Monday, November 30, 2015

How many people actually ask for the job at interviews?

If you interview and decide you want the job it is critically important to make sure the hiring manager knows it. It is equally important to say you do not want the job if you don’t so that no one wastes further time.

A hiring manager often needs to obtain concurrence on a proposed offer and if so, may have to justify the hiring rationale to someone else who must approve it. If there are two fairly equal candidates, one who clearly indicates desire and one who does not, it may be likely the offer will go to the candidate who has asked for the job.

Asking for the job is simply a normal sales process one should follow. I suggest using a “presumptive close” such as “Based on everything we have reviewed and discussed, I want you to understand that I want this job”. When can I start?” Or alternatively, “Given the conversations I’ve had with you and the others I am convinced this is the place where I want to continue my career. In short I want this job. When can I start?” This is an excellent close because “When can I start” presumes a positive response to stating you want the job.

By presuming the outcome the hiring manager knows where you stand. He or she will then know it is worthwhile to seek concurrence if approval is necessary. If the hiring manager responds that there are more candidates to consider, one then needs to establish when he or she should expect to hear back. This avoids later questions about “should I or should I not contact them” and when should I do it.

As the interview progresses there are a number of trial closes one can use that ultimately lead up to the final interview and an offer. As each interview comes to a close one should ask “Based on what we have discussed, is there anything that concerns you about my fit for this position?” This type of question enables you to determine if there are any objections and affords you the opportunity to discuss and overcome them.

At the end of all conversations with all interviewers it is wise to assess each interviewer’s feelings about your fit. “Based on our discussion do you feel positive about my fit for this job? Do you have any concerns?”

Before leaving an interview one should always set expectations for the next steps in the process.  Ask “What are the next steps?” Try to get the last interviewer to state who will do what and when so that if a week or so passes and you haven’t heard, you will feel comfortable following up. When expectations are not set, you don’t know whether following up would be perceived as annoying or not. If the interviewer does not respond with clear expectations, (who, what, when) then it is appropriate for you to state that you will follow up in a week.

After speaking with each interviewer make sure to thank the interviewer and ask for the person’s business cards. This enables you to follow up with the name, title and contact information for each, complete with correct spelling.

Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Networking isn’t about me, me, me!

Have you ever been in a job search networking situation, met someone new, said “And what do you do?” only to find that the person won’t stop talking about themselves? Does that solicit a positive reaction from you, or do you look for a way to get away from them?

People who respond to you in this manner fail to understand the appropriate way to conduct themselves in a job search networking environment. Often they will leave the meeting without getting any information that may help them with their search.

Networking is a two-way conversation that is intended to be beneficial to both parties to the conversation. At the very least it is important to establish rapport by talking about things that interest both parties that may have nothing to do with job searching. After rapport is established there is the opportunity for finding out “Who do you know? What is it like working for that company?” etc.

When asked about yourself it helps to respond with brief answers that, by not “telling it all,” leaving room for follow-on questions from the other person. Pausing and looking for reactions and responses always trumps monopolizing the conversation. The bottom line: If you like to talk a lot, be aware of it and guard against doing it in networking situations.

Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Do you differentiate yourself from your competition? Differentiation is fundamental Marketing 101.

Rather than focusing only on what you have done in your career, why not aim your focus on how you will stand out.

When writing your resume, write about the results of your work. Write about the outcome of each thing you did. Most people only write about their responsibilities, not what they have accomplished.

When you network look for opportunities to discuss the results of some things you have done. Engage someone in a conversation about themselves. Then you are likely to find an opportunity to talk about your achievements.

Find and speak to the hiring manager BEFORE you apply or send any materials to the company. You can bet your competition won’t do this.

Be in front of your search, leading the way, doing things that get action. You may think you are making progress by camping on the job boards, posting your resume and applying to every job you think you might have a remote chance of winning, but did you know that less than 2 percent of jobs are found this way?

Contribute to discussions in LinkedIn. Become known.

Do these things and you will differentiate yourself from the herd of applicants.

Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Show me a consistently successful leader that was a pessimist.

Pessimism paralyzes. It kills interviews. It infects the workplace. It stymies finding solutions to problems. It moves business backwards. Nobody wants to be near a chronic pessimist. 

Optimism is the elixir that keeps things moving forward. Optimists are resourceful. They have positive attitudes. People like to be near them. They are more likable, more fun to be with. They generate optimism in others. They motivate.

Optimistic job seekers are much more likely to compete successfully and win the new job. Interviewers are sensitive to a candidate’s personality; they will be looking for optimists. Given two equally qualified candidates, the pessimist will be the loser! It follows that given two equal employees, the pessimist will be the first to be laid off when business requires reduction in force.

Job seekers, in particular, need to take note. Unfortunately, pessimists do not always view themselves as being pessimistic. There are signs we all can look for. Do people tend to gravitate away from us or toward us. Do they listen intently or dismissively. Do we usually smile or frown. If the signs of pessimism are there, work on changing. Everyone can consciously work on maintaining an optimistic attitude.

Karl has been reviewing resumes for people at no cost since 1999. He has been counseling job seekers since that time as well. If you would like his help, email him at