Writing a Resume Is Like Writing a Best Seller

thumbs up

Thumbs up for a winning resume.

Lighting struck me last week when I attended a fabulous writing conference in Portland, Oregon. I had the good fortune to hear Luke Ryan*, who was Executive Producer for “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.”  His impressive career in the film industry is relevant to writers.  He knows how to choose a great story.

Writing your resume is like writing a best seller, which could eventually be a blockbuster movie. Writing an extraordinary resume could eventually find you the best job of your life. Here are points for you to ponder to make your resume a “winner.”

Summary:  “Your log line needs to say it all concisely and quickly.”
Use action words: “Make it real.”
Duties/ responsibilities: “What is your story? What genre is your book?”
Accomplishments: “Correct the flaws, solve the conflict.”
Limit words to 1000: “Would someone want to read it?”
Focus, focus, focus: “Bake the theme into your work.”
Grab attention: “Show the right way to live through with your character (YOU).”
Downplay what is not important: “Subplots shouldn’t be an additional story.”
Customize it for your reader: “Make it all come together.”

Mr. Ryan shared funny, relevant stories to help the audience. He didn’t try to sell himself, but gave excellent content that demonstrated he knows what he’s saying. He awakened our emotions to the fact that it’s not just a story, but the emotional impact on the audience, which is critical.

win the award

Will your resume win the job?

What emotional impact will your resume have when the possible new employer reads your resume? Will he or she say when opening your resume, “Crap! I don’t need another detailed, over-qualified engineer.” Or will the response be, “Wow, this guy has the credentials and experience we need for the job!”

Read your resume. Would you want to work with the person on that resume? Is he or she outstanding or not? Employers want exceptional employees. Your resume content must garner attention for winning an academy award… or a remarkable, well-suited job!

Now go revise that resume! Make it resonate!

*Also involved in Valentines Day, Halloween, The King’s Ransom and other film endeavors.

8 Ways to Slam the Door to a Job Offer

door closing

Why would they slam the door?

Which situations are the worst? Make sure you never, ever let the door slam in your own face when you look for a job offer. Recruiters know each other. They share stories. You want a recruiter to tell great stories about you!  Here are some showstoppers I see  happen far too regularly.

1. Miss an appointment with a recruiter. You don’t want the job and prefer to walk the dog. You missed the call and never returned it.

Be cognizant of others’ time. The recruiter uses time as money. Recognize the imposition you cause and how your reputation is affected.

2. Pretend you are a new graduate, when you have 20 years of experience.

If you return to college after extensive work experience, let’s hope the recruiter sees the value in your 15 or 20 years of experience, including the new degree. Do not try to compete with new graduates. Their value is very different from yours. Mold your resume to improve the chances of being hired by showing any management, leadership, or other skills whether on the job or during college. Use your background for advantage.

3. Tell the recruiter you are willing to move, get the offer and withdraw, calling the night before to say you accepted a better job offer.

I feel sure you must realize the damage to your relationship with the recruiter. Independent recruiters “network” with each other. They document files and share candidates periodically. That’s the way they make a decent living. If you refuse a job after accepting, your reputation suffers. There are, of course, exceptions, but not often!  You may have jumped too quickly on the offer without thinking longer term, which might cause job hopping in the future.

4. Tell the recruiter you can do anything and everything.

The recruiter is not looking for someone who can take over the company or be the Jack or Jill of all departments. You need to know your strengths. Unless the team needs a new graduate, s/he is looking for an expert or someone with a specific number of years of experience.

While you are unemployed (or employed), obtaining new certifications may impress recruiters.  If you used the skill without certification, show number of years’ experience using it, how you used it and the length of time.  Becoming certified shows initiative and drive.

5. Explain to the recruiter that although you have never programmed in C++, it wouldn’t take you long to learn.

The hiring team wants an expert, not someone who never used C++. Yes, of course, you would learn quickly, if you had experience in other, related languages, but that’s not what the recruiter must find. If someone on the team vouches for you, it may work, but the recruiter can rarely talk the manager into hiring someone without the required experience.

