same things they have always been doing. For this group I highly recommend looking up the definition of insanity.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group. Over 3300 members and lots of articles, discussion and resources for you. CLICK HERE to join.

For help with your job search take a look at our University. All the support you need is available to jump start your job search. CLICK HERE for details.

Get a free chapter from our job search workbook, This Is NOT The Position I Accepted on the phone interview. CLICK HERE to download.