go to site The 7 Bad Habits of Ineffective Job Seekers


Habits can be good for you. As Stephen Covey pointed out in his landmark book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the right behavior patterns can propel you to great success. Unfortunately, however, there’s also a dark side to habits. Habits can be good, and they can be bad. And, the wrong behavior patterns can constrain your opportunities and, ultimately, derail your advancement in the world of work. What are the bad habits of online job search? With a nod to Dr. Covey, I think there are seven.


I call them  http://softwaretopspot.com/product/xilisoft-dvd-creator-3-mac/ The 7 Bad Habits of Ineffective Job Seekers. They are: 


    • Habit #1: Limiting the time and effort you invest in your job search
    • Habit #2: Limiting the research you do to plan your search campaign
    • Habit #3: Limiting your search to a handful of the same job boards
    • Habit #4: Limiting your application to clicking on the Submit button
    • Habit #5: Limiting your use of the Internet to reading job postings
    • Habit #6: Limiting the care you take with your communications
    • Habit #7: Limiting the preparation you do for employer interactions


As is readily apparent, bad habits are all about limitations. These self-imposed constraints curtail the jobs you see, the impression you make, and the opportunities you’re offered in the job market. Let’s look at them in more detail so you can be sure to avoid them.


source Habit #1: Limiting the time and effort you invest in your job search 
As the old axiom goes, looking for a job is a full time job. That’s true whether you’re conducting your search online or off. A job search on the Internet, however, exposes you to many potential distractions that are not found in the real world. There’s e-mail and browsing, chats and discussion forums, online poker and other games, and a host of other forms of entertainment, exploration and communication. And the key to job search success is to put them all aside. You must dramatically limit the time you spend on such activities and maximize the time you spend using the Internet’s job search resources.


go site Habit #2: Limiting the research you do to plan your search campaign 
The #1 reason people don’t work out when they’re hired by an employer is not that they can’t do the job, but that they don’t fit in. In other words, they take the right job with the wrong employer. Doing careful, thorough research helps you avoid the negative consequences of such a situation: When you go to work for the wrong employer, your performance goes down which can, in turn, hurt your standing in your field; you waste time that could have been spent searching for your dream opportunity‚ the right job with the right employer; and you risk losing that opportunity to someone else who’s active in the job market. To put it another way, inadequate research virtually guarantees an inadequate work experience. And the alternative is right at your fingertips. Use the Internet to assess alternative employer’s culture, management, values and performance, and the focus your search on those organizations where you’re likely to feel comfortable (and do your best work).


Frostburg Admissions Essay Habit #3: Limiting your search to a handful of the same job boards 
There are over 40,000 job boards in operation on the Internet. In addition to the ones that you’ve seen advertised, there are thousands and thousands of others that you may not have heard about. Collectively, they post over two million new openings every month. To find your dream job online, therefore, you have to use enough sites to cover the job market and the right ones to satisfy your search objective. The formula 2GP + 3N + 2D will ensure you do that. It involves using two general purpose sites that offer opportunities in a broad array of professions, industries and locations; three niche sites, including one that specializes in your career field, one that specializes in your industry, and one that specializes in the geographic area where you want to live; and two distinction sites that focus on one or more of your personal attributes (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, college, military service). I call it the 7:1 Method; use seven of the right sites to find the one right job for you.


Habit #4: Limiting your application to clicking on the Submit button 
The competition for jobs today, particularly the best positions, is simply too tough for you to do nothing more than show up online and submit your resume. If you find your dream job and want to position yourself for serious consideration by the employer, you have to practice the, application two-step: Step 1 involves submitting your credentials exactly as specified by the employer and exactly for that job. It’s a test to see if you can follow instructions and will take the time to tailor your resume for the position you want. Step 2 involves networking to set yourself apart from the horde of other applicants who are also likely to submit their resume for that opening. Your goal is to find a personal or professional contact who works for the employer and will walk your resume in the door of the HR Department and lay it on the desk of the recruiter assigned to fill your dream job.