6. When asked your best accomplishment, you say, “I’ve accomplished so much. What specifically do you want to know?”

The recruiter wants to hear your verbal communications skill and thoughts about your achievements.  Select a very specific situation where you made an impact on your team to share.

7. Put your contact information in a header.

Many scanners will not capture information in the header or footer. Your resume will be trashed if the scanner cannot read the information, even if your contact information is correct. Be sure to check, re-check, read your information backwards to assure you omit no necessary words or make other errors.

8. Call to complain you haven’t heard from the recruiter.

Respectfully stating you are calling to assure the hiring team that their company remains at the top of your target list may help. Recruiters are busy and do not have time to chit-chat. If you can engage in some way to help him or her, you may find yourself another step closer to an offer.

Before you do something rash, maybe because your are tired or irritated, think about your actions.  This is a better time to clean a drawer or hit some golf balls.

Treat people the way you want to be treated. It can’t hurt. And it may help you achieve a wonderful job offer!

MORE than a Paycheck

 Who are your role models?


“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders,

but they have never failed to imitate them.”

 James Baldwin

 Who are your role models?  Have you thought about that?  Was it a parent, a teacher or rock star whom you wanted to emulate?  Did your dad take you to work with him periodically?  Do you know who influenced your career most significantly?  Do you remember your very first paycheck?

Are you a role model for your children?  Is Mommy so overworked she can’t make it to her son’s band concert or is Dad so overwhelmed he never comes home until 8:00 p.m.?  What message does that send to your kids?

As a recruiter and outplacement consultant, I saw many people unwilling to let go of anger when laid off, scared they would not find another similar job.  I wrote MORE than a Paycheck to provide role models, 20 short stories, to be exact, to help people see they don’t necessarily need to change careers to find the next opportunity.

Let’s look at the first chapter, or story, in the book.  Carl’s story moves his career from sales to marketing and publishing.  When he got bored or unexpectedly laid off, he demonstrates flexibility to find the next step in his career.  Instead of competing with the same people for the same jobs, he moved his family a few times to achieve MORE than a paycheck.  Wasn’t easy, but it paid off!

I wrote for people who could use a few swift kicks to move their careers forward.  I want you to see you, too, can earn MORE than a paycheck.

You need to read MORE than a Paycheck!

You need to read MORE than a Paycheck!

Today MORE than a Paycheck became available in e-book formats for all devices.  You can purchase it at IBooks, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and from other distributors.  It’s far less expensive than the print copy.  Just search online for MORE than a Paycheck by Ruth Glover.  The complete title is MORE than a Paycheck: Inspiration and Tools for Career Change.

MORE than a Paycheck

 Now available in all e-book formats!



Resumes: 3 Ways to Manage Your Can of Worms

“I’m not getting any responses to my resume,” the caller says.  “Can you help me?”

Your can of worms

Resumes need not be a can of worms.

My response,  “Resumes are a can of worms and I need to see the resume.”  The truth is, resumes do not need to be your downfall.  Determining the “right” way to do a resume can be daunting.  The top third of the resume and your efforts are critical for your success.  The following tips assist with grabbing the readers’ attention.

1.  Basics

  1. Check the spelling.
  2. Read the finished resume aloud.
  3. Read the resume from right to left to check again for spelling errors.
  4. Have a strong Summary which includes the job title under your contact information.
  5. Recruiters want to know your location and whether you can relocate, if the job isn’t local.
  6. Education can be near the top, if recent or after Experience, if over three years ago or irrelevant.
  7. No fluff allowed, like “Desire a meaningful job where I can make an impact.”
  8. Show your best, related skills for the job.

