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Monday Motivator for Your Job Search - Change Your Self-Image

job search motivation inspiration

The way we talk to ourselves has a huge impact on how we think and what actions we choose to take. So ultimately, what you say to yourself has a dramatic impact on your success.

Change your self-image (and your success) by being good to yourself. Say great things to yourself. Some of us have an 'inner voice' that isn't doing us any favors. Change that voice. If you wouldn't say it to your friend or your child, don't say it to yourself.

I love, love, LOVE this video of the little girl giving herself a pep talk:

job search motivation inspiration

Jessica's Daily Affirmation Video

Watch the video for a smile this morning and see what great things you can tell yourself today.

As always, I invite you to attend one of my free Job Search Training Webinars where I show  you what you need to be doing to get hired. (Plus we have question-and-answer sessions at the end--bring me your questions so I can help you!) Job seekers tell me that they come away from these training sessions with renewed enthusiasm and motivation!

Find out more about Career Confidential's Job Search and Interview Training Webinars.



Marine Transitions to Private Sector Job - 'Your program works!'

job offer In honor of Veterans Day, I wanted to share this story with you. Many people from the military have trouble transitioning to civilian jobs simply because they don't present or market themselves to private sector employers as well as they need to. In other words, they have the skill sets but they don't effectively communicate them and how they translate.

Michael used a 30-60-90-day plan as a tool to show in the interview how he would tackle the job (in addition to other job search strategies)--and as he said, the result was 'truly magnificent':

Upon my retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps, I aggressively sought opportunities to transition (rebranding) to a new career. Part of my strategy was to participate in your Career Confidential program. After almost fifteen months, I am happy to report I have scored a major job with a very good organization.

Your program works. I am happy to say I applied as many of the techniques and procedures your team recommended and the yield was truly magnificent. For example, the 30/60/90 plan left my current employer speechless.

So impressed was my initial interview that I was flown within forty-eight hours of the initial interview to the corporate HQ to meet with the C-Suite executive team. Again, I was fully prepared with in-depth knowledge of the organization and had my 30/60/90 day plan specifically designed for the individuals I was scheduled to meet. I had extra copies that came in handy when I was unexpectedly asked to meet with additional senior level staff.

Again, the program works and for that I thank you...

Michael H.

I think that EVERYONE needs to bring a 30-60-90-day plan to their job interviews because it has this kind of effect for them--and it's especially great for those who are transitioning to a new kind of job or role, no matter who it is. Find out more about 30-60-90-Day Plans now.

I am thrilled that the plan was able to help this Marine get a great job. Michael, congratulations and I wish you the best of luck.

To all veterans and service men and women: Thank you for your service to our great nation!



How and Why Your LinkedIn Profile and Resume Aren’t the Same Thing

LinkedIn profile resumeWhen you are looking for employment, there are many tools at your disposal. Some of them are online, and a few of them are off. One of the most powerful online platforms for professionals is LinkedIn. This social platform is different from many other online networks because it caters to the professional. For anyone looking for a job in today’s competitive market, having an executive LinkedIn profile is a must. However, your executive profile on LinkedIn is meant to be much more than a place to post your resume. There are some distinct differences between the two.

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Monday Motivator for Your Job Search - Bring That Little 'Extra'

job search success motivation quote

Some of the most common questions I hear from job seekers are, 'What's the best way to stand out from the crowd for employers?' and 'What will make them notice me?'

The answer is this:  the best way to stand out is to do more than others.

Don't just write a standard resume...take the time to learn what makes a resume stand out and sell you.

Don't send a boring, standard form cover letter...find out how to write a cover letter that will want to make them read your resume.

Don't show up at the interview without being as prepared as you can possibly be...which means: do your pre-interview research, practice answering interview questions, and create a 30-60-90-day plan.

All these things are the 'extra' touches that set  you apart from other job seekers--and anyone can do them.

Click the links above to find out more, and attend one of my free Job Search Training Webinars where I show  you what you need to be doing to get hired. (Plus we have question-and-answer sessions at the end--bring me your questions so I can help you!)



Interview Prep Gets the Job in Information Systems

job interview prep

Good Job Interview Prep Makes You Stand Out!

Good interview prep can absolutely help you get the job...but what does 'interview prep' really mean? Researching the company? Yes--but wait, there's more.