Custom Writing Paper Services Habit #5: Limiting your use of the Internet to reading job postings 
As in the real world, recruitment ads posted online reveal only a portion of the job market. There are many more openings, including some of the best positions, that aren’t advertised. To find this so-called, hidden job market, you have to make contact and develop relationships with others online. That’s called electronic networking. It’s done by participating in discussion forums and bulletin boards hosted on the sites of such groups as your professional association and college alumni organization. To get the most out of your involvement, practice the Golden Rule of Networking: Give as good as you get. Share your knowledge and expertise with others in these online discussions, so that they will be inclined to share their knowledge of job openings and their connections in the workforce with you.


Habit #6: Limiting the care you take with your communications 
E-mail is often viewed as an informal communication medium where typos and slang are not only appropriate, but expected. When you’re looking for a job, however, e-mail is strictly a business communication. Every message makes an impression on the recruiter and other representatives of the employer who receive it, and that impression becomes a part of the data used to evaluate you. To make the right impression, carefully edit and proofread every message before you send it off. Don’t use stilted or flowery language, but do be formal and professional in what you write. Take the time and make the effort to eliminate grammatical errors and misspellings and ensure that your points are clearly and accurately expressed. Doing so tells the employer that you take pride in what you do, and that attribute makes you a stronger candidate.


Habit #7: Limiting the preparation you do for employer interactions 
In today’s highly competitive job market, the interview begins in the first nanosecond of the first contact with an employer. That means you have to be well prepared and at the top of your game virtually all of the time. What does that entail? First, make sure that you thoroughly investigate each employer to which you apply. Visit its Web-site, use a browser to search for information published by other sources, and check out the commentary and research available at such sites as Vault.com and Wetfeet.com. Then, use the formal and informal educational resources on the Internet to stay at the state-of-the-art in your field and up-to-the-minute on your industry. Finally, use the information and insights you’ve acquired to hone your ability to articulate the contribution you will make to the employer, during every interaction you have with its representatives. All of us get into a rut from time-to-time. We put ourselves on autopilot and fall back on habits. It’s a benign way to relieve some of the workload and pressure in today’s demanding business environment. When you’re looking for a new or better job, however, those ruts can be harmful; they can lead to behavior that limits your opportunity and potential success. They are the 7 bad habits of ineffective job seekers‚ the ruts in the road to your dream job.






Peter Weddle is a recruiter, HR consultant and business CEO turned author and commentator.  Described by The Washington Post as "... a man filled with ingenious ideas," he has earned an international reputation, pioneering concepts in Human Resource leadership and employment.  He has authored or edited over two dozen books and been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, The National Business Employment Weekly and CNN.com.  Today, he writes two newsletters that are distributed worldwide and oversees WEDDLE's LLC, a print publisher specializing in the field of human resources.  WEDDLE's annual Guides and Directory to job boards are recognized for their accuracy and helpfulness, leading the American Staffing Association to call Weddle the Zagat guide of the online employment industry. Visit www.weddles.com for more articles.




Survey after survey now confirms that a growing number of job openings are structured as part time employment. While some of this shift away from the traditional 40 workweek might be due to the debut of the new healthcare law, there's another factor that's largely unrecognized and just as important. The constant change going on in today's global marketplace has put a premium on flexibility.

The global marketplace is being buffeted by a range of forces that affect large and small employers alike. These forces include the rapid introduction of new and often disruptive technology; the growth of new and hyper aggressive competitors, the development of new and potentially revolutionary business strategies, practices, and procedures; and the imposition of new and often costly laws and government policies.

The resulting instability caused by all this change has undercut employers' ability to determine their workforce needs. Historically, they could project the number of workers and the kinds of skills they would need at least one or two years down the road. Today, they can't tell who they will need six months in the future. In effect, their workforce of tomorrow (and the day after that) has become an enigma.

Faced with such uncertainty, many if not most employers become risk averse. Instead of hiring someone for a full time job, with all of its attendant costs and legal obligations, they hire people on a part time basis. And they do so even if it means they must employ two or more people to get the work done.

How can you protect yourself from this situation? Add ancillary skills and promote them as a part of your personal brand.

Fight the Pigeonhole

Securing employment, whether it's in a part time or full time job, can only be achieved if your primary skill is at the state-of-the-art. Employers today are no longer competing with companies overseas that have cheaper labor; they're competing with those that have smarter labor. As a consequence, they need workers who are at the top of their game in their profession, craft or trade, and that expertise is now an inflexible precondition for getting hired.