2. Summary vs. Objective

A number of years ago we used an objective at the top of a resume, such as.  “Objective: Accounts Payable Manager.”  Today we still need a title but by using the title from the ad or job description, the likelihood of response is better.  Job titles are sometimes cryptic.  For example, “Business Development Manager” means asking for money for a non-profit, but in sales organizations, it can mean selling products by developing business partnerships who sell to the end users.

Some career counselors are advocating adding the job title you want on a line under the contact information.   Others suggest embedding the job title in the Summary statement such as  “Detail oriented Business Manager with vast experience in channel sales for software security products.”  The Summary allows a bit of bragging with the details of your accomplishments in the Experience section.

A standard way to present sections of your background show:

Contact information


Experience-duties run together in paragraph form with no personal pronouns or articles (if possible). Bullet your accomplishments (what makes you exceptional beyond the average employee) under the duties. Focus on skills.

Technical – if you have special skills in this area

Education – include relevant courses, if a new college graduate, certifications, relevant workshops or training

You don’t need personal information on the resume.  If you have space, you may want to include professional associations, leadership roles in activities and interests.  Companies should not care if you have five daughters, a lovely wife and dog.

Each section can be moved to present you in the best way to the potential employer.  A resume is never, ever complete or perfect.

The recruiter and the hiring manager want to know what you can do for the company to increase profits or save time and money.  They don’t want someone who simply needs a job.  They want someone who can hit the ground running.  Your resume is that proof.

3.  Networking

When you ask someone to look at your resume, the door opens.  But do your research first.  Do you see openings which may fit you? Find someone in the company (through others or LinkedIn) where you want to work and ask about the culture, the future of the company or how he or she likes the team effort.  This person may be able to plop your resume in front of the hiring manager, once you gain trust.  Spend more time face to face and on the phone, once that top third is perfected.   It’s called networking!

Your Efforts

Attitude and effort equal success.  Yes, resumes may be a can of worms, although standard formats with customizing your resume with each submission can assure better opportunity for attention.  Throwing the same, tired resume online does not work.  By using these three tips, you can be assured that your attitude and effort will reap rewards!

Ruth Glover,  writes about change, especially career change.  She assists people with career issues. If you’d like a free resume template for a traditional resume, please send a note through the website.  If you have gaps and rocks in the road, a hybrid resume may be the answer.  She will write more about hybrid resumes in a later article.







Help! I Can’t Do Sales!

A firm handshake

You can learn to sell!


People proclaim lustily that they can’t do sales.  Not true!  We can learn sales techniques.  All of us need to persuade others at times.  If we hide behind a computer, we will fail to convince someone we are the right person for a position, product or project.  Let’s think about this.

Extroverts vs. Introverts

Introverts are often better than the extroverts in sales, as they are good listeners.  They don’t monopolize the discussion, but ask great questions.  The extrovert may talk way too much.

Researcher Adam Grant of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania studies the psychology of workers and managers.  His research shows that the best sales people move toward the middle to become ambiverts, who ask great questions and do not overwhelm the customer with an overabundance of enthusiasm.   

Dr. Grant recently published a fascinating business book titled, Give and Take, where he provides worthwhile insight into Givers, Takers and Matchers.  You’ll need to read the book to discover your natural style.  “That’s just the way I am,” doesn’t work well in many business situations.  Learning to adapt your style increases your potential for success.  The video clip of him on the Today show is well worth watching.

Networking Know-How

In a recent conversation with a CEO “in transition,” he shared with me that he never strikes up a conversation with anyone at a club, church function or group meeting, unless someone speaks to him first.  What a waste!  He’s brilliant, articulate, with a professional demeanor…what’s wrong with this picture?   He’s negotiated vast amounts of money in the past.  He’s been self-employed most of his life.  When I questioned him about this idiosyncrasy, he indicated he goes to meetings for the information, not to get to know others.  Now he’s looking for a job in a space where 80% of people find work through networking.

