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December 29, 2011 by  
Filed under General



Ellyn Enisman

Author: Job Interview Skills 101, the course you forgot to take

2012 is just about here and with the New Year comes New Year’s resolutions. If your resolution is to find a job and you want to be the candidate that stands out and gets the job offer, then here are 12 tips to follow.

1.   Become An Expert at Interviewing. Nobody gets a job without going through the interview process. This takes a lot of preparation and planning. It starts with knowing yourself and your experiences and learning how to convey to the interviewer that you have the knowledge, skills, experience, and attributes that make you the best fit for the job. Learn the secrets of acing telephone interviews, panel interviews, decoding a job description to know what questions to expect, learn what questions to ask, learn how to answer “What salary are you looking for? and learn to use the art and skill of storytelling to help the interviewer hire you. The book Job Interview Skills 101, the course you forgot to take, provides a method and strategy that can help you succeed in successfully preparing for the interview process.  Make the investment in yourself and prepare so that you can beat out the competition.

2. Gear Up To Network. About 80% of jobs are filled through referrals.  When I am recruiting, I always reach out to the people I know to ask if they might know someone who could fill my open positions. Make a list of everyone you know, which includes friends, relatives, former co-workers, managers, classmates, teachers, etc. Include people who have been your advocates and mentors in the past and also the present. Include people you haven’t seen in years so you can get back in touch with them. Create a spreadsheet that includes names, contact info, company where they work, date of contact, how contact was made, what you discussed, outcome of the conversation, and follow up date.

3. Help Your Network Help You. It’s great to have a long list of people to connect with, but it’s important to know what you want them to help you with and give them the tools they need to help you. Have your resume ready to send to them with a summary of all the attributes and qualifications that you have. Make sure you send it to them in an email so they can forward it to anyone they might know who would be interested in meeting you. Your summary of qualifications and list of attributes allows them to advocate for you. It also makes it easy for them. Even the best of your advocates will be too busy to write something on your behalf. Having it in an email allows them to email others and say, “ I know you are searching for a Public Relations Professional, here is info on someone who I think would be a great fit. Here is a list of their qualifications and their resume.”

4. Work Your Network. A network is only as good as the contact you make with them. Remember networking isn’t always about asking for something. It’s about learning about your contact and sharing info about yourself. Networking is also about helping your contact or adding value to them. So listen carefully to what your network tells you because it will give you clues on how you can help them. Once you find out, take action.  But what if you haven’t spoken to a few people in years or what if you there are people you want to connect with who you have never met? This leads to the next tip.

 5. Get Social and Grow Your Network. If you are not tech savvy, you need to get tech savvy. This includes social media. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, are three of the most important. There are others such as Quora and Google+.  Anyone who is looking for a job needs a solid LinkedIn profile. There are tutorials on LinkedIn that can teach you how to do it. Facebook and Twitter have tutorials as well. When I am recruiting, I go to LinkedIn and I search for people using keywords. I have identified qualified candidates for open positions this way. When I look at a resume, the first place I go is to LinkedIn, Face book, and Twitter to see what I can learn about that person. This is before contacting them. That being said if you have these profiles already, ask yourself: “Would I be interested in interviewing me if I saw and read my profile?”  That includes photos and postings on your wall. If the answers are maybe or no, then build up your profile to include information about you that a recruiter should know, post only professional photos, and privatize information you only want your close friends to see. Learn about the aspects of these social media sites such as joining groups and discussions on LinkedIn, how to reach out to people you don’t know, how to ask for introductions, tweeting and following on Twitter, and connecting through Facebook. Follow people in your industry on Twitter.  Research people on LinkedIn who have the type of job you want and look at their profiles. Does yours measure up? If not make some changes. Make sure your profiles have the keywords that recruiters would search on when looking for someone with the skills of the job that you want. Remember always be truthful about yourself and your experience. Besides tutorials there are tools out there to help. “Job Searching With Social Media For Dummies” by Joshua Waldman is a great source of info.

6. Get Visual. Get out there on the Internet for all to see.  Create an online multimedia resume to give a complete picture of you as a professional. Check out   It allows you to add video clips of your work, audio, letters of recommendation, images, awards, writing samples, and qualifications. You can put the link on your resume in your heading, on your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and in your cover letter.

7. New Year… New YouLook The Part. First impressions are everything. In fact most employers will make an assessment about you the minute they see you. We’ve been talking about your online presence. Now we are talking about your in person presence. Revisit your interview wardrobe and make sure your can dress the part. You don’t have to buy expensive clothes to look professional. Job Interview Skills 101, will tell you how. It’s not just important to look the part for the interview. When you are in a job search be aware of how you look all the time. No, you don’t have to walk around in a suit everyday, but be aware of grooming.  You can meet that important contact in the gym, but make sure you are neat and groomed when you get there. Don’t roll out of bed and not wash your face because you going to get sweaty anyway.  With all the great exercise clothes out there, make sure you are up to date and well put together, even if it is Sunday morning at 7am!  The same goes for the supermarket or even the dentist. You never know who you are going to meet. Remember, when you look good, you feel good and feel confident.