Once you've met that precondition, however, the uncertainty factor rears its ugly head. You can be an expert in your field and still see only part time job offers because employers are simply unable to tell if they will need you in the near, let alone the longer term. In other words, your core expertise will get you in the door, but it won't get you a full time job. 

What can you do? Fight the pigeonhole. Force employers to set aside this constricted view of your role by positioning yourself as a highly flexible contributor. Make sure you're seen as a person you can adapt to and contribute in a wider range of circumstances and situations than those defined by your job.

To accomplish that reset, however, you must add ancillary skills to your repertoire of capabilities. What are such skills? As I explain in The Career Fitness Workbook, they are those competencies that enable you to deliver your core expertise in more than one setting. They include the ability to:

  • speak a second language,
  • organize and lead others in the accomplishment of ad hoc projects
  • use cutting edge software, hardware and/or systems, and
  • communicate clearly and effectively in both verbal presentations and writing.

The best way to implement this reset is with the following three-step process:

  • First, decide which skill would most enhance your ability to contribute your core expertise in a range of different circumstances.
  • Second, acquire that skill even if you are actively engaged in a job search. (And, if that's the case, add your ongoing coursework to your resume.)
  • Third, once you've acquired the skill, feature it on your resume so future employers will see you as a more versatile potential employee and/or make sure your current employer knows about it and what additional responsibilities you can now take on for the organization with it.

Given current conditions, employers will almost certainly continue and even expand their use of part time work. If your job search goal is a full time position, you can insulate yourself from this phenomenon by being and appearing more flexible through the acquisition of ancillary skills that expand your range of contribution for an employer.

Thanks for reading,
Peter Weddle
Visit me at the All New Weddles.com

Published in Work Strong Articles

Recruiting is an art, so it's not only appropriate but essential that it be conducted in accordance with an aesthetic. Unlike a strategy or tactic, an aesthetic is neither a game plan nor a set of actions. It is, instead, a guiding principle that shapes the formation and implementation of strategies and tactics with a core value.

While much is said and written about strategy in today's War for Talent, only one game plan can actually yield true victory. If talent is the key to success in the global economy, then "capturing an unfair share of the best talent" must be every enterprise's goal. And if that's the objective of recruiting, then the choice of tactics must be based on a single, complementary criterion: which actions provide the best assurance of achieving that goal.

An aesthetic, in contrast, must provide an ethos to which both the strategy and tactics adhere. If a brand differentiates an employer by characterizing its culture, an aesthetic does so by extolling its character - its dominant organizational value. If brand describes the "what" of its employment experience, its aesthetic describes the "why."

And, why has never been more important. One of the most famous maxims in employment states that "Talent joins an organization, but leaves managers." It is usually cited to underscore the importance of leadership. However, if the first part of the maxim - joining the organization - isn't achieved, the quality of leadership is moot. And for top talent, the decision to accept an offer is based first and foremost on an organization's core value.

So, what should be an organization's recruiting aesthetic in a War for Talent? It should be its own tailored version of Universal Mutualism - providing a win-win proposition for every working person.

Implementing Universal Mutualism

To understand the meaning of the term "universal mutualism," it's necessary to deconstruct it.

The first word - Universal - indicates that an employer consciously seeks to engage 100 percent of the workforce. While most organizations think they do so, the reality of their strategy and tactics says otherwise. For example, visit virtually any employer's career site and you'll find the term "job seeker" or "candidate" used to address those who visit. Yet, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, at any point in time, just 16 percent of the workforce is actively in transition. As a result, 84 percent of the population doesn't think employers are talking to them.

Similarly, look at the content on corporate career sites. Once again, it's almost entirely devoted to soliciting applications. While information about an employer's facilities and benefits is helpful to active job seekers, it provides nothing of value to the other 84 percent of the workforce who aren't looking for a job (at that moment), but are looking for help advancing their career. It optimizes the candidate experience, but does nothing to optimize the experience for everyone else.

That reality is what makes the other word in the aesthetic - Mutualism - so important. Employers that are guided by Universal Mutualism provide a win-win experience for everyone. They provide job application support for active job seekers and job advancement support - for example, tips on setting career goals and dealing with career roadblocks - for the rest of their site's visitors In effect, they develop a symbiotic relationship with those who aren't looking for a job (right now) as well as those who are.