Good interview prep also means:

  • learning how to present yourself more positively to employers
  • practicing better communication skills and techniques
  • preparing for not just the interview, but also the actual job with a 30 60 90 day plan

Being the best-prepared candidate helps you get the job.

Here's how Ting Zhao used all these tips and more, and had a GREAT interview:


Thank you so much for your great tips...

...thank you for your closing tips on your video. The technique was powerful. I used it with the end of my interview. I literally got them all to say "yes". Even though I was not able to get the boss' boss to make a commitment on the spot, he was impressed with everything I shared with him.

...I asked permission to show my 30/60/90 day plan without hesitation when the hiring manager's boss asked me if I had any questions...

Finally, here is my "tell me about yourself" pitch:

I am an eCommerce solution architect and information systems expert. I specialize in user experience and 3rd party content integration. My passion is to help businesses build a 5-STAR award-winning eCommerce site that delights your customers, awards your shareholders and makes your associates proud.

Then, I handed over a presentation of my last eCommerce project.

...Take care and be well until next time!
Ting Zhao

p.s. In addition to my brag book and my 30/60/90 day plan, I printed out their job description and highlighted my qualifications. My goal was to keep them on track.  I also prepared some slides to show my past performance that demonstrated my qualifications for each job requirement. That worked really well.

p.p.s. I got a remark. "You are the most prepared candidate. We had so many candidates. Nobody was this prepared."


Find out more about some of these concepts here:

Download a Free Guide to Job Interview Prep!



Take a Game Changer to Your Job Interview

30 60 90 day plan for job interviewWhy do I insist that my candidates bring a 30-60-90-day plan to their job interviews?

Because it gets them hired.

>Find Out Why Here<

If you are getting interviews but not offers, take a look at what this plan can do for you:

30-60-90-Day Action Plan (if you are not in a sales role)

30-60-90-Day Sales Plan (a MUST for sales interviews)

30-60-90-Day Plan for Managers (show your analytic thinking and management skills)

30-60-90-Day Plan for Executives (show your strategic thinking and planning skills)

See what others have experienced with these plans:

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How to Prove You Have the ‘Soft Skills’ Employers Want Most

Along with your job experience and knowledge, employers want new hires to have certain intangible ‘soft’ skills—but the majority of hiring managers believe that those skills are tough to find.

If you can show employers that you have the soft skills they want, you would have an edge over the other candidates and secure the job offer.

So what are employers’ most-wanted soft skills in new employees and how can you prove that you have them?

A recent LinkedIn analysis showed that the top 10 most in-demand soft skills are these:

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Top Three Reasons to Make Your Resume the Best It Can Be

best resume writing tipsLooking for a new job is work in itself, but the most important element is your resume. Once you make the initial contact, there are many steps to take when you are pursuing a position. These might include making phone calls, sending emails, buying a new suit and getting a haircut. However, if you don’t have a professional resume, you may defeat your own purpose. Your resume has to be better than perfect for the position you are seeking. Some of the best executive resume writers suggest these three reasons you need to have the best resume possible.

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Monday Motivator for Your Job Search - Be Hopeful and Excited...and Go For It

job search tips

Ready to hit the Trick or Treat trail? Maybe not...but there's still something important there for you: Do you remember when you were a kid? Remember feeling so excited about putting on your costume and charging out the door to collect the treasure awaiting you? You didn't know what you were going to get when you knocked on that door and said 'Trick or Treat!' but you were hopeful and positive. And if you happened to get a dud treat at one house, you were only disappointed for a second--because the next house probably would have something great..and they did.

So...this week in your job search, borrow that feeling from when you were a kid. Think about how much fun it was and think about it in all its detail--how you felt, how excited you were, what those candy treats tasted like, what the night air felt like, down to the last detail. Conjure up that feeling for yourself before you contact hiring managers. It will be an emotional boost that will help you be more enthusiastic and confident. And just like when you were a kid, you'll find that some of them may be duds that won't work out, but you're also probably going to turn up something wonderful. Be hopeful and excited, and go for it.

Happy Halloween!

Need more job search motivation?

Best of luck!



Job Search Tips from the Trenches: How a New Graduate Got Hired

job search tips to get the jobWhen you're in the job search trenches, it can be difficult to look up to see what others are doing that works. Take a look at this letter from Scott where he outlines what steps he took to get the job as a new graduate--at the company he liked, at a higher salary than he was first offered.

Scott's story involved networking, interview prep, follow up after the interview, and even a little salary negotiation. It's a great story with some excellent tips for you.