Mr. CEO needs to write a script to gain more than a yes/no answer.  He needs to be sincerely interested in other people, not just protecting his “secrets.”  And we all have secrets.  He needs to realize that with his arrogant attitude, it will take him a long time to find another start-up where he can be appreciated.  No one will knock on his door to offer a job!

In a wonderful article, titled “How to Launch a Consulting Business,” by Liz Ryan. she cites five ways to start talking as a consultant: 1) pain spotting,  2) looking at the perspective of the client,  3) telling a relevant story, 4) “framing” or organizing the chaos you see, or 5) probing (asking great questions).  Try to remember these five ways to start a conversation that can actually help the other person in the dyad.  “What brings you here?” followed by a well-rehearsed story can engage the other person better than “I’m a project engineer, looking for a job” or “I’ve got this great product to tell you about.”

Your New Sales Pitch Is Not a Pitch

In presentations I almost always mention that the “phone is your friend” and LinkedIn is the most prevalent tool for finding new clients or jobs.  But the number one way to discover a sales opportunity is sitting next to the person, whether in a seminar, an interview or business meeting.  You never, ever know who the person knows, who may need your services.  You may connect with someone at Starbucks or the Dallas Symphony.  At a conference you may find a new friend whose sister works for the competition.

If sitting at your computer is not working, don’t tell me you can’t sell!  If, as an extrovert, being overly effusive isn’t working, you may need to slow down and provide more details.  Both introverts and extroverts need a smile, a firm handshake and listening skills.  As you use sales techniques, they become second nature.

Hear me well: if it’s not working for you, stop it!  Improve your sales.  It’s networking on steroids.  You CAN do it!

Ruth Glover writes about change, people and places.  She speaks to motivate people.  She trains people to move forward.


Start a Business with Little Investment

Last week you read about three popular ways to start a business.  I promised to share innovative ideas for people who prefer self-employment with little investment.  Today, we look at family businesses and ideas for “tiny”companies, which may grow like mushrooms in the dark.

“I came back home to raise crops, and God willing, a family. If I can live in peace, I will.” -William Wallace ‘Braveheart’ 1995

Family Business

Maybe you grew up in a family owned dry cleaning business.  You started helping your mom and dad at age ten.  With your new degree in Business and the scarcity of jobs for new graduates, you gravitate towards working with your parents. Growing the business might be fun!

If you expect your ideas to be welcomed, think again. Your parents may say loudly, “We’ve always done it this way and it worked.  No!  We’re not investing in your cockamamie ideas.”  Whether you join your family in a thriving, established business or struggling start-up, personality plays the predominant role.

When I asked an HR-VP (non-family) who works for a fast growing, family owned company to comment, he replied, “Family members are expected to demonstrate leadership, both by the owners and the non-family employees. Many talented family members work here, but those with limited leadership skills, cause many issues.”  Another friend with a smaller family business responded that her biggest issues occur when she sees family members headed toward ethical problems.

I’ve been onsite when relatives were terminated.  Talk about pain!  Ouch!

Clear expectations with a balance of personalities keep family members from pulling out their hair or maiming one another.  Some challenges may be insurmountable.  Coming home to run a business may not be an easy way to find work after graduation.   But, you won’t know unless you try!

Start Now to Make Things Happen

Start Now to Make Things Happen

Little Investment: Start Small

Many boomers long for change, but think they lack funds.  Start by exploring alternatives.  Don’t wait until you lose your job.  Start by talking with friendly business owners.  What hobby keeps you busy in your spare time?  Maybe you like to design websites.  Maybe you like fishing.  Hobbies, interests and volunteering often lead to new careers.

You may begin a tiny business from your kitchen table.  It may not grow like Steve Job’s Apple, but by collaborating with other business owners, you will be less likely to flounder.  Learn from your mistakes.  Keep accurate records of what brings the most profit and excitement.  Whether you choose to sell knitting needles or fishing trips online, the ingredients are the same.  1) Research. 2) Plan. 3) Implement. 4) Adjust. 5) Repeat.  You may need a full time job and part time self-employment for several years.

