Common Job Search Mistakes

Common Job Search Mistakes

If you’re on the job search, life is tough enough as it is. Unemployment is never a walk in the park especially when you also have to consider your budget and expenses. Don’t make your job search any harder than it already is. Avoid these job search mistakes.

Have a Plan

Don’t go head long into your job search with a bunch of resumes and start throwing them at store fronts and receptionists. You need a plan. What kind of job do you want? Where do you want to work? Do you know anyone who has contacts there? Is your resume up to date? You need to address all of these things before you even start your job search.

Professional Email

You’re resume might be impressive, but the quickest way to torpedo an offer for an interview or job is if the hiring manager has to send the invitation to Make sure your resume is professional. Something as simple as your first name and last name with a period in between will work.

Tailor Your Resume

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to send the exact same cover letter and resume to each and every job you apply for. You don’t have to have totally different resumes and cover letters, but you should tweak both for each different job. Call out specific skills mentioned in the job ad and focus on the skills you have that are part of the job you’re applying for.

Don’t Focus Only on Posted Jobs

If you only look for jobs on job boards, you’re missing a huge opportunity. As much as 80% of jobs are never posted on online job boards. Take time to talk your friends, former colleagues and even family members to see if they have any leads for you. A personal connection can be key to landing a new job.

Always Include a Cover Letter

More important than tailoring your cover letter for each job, is just including one. Even when the job listing doesn’t specifically ask for a cover letter, include one anyway. The cover letter is a personal introduction and will help the hiring manager get a better sense of who you are.

Research the Company

Chances are, if you get an interview, your interviewer will ask you what you know about their company or why you’d like to work for them. If your answer is a blank stare, you may have just missed out on a great job. Find out what they’ve done, where are they headed, and think about how you could be a part of that.


These small mistakes are all easily preventable. Make sure you’re not making one of them.

Increase Your Luck!

Increase Your Luck With Hard Work!

Wouldn’t winning the lottery be nice? Who doesn’t sometimes daydream about how sweet life would be with a couple of million dollars? Or, forget the lottery, wouldn’t a quick promotion or a great inventive idea be helpful? Maybe you wish that book you’ve been working on would just write itself and become a bestseller! Is it too much to ask for a little luck now and again?


Luck follows hard work

The quote above, from Samuel Goldwyn is similar to another, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” This quote is often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, though there is no mention of it in any of his writings.


Samuel Goldwyn, was a pioneer of film and one of the people responsible for shooting the first movie in Hollywood. He’s the Goldwyn of the studio Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer, or MGM, still producing movies today.


No matter who originally paired luck with hard work, or exactly what words they used, the truth is that luck often does follow directly behind hard work. You can’t work hard at winning the lottery, but you can work hard at things you’re passionate about.

Be it professional or personal, the best way to catch a break is to work hard for your goals. Sitting around and waiting for something great to happen is a guaranteed way to make sure you never get a lucky break. Even when it comes to the lottery, you have to buy a ticket to have even the smallest chance.


Don’t feel bad about daydreaming what you might spend the money on. Just make sure you follow up those dreams with dedication and hard work. The breaks will follow.


If You Want Different Results…

If You Want Different Results...

If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, how can you expect different results? The first time I heard that line was during a conference call with a group of salespeople. As far as I knew, it came from Doug, the man who was running the call. Later, I read a variation of it somewhere online. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I then realized the words weren’t Doug’s. Since then I’ve seen variations of it more times than I can count. It’s been attributed to Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin and many others.


The line is referred to and repeated so often because it’s one of those statements that makes you stop and think: “That’s right! If I want to see some change in (fill in the blank) aspect of my life, then I can’t just sit around and wait for that change to show up. I’m going to have to BE the change!”


The Positives and Negatives

Like so many things in life, you do things with positive outcomes, and things with negative outcomes. For instance, brushing your teeth. Most people brush their teeth at least twice a day expecting to maintain healthy teeth, and for the most part it works. However, some people don’t bother brushing their teeth regularly and are surprised every time they go to the dentist to hear the sound of the drill.


Tooth brushing might seem like a simplistic metaphor to use to illustrate a life lesson, but some things are just that simple. If you consistently get the results you’re looking for, then keep doing what you’re doing. Go further and fine-tune your endeavors. Figure out exactly what brings in those positive results, intensify that and KEEP DOING IT. However, if nothing is happening and you’re doing what you’ve always done in the hopes that things will change, then settle in because you’re in for a long wait.


Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life

Oftentimes we hope or wish things were different. We might go so far as to think positive thoughts and visualize a different life for ourselves. But hoping, wishing and visualizing  aren’t going to make one speck of difference if you don’t get down to the basics. If you persist in not brushing your teeth, no matter how much you visualize the dentist not picking up his or her drill, nothing is going to change.