Universal Mutualism is a critically important aspect of the art of recruiting. It enables small and mid-sized employers to compete with large organizations, and large employers to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Is it possible to survive in the War for Talent without such an aesthetic? Yes. Is it possible to win the War for Talent without it? Absolutely not.

Thanks for Reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com

Published in Work Strong Articles

Survey after survey confirms that job boards are among the most effective ways to find a new or better job in today's tough job market. For all that success, however, there are still many job seekers who come up empty-handed when using such sites. What should they do? Learn the two secrets to putting job boards to work for you.

The first secret is based on a hard truth: no one job board can adequately connect you with the full range of employment opportunities for which you are qualified. The key to success, therefore, is to ensure you tap the full range and depth of jobs posted online that are likely to be relevant and interesting to you.

How do you do that? Use my 6:1 Method. It goes like this: 3N + 2G + 1A = 1GJ


  • 3N stands for three niche sites, one that specializes in your career field, one that specializes in your industry and one that specializes in the location where you live or want to work. If location isn't important, double up in one of the other two categories. These sites give your job search depth in the job market online.
  • 2G stands for two general purpose recruiting sites. These sites cover all or most professions, crafts and trades, industries and geographic locations. They collect employment opportunities from a broad swath of employers - large and small, local and national - so they give your job search range in the job market.
  • 1A stands for one affinity site which focuses on employment opportunities for a specific group with which you have a personal relationship. For example, it might be a job board for your professional society or trade association or your undergraduate or graduate school. These sites give you an edge over other job seekers because they are not used by the general public.
  • And, 1GJ stands for one great job - the job for which you are qualified and in which you can do your best work.

But wait, how do you know which six sites to pick? With over 100,000 employment sites now operating on the Internet, it's not easy to identify the specific ones that will work best for you. To help with your selection, therefore, I recommend that you use the insights and information of:

  • Colleagues in your field,
  • Published Guides and Directories,
  • Research librarians at your public library, and
  • Other job seekers.

Then What?

The second secret to using job boards effectively in a job search is knowing what to do with them and how best to do it. Here are three key ways to make sure these sites work for you:

  • Sign up for the site's job agent. A job agent is a software-based personal shopper for your dream job. As with human personal shoppers, however, these tools seldom provide exactly what you want on the first try. So, set your parameters as carefully as you can, and then adjust and readjust them until the job agent starts delivering exactly what you're looking for, all or most of the time.
  • Archive your resume or profile in the site's database. Not all employment sites offer such a feature, but those that do are giving you a global billboard for advertising your credentials. But, be smart about how you do it. Proof read the document after it's uploaded to make sure the technology hasn't let you down, and then, keep it up-to-date as you add to your credentials.
  • Use the site's social capabilities. Job boards invented online networking - not LinkedIn - so take advantage of the discussion forums, chats, and other social features available at these sites. And when you do, practice the Golden Rule of Networking: You have to give in order to get. Share your insights and information with others so they will want to share their knowledge and tips with you.

There is no silver bullet in today's challenging job market. Job boards, however, have established a track record of success that makes them the bronze bullet of job searching. Use them correctly and they'll add a durable strength you can count on to your job search

Thanks for Reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com

Published in Work Strong Articles

Why bother? Because talent is what enables us to achieve one of our most important rights as Americans. Talent is not a skill or competency. Talent is the capacity for excellence. More than any other factor, it is the attribute which empowers us to do our best work on-the-job. And doing our best work increases not only our paycheck but our sense of satisfaction as well. It is the way we make real the pursuit of Happiness.

The best way to find your talent is to engage in quiet self-exploration. You have to turn off your cell phone, your PC or tablet and the TV. You have to give yourself the gift of uninterrupted contemplation.

What must you think about? What you love to do and do best. Talent is found at the intersection of passion and practicality, so you are searching for an activity at which you excel and from which you derive genuine fulfillment. It is the crystalline essence of what makes you an extraordinarily capable person.

Finding the Intersection

To locate the intersection of your passion and practicality – to pinpoint your talent – you must descale the misperceptions that have covered over your sense of who you are and what you can do. You have to set aside everything your experience has told you about your capabilities and limitations and adopt a new perspective – one that is uniquely yours.