A wonderful article in USA-Today provides several examples, both positive and negative that reinforce that you can do it!  Be sure to read Boomers Take Midlife Cues to Pursue Passions.

I chose the “tiny” business route.  I love being self-employed.  I started with a $28 investment. Although the ride has been bumpy along the way, I know that I am in charge of my destiny, not tethered to some wimpy manager with ego problems or other dreadful situation.

If you start small, there is less risk. Start now, as your business may grow to a point where you can sell it and make millions or use it for a softer landing into retirement.

A few examples of people who changed their careers are: a teacher who started a school supply store, a quilter who began a wholesale quilting supply business and an irrigation company, purchased by John Deere, when the owner decided to retire.

Self-employment is not advisable for everyone, but knowing you have alternatives, since security is a rare commodity, helps with your survival and success!

Crazy Ideas for You

segway tour

Have fun with your business!

Rent Bikes

Artist/Writer/Painter (think George W. Bush)

Golfballs Online

Swim Classes for Special Needs Children and Adults

Segway Tours of Specific Areas

Lawn or Beauty Supplies Online

Antiques on EBay

Sell Useful Products at Industry Conference or Trade Shows

Lawn Service/Snow Removal/Window Washing/Tree Trimming

Fishing Guide

Fitness Products


Dog Groomer

Food Cart in Your Neighborhood

Short List of Resources

Most colleges and universities offer courses and conferences for entrepreneurs.

Small Business Administration-http://www.SBA.gov

SCORE- http://www.score.org/

Texas Technical Enterprise Center     www.ntec-inc.org

Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship   www.murphycenter.unt.edu/

UT-DallasCenter for Innovation and Entrepreneurship- http://jindal.utdallas.edu/centers-of-excellence/iie/

Local Chambers of Commerce

3 Ways to Start a Business

“I’m tired of corporate America,” she said.  “I want to be my own boss.  I saved for years and my family obligations are less than ever.  Now’s the time!”  But is she sufficiently prepared?  Research, personality, experience and passion result in success.  After careful introspection, which way will you start a business?


Collaborate for Planning and Research

The three most common ways to start a business are 1) Buy an existing business.  2) Buy a franchise. or 3) Establish a start-up.

Everyone yearns for his or her own business occasionally, but careful research is essential.  First, you must look at your personality.  How is your ability to take risks?  Who are your role models? Who will support your emotional needs?  Once you establish you want to move forward, you’ll need money to invest for these three options.

Buy a Business

Since buying a business requires financial risk, you may have long hours in planning to locate money for your adventure.  Find a business broker with great credentials.

Business brokers assist you with difficult decisions.  If you are in Texas, begin by looking online at Texas Association of Business Brokers a non-profit agency with a tight grip on maintaining the integrity of the industry.  A list of business brokers is available, but personal referrals may assist with your discovery.

Recently I met with Chitra Gupta to hear how she started her commercial real estate business.  She’s exited corporate America a little over ten years ago and never looked back.  Check her website at http://www.cgaworldwide.com/ for a sample of properties.


If you want a safer path to business ownership, consider a franchise.  Ways to finance a franchise exist, rather than risking your life savings and borrowing from your 80-year-old grandmother.


Financial Planning for Starting a Business

Dave Omholt of the Entrepreneur Authority, offers a monthly seminar to help you decide what fits you best when becoming a business owner.  The next free seminar is February 21 from 1:30-2:30.  People can register by going to http://eAuth.com/upcoming-e-learning.  Dave is a franchise broker, which means he represents many different types of franchises.  Whether you decide on a relatively small investment, such as a Subway, or something more elaborate, like Camp Bow Wow, he understands that owning a business in not for everyone.  Even if you have the money, you must have the right personality and ability to manage it.  He wants repeat business, not new owners who may fail.  Owning a franchise provides assistance to help with all business facets, but you may not want to live with their rules.  Less risk, more requirements!


