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Job Interviews: The Art of Self-Disclosure

Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in Blog

CareerMakers clients often say that learning to tell success stories in job interviews is one of the most practical and powerful skills they have learned at CareerMakers. These stories have contributed to their success in becoming known to the interviewer (self-disclosure), and boosted their confidence because they now know how to prepare for interviews in targeted manner.

Telling success stories in a job interview means that you are responsive to an interviewing technique know as “behavioral interviewing.” Many companies use this technique, and many hiring manager have had this training.

You know you are in a behavioral interview when the interviewer asks repeatedly “Give me an example when you wrote a company newsletter.” This means that you must come up with an example from your past which illustrates your newsletter-writing skills. “Give me an example = success story.”

The interviewer want specific names, dates, skills and results. Why? Because if you’ve done it in the past, you can do it again. Events from your life (all of your life) will determine whether or not you have the skills to do the job.

Most of us think we are articulate when we use phrases like “I’m good with people,” or, “I’m a good researcher,” or, “I’m a hard worker.” Although these statements sound attractive when presented by the  candidate, they do not provide concrete information that both illustrates the skill or trait and proves the claim. Why should the interviewers believe those abstract self-descriptions when they are not backed up with successes or achievements?

In order to become an articulate and masterful candidate, you must build a file of stories to illustrate your skills and traits. The, when you have a job interview coming up, simply go to your file and select the stories you know will best disclose your skills and traits clearly, powerfully and appropriately,

This is know as the Art of Self-Disclosure. At CareerMakers you get to write your stories and do practice interviews so that you will, without a doubt, knock the socks their socks off in interviewing or proposing situations.

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Networking, the Gracious Art Of ……

Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 in Blog

One of the most misunderstood concepts of the job search is “networking.” It has been my personal experience that what people believe they know about networking is just enough to make them dangerous. Most of us believe networking is all about finding a job (and yes, in the long run that is the goal), but networking is actually a process of creating relationships and doing targeted research, allowing you to make informed decisions rather than ones bases on assumptions.

An effective networker begins with a high level of personal “ownership” on how unique and special they are. Next they develop a very focused set of questions that will give them the information they need to make informed decisions on the issues important to them.

I call these How Can I? issues. How can I use my skills? How can I make money in my area of interest, and how much can I make? How can I work flex hours? How can I get paid for additional education? These are only example. Now you will want to determine what’s important to you, not what other people feel is important.

Next, begin researching or exploring answers to your specific questions. Start with people who know you. Family and friends are often overlooked, but they can often provide meaningful information if only asked. Continue to build your personal network by asking for referrals, keeping in mind that it’s always more productive to be creating and a using a warm or hot network rather than making cold calls. Just ask an y salesperson,

Filter the information you receive, making sure that you are getting the information needed to make an informed decision. It’s a challenge, because the world is full of all sorts of information, much of it negative, limiting and just plain wrong for you. The good news is the right information is also out there, and you can it too if you ask the right questions.

Remember, networking is a gracious art. Treat people like you would like to be treated yourself. When all is said and done, it is people who hire people, not their resumes or applications. So the more time you spend talking with people, the sooner you will find or create your next fantastic job.


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Posted by on Sep 26, 2012 in Blog

Today, as I do on most Monday mornings, I led our weekly Support/Networking Group. Attendees include very new clients as well as one going back to 1986 (yes, he has been working.) Each participant has the opportunity to share their challenges, both emotional and analytical, within the environs of a group of folks who all speak the same alnaguage, having had many of the same experiences. As I listen and participate ……not like me to sit quietly by ….. two “constants” struck me that I believe we should keep in mind.

First, we all need to remember to be kind to ourselves. People dealing with tough times can find it all too easy to be isolated and therefore lose objectivity or the perspective of others. Acting as our own CEO and Laborer its so easy to get down on ourselves, particularly when most of our information comes as a result of asking and answering our own questions. Consider the source!! Yes, to be sure, the world isn’t fair, but from what I hear from people in search of new jobs, we have the ability to be harder on ourselves than the real world will ever be.