To gain that perspective, you will “look” into yourself from three different vantage points:

  • First, you will search for what most engages you – the one activity that naturally fascinates and challenges you;
  • Next, you will examine what is most relevant to you – the one activity that naturally seems worthwhile and important to you;
  • And last, you will find what matters most to you – the one activity you would naturally choose to undertake if you could. Those three aspects – engagement, relevance and choice – are the cardinal directions of Happiness at work. They are also the azimuths of your talent. Only they can point you to your inherent capacity for excellence.

How do you follow their lead? Perform the following exercises.

  • To discover what engages you, recall your best memories. Think back to your childhood and look for that activity you seemed to most enjoy doing over and over again. If it was setting up a lemonade stand, for example, what seemed to be the most fun: preparing the lemonade, setting up your stand, talking to your customers, or counting your money? What aspects of this "best memory" still bring a smile to your face even today?
  • To discover what is relevant to you, write your own tombstone. Rather than being locked into your life’s current course, however, take a Scroogian do-over. Ask yourself what you would do differently to create a legacy that would make you proud. Which decisions would you change? Which priorities, values or perceptions would you adjust? How would you re-imagine your work in order to celebrate your employment and its accomplishments?
  • To discover what choice you would make, pretend you’ve just won the lottery. After you’ve taken that around the world cruise and paid off the mortgage, what would you do? What activity has previously been beyond your reach, yet holds a special attraction or fascination for you? Is it helping sick kids, arranging flowers, teaching English, or designing new board games? What would you pick to do, if you could do whatever you wanted to?

Now, analyze your answers. If they’re the same or essentially the same for all three questions, your evaluation is complete. You’ve made your acquaintance with your talent. You’ve identified the specific activity—the work—you are called to do in the workplace. If, on the other hand, the answers are dissimilar, do some additional probing on the three activities. Break them down into their basic tasks or functions to find that common behavior which is your talent.

Finally, give yourself permission to accept what you uncover in this self-exploration. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never worked a day in your life at this activity. It doesn’t matter if you studied something else in college, community college or trade school. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never even thought about the activity as a career. All that counts is that it alone enables you to excel, and that excellence – your talent – is the key to job search and employment success.

If you’d like to read more about how to find and connect with your talent, get my book The Career Fitness Workbook at Amazon.com.

Thanks for reading,

Visit me at Weddles.com

Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, The Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hang Onto the Job of Your Dreams, The Career Activist Republic, The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired, and WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Get them at Amazon.com and Weddles.com today.

Published in Work Strong Articles

Employment branding gets a lot of coverage both at recruiting conferences and in recruiting publications. Despite the interest, however, most employers don't have an employment brand. They either can't be bothered or the brand they do create doesn't say anything memorable. As a result, they are a faceless organization, and that vacant expression becomes their image in the job market.

A strong employment brand is essential to success in the War for the Best Talent. Top performers have choices. They are almost always employed so they can stay with their current employer or they can consider a new one from among the numerous inquiries they receive on a regular basis. And, the single most important input to their assessment of the alternatives is each organization's employment brand.

Why, then, do so many organizations either lack an employment brand altogether or develop one that makes them invisible to top talent? Not surprisingly, each situation has a different cause.

The Case of the Missing Brand

Despite the constant battle for top performers in recruiting today, many employers never get around to developing a brand that will attract and engage these individuals. And yet, many of those that lack such a brand actually think they have one. They believe their organization's consumer brand is their employment brand.

Consumer brands, however, only work because buyers already know something about a product. They have experience with cars or computers or television sets, so the brand can leverage that knowledge and take shortcuts - in the form of a short phrase or tag line - to communicate an image or sense of the organization and/or its product.

Candidates, on the other hand, aren't shopping for an organization's products but rather for its employment opportunity. They've had no experience with the organization so know little or nothing about what it's like to work there. For that reason, an employment brand must be more comprehensive - in the form of a brief but descriptive statement - and communicate what the organization stands for as an employer.

Think of the difference this way: a consumer brand only has to entice a buyer, while an employment brand must educate as well as attract a prospective new hire. That's why using a consumer brand as an employment brand is the functional equivalent of not having an employment brand at all.