If you want to build a product or service, which takes a large investment, you’ll need detailed documentation with significant time for growing the start-up.  Trying to find investors is a different ballgame for a start-up.

Since I recruited for start-ups in the past, I know that extraordinary leadership and good hiring is not always a guarantee for success.  Start-up leaders require an abundance of confidence, good stomachs for surprises, big feet for kicking butt, and diplomacy with their Board of Directors.  Start-ups are fast-paced with little structure.  Even a start-up with a fabulous product, going gangbusters, can fail with the loss of funding.  In other words, you must be a little crazy, and profoundly smart!


You’ll definitely need to spend time examining the statistics before you invest your time and money in any business.  Are you a calculated risk taker?

Failure rate it high but security is difficult to find anywhere.  How have you managed failure in the past?   How badly do you want to be an entrepreneur?  Is it time for you to move forward with the idea?

List of Best and Worst after 5 Years –from http://www.statisticbrain.com/startup-failure-by-industry/

Businesses with Best Rate of Success After Fifth Year
1 Religious Organizations
2 Apartment Building Operators
3 Vegetable Crop Productions
4 Offices & Clinics of Medical Doctors
5 Child Day Care Services
Business with Worst Rate of Success After Fifth Year
1 Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning
2 Single-Family Housing Construction
3 Grocery Stores
4 Eating Places
5 Security Brokers and Dealers
6 Local Trucking

We must plan for the next step in our career and life planning.  Will one of these three ways fit you?

In next week’s article, I’ll give you more insight into several ways to start a business with much less financial risk.  Additionally, I’ll give you a short list of local resources.













3 C’s of Change

Caring, Confidence and Connecting are crucial for change.  You probably know that, but as you face job search or other change, think about them in your own life.  Each plays an integral role in achieving successful change.

3 C's of Change

Change=Caring, Confidence & Connecting


When Rusty (not his real name) retires early, he flails miserably the first year.  At age 55, he feels like a failure, thinking his career is over.  With his retirement checks and investments, he could be comfortable, but his family life is in shambles.

His wife explodes when she returns from her job.  “What have you been doing all day?” she roars.  His teenage daughter’s hair glows shocking pink, while his son, the older of the two, excels in sports.  None of them think Dad is worth two cents, as he hides in the garage, working on his hotrod.  He begins to focus on the children’s issues, rather than finding a new career.  Life becomes unbearable, before desperation forces his action.

If you are facing change, take control of the situation.  Age 55 is not old.  Do what you can and leave the other mess for later.  Family issues may mire you in misery, rather than improving the situation.

Realize the world won’t end if you don’t watch all of your kid’s sports events. Let the daughter alone unless, grades drop and she changes crowds.  Tell the family you care but must be passionate about finding a new job.


Confidence comes through carefully analyzing your assets and liabilities.  What do you bring to the job or other change?  How are you unique?  How do you cope with your liabilities?

You know you should be confident but the roller coaster is inevitable.  Going through any change creates emotional upheaval.  Do not be surprised by your rapid pulse on the way to an interview or doctor’s appointment.  Recognize your personal anger, doubt, and sadness. Moving forward helps level the stress, returning your confidence.

Does your wife know how many contacts you made yesterday to follow up with recruiters?  Keep accurate records, as you are in sales (selling yourself).  Knowing how many phone calls, in person contacts and interviews helps you  stay on track, plus you may share the information with incredulous relatives!  By planning the change, rather than riding the bumps in the road, confidence returns.

Maybe you aren’t working hard enough.  Listen to the complaints and if they have merit, correct your behavior.  One phone call a day to an employer or possible customer is certainly not enough.  Staying behind the computer constantly is not healthy.  You will gain self-respect and new energy with continuous improvement.  Recognize, however, you may have to push yourself hard when you move out of the office chair into a less comfortable spot.