Look at an aspect of your life that’s not unfolding to your satisfaction. You might believe you’re doing your best. That you are unflagging in your persistence. That might very well be true. But sometimes it’s not a matter of how hard you work.  Sometimes it’s a matter of completely rethinking your approach and changing things up.

Walk, ride a bike, drive, parasail, skip, give yourself permission to take the road you’ve never taken and see where it leads. Ask people who’ve succeeded at what you’re trying to accomplish and incorporate their advice. You may not get to where you want to go right away, but at least you’ll get somewhere different, and with enough persistence you’ll get yourself pointed in the right direction.


If you’re happy with the way things are going then keep on doing what you’re doing. If you’re not happy, then it’s time to change things up!

Tough Interview Questions: Tell Me About Yourself

Tough Interview Questions: Tell Me About Yourself

Tell me about yourself

It’s an interview question you’ll face almost every time. Usually one of the first. It sets the tone for the rest of your conversation. And you don’t always have a lot of time to make the right impression. So how do you nail the first question of your interview?

How do you begin? With where you were born? Where you went to school? What your hobbies are? The problem most people feel with this interview question is that it’s so vague. What is the interviewer looking for?

Focus on What You Bring to the Job

Even though the interview question sounds conversational, don’t forget to focus on the things in your past and work history that make you an ideal candidate for this job. Your interviewer wants to get to know a little bit about your personal life, but if you haven’t connected that to the job by the end of your answer, your interviewer will have checked out.

Don’t Over Share

This is just like meeting any person for the first time. You don’t need to put all your cards on the table right away. While describing your interests and who you are, avoid touchy subjects like politics or religion. These things have nothing to do with how well you’re suited to the job, and you never know if the opinions of your interviewer might clash with yours.

Likewise, don’t feel like you have to share more than you’re comfortable with. Family and other personal information is just that, personal.

Keep it Short and Sweet

The last thing you want to do is start your interview off by boring your interviewer. If you try and tell your interviewer everything you’ve done in your life, this is exactly what will happen. Keep your answer to this interview question short and simple. Talk about your interests, where you’ve worked, what you’ve done and how all that makes you perfect for the job you’re now interviewing for. Keep your interviewer interested and excited to find out more about you.

It’s Hard To Beat Persistence

It's Hard To Beat Persistence

The tortoise and the hare

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. Faster, more nimble, cockier than the tortoise, the hare is the odds-on favorite to win the race. And yet through dogged determination and steadfast persistence, the tortoise crosses the finish line first.

We are certainly not here to tell you to take forever to prepare yourself to meet your goals. Or that by driving in the slow lane you will reach your destination before someone in the fast lane. What we are saying is that consistent effort, even in the face of difficult circumstances will pull you through whatever obstacles life puts in your way.

Persistence pays off

What does the ability to keep coming back despite failure or setbacks say about a person? It says that person is confident enough in their abilities or their potential to not give up. That the person is willing to go back and learn what needs to be learned to succeed.

Imagine yourself in a race. If you keep moving forward and don’t opt out because of sore feet, or get lost on some alternate route, or listen to your friends who say it’s better to spend the race in a pub, you will eventually cross the finish line.

Beat your negative attitudes and limiting thoughts

This isn’t about the underdog winning against all odds. It isn’t actually even a race against anyone else. This is a single person, racing against their own inclinations to give up. The most important person any of us really has to ultimately beat is ourselves and our own negative attitudes and limiting thoughts. If you can get past those and motivate yourself to continue, you will do what it takes to move forward. As long as you’re moving forward you are getting closer to the finish line. Eventually you will get there.

Finding Focus and Keeping Focus

Finding Focus and Keeping Focus

What are the most important things in your life? The people you love? Your health? Your career?


Define what’s important to you

One of the most important things you can do to maintain your sanity and align yourself with the things you consider most important is to define the areas of importance in your life, and then make a decision to focus the lion’s share of your energies on maintaining and achieving those things. The rest simply isn’t worth worrying about.


Obviously worry can be an important emotion. If a family member is sick you will worry about them. If you have an important assignment at work you will probably worry about that too.


What about the person that cut you off on the freeway this morning? Is that worth worrying about? Is the mistake the barista at Starbucks made worth seething and complaining about for twenty minutes? Do you really need to grumble about a bad start to the week for the rest of the week?


No, absolutely not. Your life will be much less stressful and more fulfilling if you can learn to stop worrying about insignificant things. If you can stop dwelling on things you cannot change. Worry about what’s important and move past the things you cannot change.


Tunnel vision

Don’t let the rest of life get in the way of what really matters most to you: Loved ones, career, maintaining a positive attitude, gratitude (for example). By focusing your energy on what’s important to you, you will stop noticing the things that are not important and you will see more of what matters to you.


Don’t let fear boss you around

Fear is the great roadblock in so many of our lives. It stops us from doing what we believe needs to be done. However, did you ever notice how the fear of something is almost always far and away worse than the thing you’re afraid of? It’s okay to be afraid. It’s not okay to let fear stand in the way of those things that are most important to you.