The Case of the Say Nothing Brand

Other employers think that they have branded themselves with the content on the career or employment page of their corporate Web-site. They believe that by describing the organization's benefits, facilities and corporate track record, they've established an employment brand that matters to top talent. They haven't.

An employment brand is not a description of the organization, but rather a window on what it's like to work for and in the organization. It is based on culture and values, to be sure, but it translates those organizational attributes into a signature statement about the unique experience it offers to the individuals who are employed there.

Why is developing such an experiential brand so important? Because research has shown that the nature of work in the organization is the #1 trigger for top talent. Sure, they want to know what the requirements and responsibilities of a job are, but whether or not they will choose to do the work will be based on the environment in which it is performed.

Top performers want to stay top performers so they look for organizations that establish the right conditions for their success. They look for an employer that provides the support, leadership, camaraderie and ethos they need to do their best work, and the first judgment they make about those conditions is based on its employment brand.

With too many open reqs to fill and too many applicants to screen, it's easy to put an employment brand on the back burner. In a highly competitive labor market, however, that brand is the single best way to reach and engage those top performers who will best contribute to an organization's success.

Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com

Published in Work Strong Articles

Members of the human resource community are taking on more duties than ever before. With more job candidates and less time allotted for the recruitment process, HR professionals can only spend about six seconds to review one resume, according to a new study. While this may not be a lot, job seekers are starting to streamline and structure their résumés to ensure they stand out to recruiters. There are number of strategies recruiters can utilize to maximize those six seconds and find top talent.

Prioritize Relevant Information

A new study from The Ladders, a job-matching service, found HR professionals take an average of six seconds to review one résumé. According to ERE.net, four seconds are used to scan for four areas: job titles, previous employers, start/end dates and education. This narrows recruiters to only two seconds to see everything else, such as the candidate’s skill set and any compatible qualifications. The study also found recruiters spend 20 percent of the time looking for keywords that match the job description.

While many of these things are essential to performing the position’s duties, recruiters should remember to create a hierarchy of what is most important to the position. Job seekers are beginning to optimize their résumé formats for HR professionals to observe qualifications easily. Recruiters may want to consider taking one second to scan through how the candidate formatted the résumé. Doing so can provide instant insight in the job seeker’s creativity, efficiency and ability to innovate, which can show the potential for top talent. A candidate who can organize his or her résumé into a clear format may offer stronger analytical skills than their counterparts and show they are systematic.

Use the Cover Letter as a Guide

According ERE.net, only 17 percent of recruiters read cover letters. Taking the time to scan the cover letter may fall outside the six seconds recruiters allot to reading résumés, but provides information about whether the job seeker understands the position. A résumé highlights the candidate’s accomplishments and it can be easy for an applicant to embellish their experience and skill sets. Recruiters should think about reading the cover letter as a way to glean insights about how the candidate may perform on the job. It can also offer a standard that recruiters can utilize when scanning the resume. The cover letter helps HR professionals ensure they are not missing any relevant information that can aid in finding top talent.

Joseph Azzata
Joseph J. Azzata is the founder of eCareer Holdings, Inc. From 2002 to 2010, Azzata was CEO and co-founder of Medical Connections Holdings Inc.

Published in Work Strong Articles

A terrible phenomenon has emerged in the United States since the Great Recession. I call it serial unemployment. Many of those in transition – people who are understandably anxious to get back to work – take the first job offer that comes along, only to find themselves back out on the bricks six or twelve months later looking for another job.

Why? Because the employer or the job or both didn’t match their skills, their values or their talent. Now, everybody recognizes the potential downside of the first two, but it is the mismatch with your talent that is most harmful. It more than anything else causes serial unemployment.

Why? Because when you’re not employed at your talent, two bad outcomes occur. First, you aren’t able to perform at your peak. And second, you feel dissatisfied at work. You contribute less to your employer than it deserves, and you give away one of the rights you deserve as an American – the pursuit of Happiness.

What Makes Someone Happy at Work?

You are going to spend one-third of your life on-the-job. While some believe that’s the penance you must pay for the enjoyment you get after work, recent research has found exactly the opposite to be true.

We now know that work is the single best place to be engaged with meaningful challenges. No less important, when you’re employed at that kind of work, you achieve two positive outcomes. You perform at your peak and you feel happy doing so.