Dear Peggy:

This is a success story I want your readers to see, because of the importance that social networking and preparing for an interview play in the role of a job search.

Two months ago, I connected with an employee through LinkedIn at the company I will be starting to work at in June.  She was finishing up her accounting degree at the same university where I was also finishing up my accounting degree (although I did not know her at the university).  I asked her some questions about the company that I wanted to know.  She gave me terrific answers, and I put this company on my "A" list of companies that interested me the most.

A few days later, she told me that her company was hiring for accounting positions and for me to go ahead and send my resume to her.  I did, and she gave my resume to the director of the accounting department (who was the "hiring manager").  In other words, I bypassed the dreaded human resources office.  Three weeks ago, the director gave me a call to see if I would be interested in interviewing for a staff accountant-in-training position.  I said I would, and interviewed with the company two weeks later.

The extra time gave me an opportunity to thoroughly research the company.  However and just as importantly, it gave me the needed time to put together the "30-60-90 Day Plan" that you talk about so much.  The day prior to my interview with this company, I sent the director the 30-60-90 Day Plan to give her an idea what she could expect from me as I would hit the ground running.  I had a couple of interviews that next day (first with the director and second with a group of her five managers).  Because I was thoroughly prepared from the amount of research I did on the company, I came into both interviews totally calm.  Not the least bit nervous.  Didn't flinch even once (unlike I would have from past group interviews).

Yesterday, the director called to announce that she wanted to offer me a staff accountant-in-training position at $35,000.  I was hoping for a little more, and told her that I would give her my final decision the next day.  Thirty minutes later, I got a call from another company that wanted to offer me a logistics position at $39,000.  I emailed the director back a short while later, and told her that I had been offered $39,000 from another company (but didn't say what for or the name of the company).  Mentioned that I preferred to work for her company and like what the company did to help others, etc.

She wrote an email back to me later that day and told me to give her a call early the following morning to go over the email I sent.  When I called that next day, she gave me a counteroffer of $40,000 and explained why she chose to give me a bump of an extra $5,000.  After listening to what she said, I agreed on the counteroffer and will be working for a terrific company in just over a month from now.

What this goes to show is a few things:

  1. Networking is vitally important, online or in person.  You never know where your next job will come from as a result of networking, and avoiding the human resources office is always a great idea.  It worked for me.
  2. Take preparation for an interview seriously.  When you know what the company does, where they rank in the Fortune 500 list of companies or in the Forbes' 200 Largest Private Companies list (which this company is a part of), how many locations the company has, how many states the company is in, the areas the company specializes, the company’s competition, the things the company is most known for - and you can synthesize that information in such a way that it feels natural (which was the case for me in this set of interviews) - a sole interviewer or a group of interviewers will perceive that you are real and human to them (not just the next person trying to impress interviewers for the sake of impressing them).  As the saying goes in the field of business, “Perception is reality.”
  3. Be a problem solver.  Interviewers (be it a director, manager, or anyone else who is the hiring manager) have a pain or a problem that needs to be taken away or solved.  From listening to the interviewers' responses, I could sense/perceive where the pain existed with these individuals.  Based upon the questions of the interviewers, I gave powerful responses that demonstrated how I could take away their pain.
  4. Always, always, always (if I haven't said it enough, always) send a thank you note to everyone who interviewed you, plus others who you interacted with during the interview process.  This particular set of interviews was a little tricky in terms of getting business cards.  I made sure when all the managers went around the room to introduce themselves to write them down to the best of my ability in the pronunciation of their last names.   When I asked all the managers for a business card and none of them had a business card to give me, I had the names written down on my pad.  Then, when I spoke with the director's assistant, she needed information from me.  When I was able to get her email address, then I was set.  Thank you notes can make all the difference in the world for a hiring manager between two candidates. Besides, I don’t know of anyone who does not want to be thanked for the time he or she spent with you of that person’s busy schedule.

Because the director said that a decision would be made quickly on me, I chose to send emails instead of a thank you note sent via snail mail.  I sent an email to the director, thanking her and the managers (apologizing for any misspelling of their last names, of course) for the time they took out of their busy day to interview me, etc.  I sent an email to the director's assistant, thanking for the conversation I had with her.  In both emails, I reminded each how much I was looking forward to the opportunity of working with the company and how highly I thought of the company.  I believe that people need to be treated with respect within a company – from top level management all the way down to custodians, administrative assistants, and many others.