Connecting is networking.  Whether it is online or in person, do it!  Job leads come in surprising doses.  Sitting next to someone at a Lions Club meeting may provide the lead you need to sell your product, which is you.  Singing in the church choir may give you emotional support and respite from your crazy home life.  Talking to your Uncle Ed in Seattle may not seem like networking, but he may have valuable contacts for your agony.

After a careful examination of his assets and liabilities, Rusty started looking for a job related to cars.  He joined a Corvette club, meeting new people with connections to after market for automobiles.  A new friend suggested  he talk with a start up where Rusty’s background in Information Technology would be helpful to the organization.  He talked to the start up.  Not a fit. Another member convinced Rusty to sell cars.  “No way,” thought Rusty.  “I was an executive!  I don’t want to do that.”  But friends kept pushing him.  He interviewed with a Chevy dealer.  Yes, it would be commission, but he would meet new people.  He had to get out of the house.

Much to Rusty’s surprise, he loves the sales job and customers love him.  The agency gave him excellent training.  He’s making money and his confidence radiates.  He and his family are happier and healthier with his new endeavor.

Facing Change

So, go have coffee with a friend.  Ask for creative ideas.  Take care of your family by analyzing what is real.  Your confidence will grow stronger and your transition, shorter.  Change is rarely easy.  And change is continuous.

Change, whether it’s a job change, moving to a new community or getting a new dog in the family, involves the three C’s.  You need to care about the process or project, build confidence with enough analysis and connect with the right people to make it happen.

“Continuous effort-not strength and intelligence-is the key to unlocking our potential.”

Winston Churchill

Sliding to Success with the New Young Boss

Boss on a slide

Working with a young boss can be like sliding downhill

You accepted the job, knowing the boss is young, but you need the job.  Your 20 years of experience should be an asset to the young boss with one year of management. How can you cope with this younger boss?

The manager, impressed by your skills and demeanor in the interview, wants you to understand she is the boss.  You want to share your vast knowledge and experience to help her.  Sparks may fly, if you, the older worker fail, to follow-the-leader.

Communication Style

Coping may not be easy unless you understand communication style.  Listen carefully.  Does the boss tell or ask you to perform various tasks?  Is she introverted or extroverted?  Understand that introverts prefer data and are frequently on the quiet side.  Asking questions, rather than telling is safer.

Let’s say the boss assigns a project to you.  In your previous job, you led similar projects and she’s omitted several steps, which could lead to disaster.  You must not tell her, but ask , politely, if she might want to consider the possibility of adding a couple of steps.  You must be diplomatic!  Try to make it her idea.  Asking vs. telling in a new situation is critical.  If you try to tell her how your ideas are better, you will lose respect, rather than gain it, for she may feel attacked

Do not hesitate to ask the new boss the best way to communicate with her.  Younger people may prefer texting or sending instant messages.  People over 50 much prefer one-on-one meetings, but the younger crowd frowns on tehm, feeling time is wasted.  Learning new ways of communicating in this digital age prevents you from appearing as old as a pyramid in Egypt

Time Management

The young manager, without family obligations, may be a workaholic.  You, on the other hand, want to coach your teenager’s soccer team.  The younger people often text into the wee hours of the night.  You may need  a conversation to set some guidelines in the situation.  Instead of saying, “Please don’t text me after work hours,” let her know you will respond quickly from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. but may not be able to answer texts again until 10:00 p.m., when you check before bedtime. Determine the best way for her to contact you, should there be a work emergency.


You need to be authentic, yet when you first start a job working for the younger generation, maintain a low profile until the trust is established.  This may be difficult for you but, trust me, the new boss wants to do things her way.  You are building respect, not especially building the relationship at this point.