The only work that will engage and challenge you, however, is work that requires you to use your talent. That presupposes that you have one, and in our culture, talent is not generally seen as a democratic attribute.

If you watch TV, for example, talent is winning a dance contest or the Super Bowl. In other words, it is the province of special people doing special things. We recognize the talent of Lady GaGa and Joe Flacco, but not the talent of a city bus driver or an accounts payable clerk or a customer service representative.

Why is that?

It all begins in elementary school when we give our kids an IQ test and, based on the results, designate a small number of them as “gifted and talent.’ By definition, then, all of the other kids are “ungifted and untalented.”

Now, of course, we want to take care of those youngsters who are academically more able, but we have to do so without telling every other child that they were at the end of the line when talent was handed out. Because nothing could be further from the truth.

The Mystery of Talent

You see, talent isn’t a skill, an occupation or an achievement. Talent isn’t the ability to hit a baseball over some fence or to act in the movies or on the stage. Talent is the capacity for excellence. And happily, it is an attribute of our species.

All of you reading this column as well as your spouse or partner, your kids and grandkids, your siblings and parents – every single one of you – has been endowed with the gift of excellence. Like our opposable thumb, it is a characteristic that defines being human.

The tragedy is that most of us don’t know what our talent is. Just a few lucky people are born with that knowledge. They’re the ones who say they have a “calling.” The rest of us can only discover our talent if we make the effort to do so.

It might be the ability to communicate technical subjects so everybody can understand them. Or, to disaggregate complex problems into smaller, more manageable tasks. It might be the ability to empathize and show compassion to others who are struggling or ill. Or, to organize a group of disparate individuals and get them to function as a team.

Such a talent resides quietly within you; you just have to take the time to make its acquaintance. Now, some will tell you that talent is your passion. It’s what you love to do. That’s nonsense. I’m passionate about golf, and Tiger Woods has nothing to worry about from me.

No, talent is what enables you to excel at work. So, it is the intersection of passion and practicality. It is what you love to do AND do best. I’ll show you how to find that intersection in my next column.

Thanks for reading,


Visit me at Weddles.com

Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, The Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hang Onto the Job of Your Dreams, The Career Activist Republic, The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired, and WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Get them at Amazon.com and Weddles.com today.

Published in Work Strong Articles

Companies are screening more closely than ever before. Getting caught in a lie could raise enough questions about your character to cost you the job.

When searching for a job, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. You can stutter during a cold call, get lost on the way to the interview or even forget the name of the hiring manager. These are all honest mistakes and likely can be overcome with hard work and perseverance. Lying, though, can be irredeemable.

“The worst thing you can do in an interview process is to lie,” said Lorne Epstein, author of You’re Hired. “All you have at work is trust, but once you lose it that way, it’s over.”

Scott Thompson, the former CEO of Yahoo, learned that lesson the hard way. He resigned in 2012 when it was revealed that he forged an entry on his resume, claiming he had a computer science degree from Stonehill College when, in fact, that degree wasn’t even given out there until two years later. Thompson later said that his cancer diagnosis was part of his reason for leaving Yahoo, but the damage had already been done to his reputation and to the integrity of the company — not to mention all its shareholders.

"I don’t know who would hire this guy again,” Epstein said. “It’s a horrible reason to get fired. … When people do things that are egregious, criminal acts and lying scare people the most.”Epstein works with college students and speaks to groups about the nuances of interviewing — all with the goal of helping people get the job that’s the right fit for them. Through his experiences, though, he’s seen some alarming behavior from job seekers. “A lot of people lie on their resume,” he said. “I see people putting things on their resume that shouldn’t be there — especially skill sets that they don’t really know.”

Vicky Phillips operates The Diploma Mill Police, a free service that protects consumers from claims about fake colleges or degree and diplomas. “Our studies of consumer and employer behavior on the issue of falsifying education documents and credentials show that the practice of listing inaccurate or fake educational backgrounds is fairly common,” she said. “One survey we did in 2009 with site users resulted in 80 percent reporting that they would lie about their educational backgrounds if it meant they were being held back from a job that they personally believed they were qualified for.” The problem isn’t only prevalent at entry levels, either. Phillips said there are plenty of top executives, like Thompson, who turn to fudging — if not outright counterfeiting — their resumes.