Do you think you deserve a raise? Do you worry your boss won’t agree? That he or she will think you’re overly ambitious or undeserving? Does that stop you from asking?  Remember your priorities. Even if you’re nervous, do your homework, prepare for what you have to do to the best of your abilities, then go. What someone else thinks about your actions is their business. Your business is focusing on the things that matter most to you.


By focusing on what’s most important to you, the insignificant annoyances of the day will pass you by. You will find the courage to do what you believe needs to be done to get you closer to your ideal life.

The Raise Conversation

The Raise Conversation

No one likes to talk about money. Conversations about money have a tendency to get awkward and can often lead to arguments. This is true in our daily life and our work life. But at some point, money needs to be talked about. At some point, you’re going to want to make more cash. Asking for a raise can be one of the more nerve wracking things you have to do at work. To give you the confidence you need to ask for a bump in pay, we’ve put together some helpful advice on when and how to ask for a raise.

When to Ask for a raise

One of the most common questions about asking for a raise is when to do it. If you’re new to a job, how long should you wait before bringing it up?

In an article about asking for a raise, Forbes suggests “Maybe this seems old-fashioned, given how often people change careers—but in my experience, I’ve found that the one-year mark still seems to be the standard by which most managers distinguish the “probational” employees from the veterans.”

This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but something to be mindful of. Think you deserve a pay increase before that one year mark has passed? You better have some good reasons why.

The other thing to keep in mind when it comes to when you should ask for a raise is how the company, and your position with company, are doing. Is the company growing? Did it just land a huge client or post great earnings? This would be an ideal time to ask for a pay increase. Did a number of other employees just get let go? Is the company asking you to bring your own coffee to work to save on costs? Maybe wait a little while before you ask about getting more money.

How to Ask for a Raise

Knowing how to ask for a raise is as important as knowing when to ask for one. To start off with, have a sit down with your boss. Asking for a raise isn’t a conversation to have near the water-cooler.

Depending on the situation, you might be tempted to start with a complaint about how you haven’t had a raise recently or that you’re making less than others in comparable positions. Opening with a complaint, or complaining in general is going to do one thing; kill your manager’s interest in the conversation.

Focus on the work you’ve done for the company, the growth you’ve helped achieve and the ways in which your role with the company has developed. A raise, like any business, is all about the numbers. If you can show that you’ve helped those numbers grow you have a much better chance at getting the raise.

An Offer Too Good to Refuse

The best thing you can do to ensure you get the outcome you want is research. Research what others in your position are making., and are all great places to look. Knowing what others are making gives you an idea of how much you can ask for.

Also be sure to make an “I’m Awesome” folder. Keep track of your accolades and present them in your meeting. As Matt Wilson writes in The Globe and Mail “If you can go to your boss and say that you are responsible for huge numbers and possess knowledge that is irreplaceable to the operations of the business then your boss will be forced to pay you to keep you happy!”

Getting the Raise
Asking for a raise starts long before you sit down to talk about it with your boss. It starts with research into other positions like yours. It continues as you build up a case for yourself, stockpiling your accomplishments and abilities. Getting the outcome you want is helped by asking at the right time. Getting a raise is all but guaranteed when you are able to make an offer too good to refuse.

The Far-Reaching Impact of Being A Person of Value

The Far-Reaching Impact of Being A Person of Value

Who are the people you consider most successful? Our list of the super successful includes Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Walt Disney, John Lennon, Oprah Winfrey. All of these people created enormous success not only for themselves but also for countless others in their immediate professional sphere. But that’s not all, through their actions and words and example they also made a difference in the world at large. Each of them is a person of value.


Don’t just make money make a difference

Elon Musk wants to help make the world a better place with electric vehicles. He wants to help humanity become a multi-planetary species.


As well as revolutionizing the home computing business, Bill Gates spends huge portions of his wealth on philanthropic projects.


Along with Mickey and every movie you loved as a kid and still love as an adult, Walt Disney is famous for saying, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”  He and his creations have been the inspiration for countless dreams.


The focus of John Lennon’s music was always people and possibilities. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us and the world will be as one.”


Oprah Winfrey rose to success because of the strength of her personal, heart to heart interviews.. Rising from poverty to success, she has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in America.


Drops in the ocean of humanity

To be clear, we did not choose these people, because of their contributions to society, but to illustrate the point, we are, all of us related. Individual drops in the ocean of humanity. When we strive to improve things, not just for ourselves but for others, we also end up improving things for ourselves along the way. Much more so than had we only concentrated on ourselves all along.


You don’t have to change the world, just your particular corner of it

Most of us don’t have the ability to impact the whole world. But each of us can absolutely help those in our immediate vicinity.  By striving to become a person of value, we also in the process, become a person of success.