One young manager and I worked together six weeks before I scrounged up the courage to ask him if he was married with children.  I’m always curious about who my colleagues are, but I refrained from asking.  He was all work, no play, and I had no clue if he liked me or not.  It drove me crazy, but we accomplished his requests quickly and efficiently.  He respected my work.  Was he my favorite boss?  No, but we got along well.  I didn’t waste his time.  Plus, it didn’t hurt me one bit to change my style.  Was I authentic?  Absolutely!  I wanted the job, liked the work and didn’t need to know if he was married with children!

Getting along with the younger boss can create problems if you are not astute when it comes to assessing what the other person wants.  Learning to ask rather than tell, keeping your mouth shut and responding the way the boss wants—all build respect.

You could re-read this article and switch “older” and “younger,” as many older workers prefer less interaction and more electronic communication.   Excellent communication is the key for success in any job, whether you are male, female, old, young or in between.  Be cautious and you will not slide into trouble!

Thanks to Ruth’s friend who suggested this topic.  All suggestions are appreciated!

Gentle reminder: The organizational meeting for the writers’ group at the Sachse Library is Tuesday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m.  Click for the address or send Ruth an email with questions at careers@hotcareers.com.


Twist Job Search Rejection into Opportunity

You hang up the phone in disbelief.  You didn’t get the job.  You feel like someone hit you in the stomach.  This was the perfect job.  You’re screaming, “I’m so angry!  I can’t stand this.”  How will you overcome this travesty?  Devastation reigns in the moment!  You plummet into the abyss of job search rejection.

I could tell you to “get over it,” but let’s twist the situation into opportunity.

man screaming into phone

He didn’t get the job!


What did you learn in the process?  Call the recruiter.  Likely, you won’t hear any meaningful feedback but you might as well ask.  Granted, the recruiter may not answer, but if you can entice the recruiter into a conversation, you can also ask if there are other positions  which could fit.   If you reach the recruiter, do not be belligerent.  Be inquisitive, not angry.  Recruiters document, especially about the angry candidates.

Thank you

Be sure to send a thank you note, whether you reach the recruiter for feedback or not.  Everyone likes to be thanked.  I don’t care if the thank you note is hand-written or an email, but do it!  If you still want to work for the company, seeing your name again will help the people you met remember you.  Don’t just thank the recruiter, thank the hiring manager. Share that you want to work with their company.  Add why you hope the recruiter should contact you when the position becomes available again.  Be friendly.

Social Network

Have you connected with the team members you met?  If you collected business cards from everyone, you can send each a note through either LinkedIn, Google, Facebook or Twitter.  Facebook is good for forming relationships.  If you become a friend on Facebook you can see what your new friend likes or possibly where he or she eats regularly.  Remember that “like-ability” is often number one in hiring decisions.  Don’t be invasive but make a new friend, not just a business acquaintance.

Again and Again

Do not be fearful to try again with the same company.  Maybe they will tire of you contacting them and realize they need to hire you!  That, of course, can backfire, so you must be careful. I interviewed twice with the same company.  When I saw a third opening, I took a deep breath, shunned my ego’s message and called again.  I got the job!  Looking back, the third job was a better match for all of us.  I was prepared when asked, “Why would this one, rather than the other two, be the right position for you?”

Personal Insight

Use the rejection for personal examination.  What challenges would you have faced?  Did you truly fit the team?  Were you dressed appropriately?  You must realize that you are closer to the yes with each rejection, but it’s difficult.  Set a time limit to feel bad about the rejection, then review your marketing plan. Where have you had the most traction?  Where did you feel the most comfort when interviewing?  What do you really want to do?  Are you on track?  Do you need to revise the target companies on your list as a result of this rejection?

Our system of hiring is often irrational.  Maybe no one ever read your resume.  You didn’t have a chance To limit your pity party, do something nice for yourself and repeat after me: “They were foolish not to hire me.  I am closer to the right job now.”  After you walk, go to the gym or visit to the zoo, it’s time to move forward.  Rejection in job search is part of your future success!