“We took a peek at resumes on LinkedIn in 2010 and found a shocking number of high-level career officials publicly listing degrees from fake colleges,” Phillips said. “This is not minor fudging on one’s major as Scott (Thompson) did, but all out deliberate buying of fake educational packets — diplomas and transcripts — and then using them boldly and publicly to secure and advance in employment.” She said the driving force behind this disturbing behavior comes from the simple fact that people don’t think they’ll get caught. Also there’s tremendous potential upside as extra degrees often warrant higher salaries.

Epstein noted how cultural changes and the erosion of loyalty within the American workforce have led us to where we are now — a world where our business leaders and politicians feel that lying is fair game if it means a better chance of getting ahead.

“It’s a deeper cultural problem,” he said. “We don’t live in a society where honor is stressed as much as it should be.” The incident with Thompson could spark a change in thinking among desperate job seekers or at least prompt hiring managers to apply some due diligence, but it probably won’t, Epstein said.

According to reports, Thompson walked away from this mess with $7 million for his 130-day stint at the helm of Yahoo.

Published in Work Strong Articles

Why are these rules so important?  Because passive, high caliber candidates are different from everyone else in the workforce.  They are almost always employed.  In order to recruit them, therefore, you have to convince them to do the one thing we humans most hate to do: change.  Your ad has to convince them to go from the devil they know – their current employer, boss and commute – to the devil they don’t know – a new employer, a different boss and an unfamiliar commute.

Rule #1:  Turn Titles into Magnets

Job postings are not position descriptions; they are electronic sales brochures.  Their purpose is to sell top candidates on the opportunity inherent in an opening.  That can’t happen, however, unless they are attracted to an opening and intrigued enough to pause and read it.  So, give your job posting titles a magnetic pull by using the three most important triggers to action among passive prospects, separating each with a dash:
◾Location – top talent want to work where they live so begin the title with the postal code abbreviation (e.g., CT) for the state in which the opening is located:
◾Skill – top talent want to see themselves in the job, not some HR job title (e.g., Programmer III) so next add the skill (e.g., C++ Programmer) they use to describe the work they do;
◾Sizzle – top talent are herd animals so ask the top performers in your organization why they came to work there and use that factor as the concluding element in your title.

So, here’s how a good title  might look: CT – C++ Programmer – Great team with a unique project

Rule #2: Develop Content for Them, Not You

Requirements and responsibilities are words only recruiters could love.  They say absolutely nothing important to top talent.  Those prospects are interested in the same information, but they want it presented in a way that indicates “what’s in it for them.”  So, describe your opening by answering five questions:
◾What will they get to do?
◾What will they get to learn?
◾What will they get to accomplish?
◾With whom will they get to work?
◾How will they be recognized and rewarded?

Rule #3: Sell First, Explain Later

Passive candidates have the attention span of a gnat, so it’s critical that you lead with your strength when composing your ad.  In effect, you have to convince them to read on before you can convince them your opening is right for them.  So, begin every job posting with an enticement – a hard-hitting summary of why the position is a rare and extraordinary opportunity.  First, tell them why it’s a dream job with a dream employer and then provide the details of “what’s in it for them.”

Rule #4: Use a Format That Gnats Would Like

Given the short attention span of passive candidates, you have to make your message accessible in the blink of an eye.  These candidates aren’t looking for a job so they simply aren’t going to plow through the thick, pithy paragraphs of a typical job posting.  The most they will do is scan your content so make it easy for them to do so.  Replace your prose with headlines and bullets, so they can quickly get an accurate picture of the position and decide if it’s right for them.

Rule #5: Get Them to Act Even if They Don’t Apply

Writing a job posting for passive, high caliber candidates is an investment of your time and talent, so make sure you derive a meaningful return on that effort.  The optimal response, of course, is an application, but if that doesn’t happen, make sure you have a fallback.  Offer them two additional ways to act on your opportunity: give them the ability to refer the opening to a friend or colleague (because top talent know other top talent) and invite them to join your network of contacts so you can keep them informed of other openings in the future.

Unfortunately, most job postings today are a modern medical miracle.  They are a cure for insomnia in 500 words or less.  To avoid that outcome, write your job postings using the five rules for seducing top talent.  They’ll be much more likely to fall for your opening if you do.

Thanks for reading, Peter Weddle

Page 1 of 3