My second concern come from job seekers not having a plan of action. Yes, I hear about goals, hopes and desires, but too many times these are rendered almost impossible to reach due to a faulty or non existent plan or action. A plan of action is not unlike a budget. It needs to be realistic and reachable. It should have check points and time for reflection and corrections using the most current information. Making informed decisions, not assumptive ones, is the key here.

So be kind to yourself. Take youself and your special gifts seriously!! Develop a realistic plan of action and have some fun along the way.

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How To Find Or Create Satisfying Work

Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Blog

Old Way – Based on Past Work Life

Find openings:

  • Write Resume
  • Find Openings:
    • Internet search
    • Company websites
    • Headhunter/recruiters
  • Employment agencies
    • Send a resume to openings
    • Wait for response
    • Have interview
    • Receive offer …maybe
    • Wonder, “Is this right for me?”
  • Take a job like the one you left

New Way – Based on Unique You

  • Extend Yourself:
    • Build Relationships
    • Research interests
    • Busybody
  • Generate job interviews:
    • Write skills-aligned resume
    • Prepare stories for job interview
  • Weigh offers:
    • Make informed decision
    • Solid career decision making
  • Show up to work that is enjoyable and fulfilling


The New Way job/career transition involves learning new ways of thinking and new ways of operating. That means you must unlearn old habits of thought and behavior. This isn’t easy and can cause anxiety as you replace the old with the new.

The anxiety begins with the understanding that finding work the New Way is not about job titles. It is not about resumes. It is not about the Human Resource Department. It is not about hours spent in from of you PC on the Internet. It is not about the safety and comfort of you home. That’s Old Way stuff.

The New Way job search is about you and what interests you. It is all about enthusiasm and excitement. It is about human beings helping other human beings. It is about getting out of your house and researching your interests. It is, finally, about creating your personal ownership/brand in your work-life: work that energizes your spirit and keeps you smiling.

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How To Find Direction: Your Compass

Posted by on Apr 3, 2012 in Blog

Job Search Truth #1:

Until you take yourself seriously and come to grips with your skills, value, traits and interests….the essence of who you are….you are not likely to find or create enjoyable and satisfying work.


The Old Way search is predicated upon your specific past experience, job titles, degrees, diplomas and certificates. Old Way thinkers believe they fill in the missing pieces of themselves by taking tests and profiles. These tests, profiles and evaluations may provide you with information about yourself, you end up with more “bits and pieces” rather than an integrated and holistic picture of yourself and what you want in your world of work. Without any new understanding of skills, values, traits and interests, you are likely to stick with what is familiar…what you’ve always done, even though you know in your heart that there are other exciting things out there for you to do.


The New Way search is predicated upon all that you already know about yourself…and more. New Way thinkers know that their transferable skills will carry them into new career fields. They understand that they have many options available to them in addition to what they have done in the past. Career changers have re-combined their skills, values and traits in new ways and marketed them into exciting new career arenas. Other found work they enjoy in their current industries. These people see themselves as dynamic and having much to offer, rather than feeling stuck in a box defined by their past work experience.

The Tough Reality: Self-assessment is the work nobody want to do. Yet, it is critical to find satisfying work. And, all the exercises, computer print-outs, counseling and group work in the world will not give you what you crave: THE ANSWER. You want to know now and absolutely what your next job or career should/will be. You want to know the job title. You believe you must know this before you can start your search. <br />
It is not the purpose of assessing skills, values, traits and interests to give you the answer. It is the purpose of self-assessment to give you clues, ideas and information on the things (plural) that you might want to do in the future.

Tougher Reality; It is these clues, ideas and information that form the foundation of your job/career transition. The answers (plural) about possibilities for your future come from the researching process.

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