This is my story, and good luck to you on your job search.

--Scott Kramer

Here are some resources that will help you in your own job search:

Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Prep

Job Search Networking

30-60-90-Day Plan

Best Job Interview Answers

Job Interview Follow Up - Thank You Notes

When you get the job, I would love to hear your story, too!



Three Things That Make Your Resume Skippable Instead of Successful

resume writing tipsPutting together an executive bio can be tough work, especially if it’s been a long while since you’ve hunted for a new position. The job market and its requirements are constantly shifting, so much so that what would have been fine to include on a resume years back is considered far less passable today. Regardless of how long it’s been since you’ve been on the hunt for a job, there’s a variety of things you need to watch out for when crafting your executive resume that often go unnoticed. Below we’ve gathered a list of items you should exclude the next time you update your resume.

Subpar Formatting

This is one of the primary elements that can make or break your resume. Potential employers have so many candidates to sort through they only have a few seconds to spare per resume. Make yours count by keeping it as readable as possible. If your resume is too difficult to decipher, it will automatically be passed over in favor of someone else. This is the absolute last thing you want to happen during your job hunt. Luckily, this problem can be easily fixed.

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Monday Motivator for Your Job Search - Think Positively

positive thinking job search tips

Positive thinking, or optimism, is essential to your happiness and ultimate success. You will be happier, healthier, and more successful when you think positively than when you don't. You will be better, stronger, and more than you were before. Not only that, your positive outlook and actions will affect everyone you have an interaction with. You never know what's going on in the lives of others, and your positivity could help them have a better day. Your encouragement could inspire them to try a little harder and reach a little higher than they may have otherwise.

It's so important for you to think positively and develop more confidence that I want to encourage you to take steps to build up those things in yourself: read books that inspire you; spend time with positive people; find mentors who can help guide you; or even invest in time with a career coach who can help you find and eliminate thoughts or actions that you may not even be aware of that are holding you back.

Start here by reading my 7-part blog series on Positive Thinking in Your Job Search.

Also, consider scheduling a career coaching session with either Peggy McKee or Zanetta Siciliano.

Best of luck!



How to Start a New Job with Less Stress

job search success tipsStarting a new job can be filled with stress--meeting new people, learning new systems, making sure you're doing the things you need to do in order to be successful.

One of the surest remedies for nerves is preparation. The more prepared you are (for anything), the less stressful it will be. This includes starting a new job and interviewing for it in the first place.

In over 15 years of recruiting and career coaching with thousands of candidates, I have found that the surest way to prepare for interviews and the job itself is creating a 30-60-90-day plan for the interview.

A 30 60 90 day plan is simply an outline of actions and goals that you will take in the first 3 months on that job to be successful.

It can help you get a better job than you might have been able to without that extra effort, and it helps your new employer see you as someone special. Not only does this make you more confident and prepared for interviews, it makes you more confident and prepared for your first day on the job.

I received a great email from Kathy as an example of someone who has put this into practice, and I am excited to share it with you:

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Make Your Resume Pop With Some Inspiration from These Stellar Ideas

resume writing tipsA lot of resume advice articles you’ve seen have likely told you to keep the fluff to a minimum. In most cases, this is true. Recruiters generally only have a short amount of time to read your resume, meaning you’ll have to make it count by marketing yourself and your experiences in an easily consumable way. However, there’s no reason to dress your resume up, especially if you’re part of an industry where creativity is a highly valued skill. In fact, creating an original design for your resume may be an excellent C-level personal branding tactic, depending upon your execution. We’ve gathered some ideas for your consideration.

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Worried about a Job Interview via Video Conference? Here’s what you need to do

online video interviewSusanne Jones, University of Minnesota Associate Professor of communication studies, says that about 65 to 75 percent of everything we communicate is non-verbal in nature, according to The Houston Chronicle. That means a lot of what you communicate gets lost in translation, which is not an ideal scenario for general conversation with friends or family, let alone a job interview.  It is important to be eloquent, precise and engaging with an interviewer.

However, what if the venue of the interview is not a sleek office, but your living room? Interview via video conferencing is very common these days. Its saves you time as well as travel cost. Most importantly, you get the opportunity to explore new job opportunities right from the comfort of your home.

Nevertheless, focusing on a job interview via webcam or video conferencing can be tricky, and you need to make some preparations in advance.

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