8. Give Back While Your Searching.  While your searching for that new job, help others by giving to your community.   Find a local organization that resonates with you. Volunteer and participate. Making others happy can help you feel good about yourself. Job searching can be a daunting experience and there is nothing better to lift your spirits then hearing thank you from someone who needed your help.

 9. Go To Industry Conferences.  Going to industry conferences are a great way to keep current on what’s happening in your industry of choice and provide the opportunity to meet contacts in your field. Check the agenda before you go and sign up for classes or sessions of interest. Don’t worry; the people you want to meet will be there. Conferences can be expensive so if you cannot afford the price, call and offer to volunteer to work the conference. Often you can do that without paying the registration fee. Its’ a great way to get to know people.    

 10. Job Boards Are A Small Part. Job boards can be overwhelming. People always tell me how they apply to so many jobs on the job boards and never get a response. I can tell you from my experience as a recruiter that when I would post a job online, I would get over 100 responses in the first 30 minutes. It is as overwhelming to the recruiter as it is to you. While you need to keep applying, don’t rely on the job boards as your only source for your job search.

 11. Call Even When It Says Don’t. Most online job postings say no calls or don’t give any information on how to reach the recruiter by phone. When recruiting, my online postings always said no calls please. Always, however, several people found me and called me. I would be annoyed that they didn’t follow my request, but if they had something compelling to say about how they fit the position and why they were interested in the company, I would speak to them. If they had what I was looking for, I invited them in for an interview. My advice, plan what you are going to say before you call. Make it short and compelling. Ask for the interview.

 12. Don’t Give Up. Think of your job search like it’s a Funnel. Be Strategic. Job-hunting can be exasperating. There is a lot of rejection and you will often feel like it will never end. Remember that your job search is like a funnel. The more you put in the more that comes out. The more quality you put in the more quality comes out. You put in quality by being strategic. Using the tips above is key. I have been recruiting, interviewing, and hiring for over 25 years and it has been my experience that the right job is out there for you. However, it will not find you…you need to find it and if you make the investment in your job search it will happen.                                       

ELLYN ENISMAN Ellyn Enisman is the author of “Job Interview Skills 101, the course you forgot to take” and has over 27 years of experience in interview coaching, career counseling, corporate recruiting, employer relationship development, human capital management, human resource consulting, job placement, job search strategy coaching, interview skill workshops and more. Ellyn has held senior executive management positions in the staffing, corporate recruiting, and manufacturing industries. She has recruited, interviewed, hired, and has been instrumental in helping new college grads and college students succeed in their job search. Ellyn has coached students from leading colleges and universities, and is the founder of a professional coaching firm with a unique and successful approach to empowering college students and recent college grads to prepare for the job market.  Ellyn is a Huffington Post forum contributor and is interviewed regularly on Fox, CNN, Payscale and other leading business and recruiting websites.

For more information go to, or contact Ellyn at

15 Steps To Overcoming Job Search Anxiety

May 4, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Graduation is just a few weeks away and the class of 2011 along with their parents is feeling the anxiety, big time. What’s the anxiety about? The job market. It’s been four years of hard work, new friends, and fun. Now it’s time to leave all that behind and go out and find a job and begin to build a career. When this class entered college, the job market was better and although it has been reported that this job market will be better than last year for 2011 grads, this job market will be more competitive than ever. Fear and anxiety can keep you stuck. Some describe it as if their feet are stuck in cement and they cannot move. Usually this happens when one focuses on the end result and the task is so large that they just can’t take any step forward. They are so fearful of failing that they cannot move. So how do you move forward and compete? There is a method and a strategy and it’s all in the preparation.

Here are the steps.
1. Start researching the job boards for job descriptions you are interested in
2. Take note of the knowledge, skills, and abilities they are looking for
3. Print all of those job descriptions and put them all out on the table.
4. Make a list of what they are looking for and separate that list into 2 columns: technical skills/knowledge and characteristics
5. Review your work experience, internships, and project work and identify where the synergies are.
6. Review your resume to make sure it depicts what the companies are looking for. You may need to modify your resume accordingly.
7. Always tell the truth on your resume. If you’ve got what they want, then say so. If not then don’t.
8. Start sending out your resume and cover letter; email, snail mail, or however it’s requested.
9. Gather your evidence that reveals how you have the technical skills/knowledge and the characteristics that the companies are looking for. Evidence is stories of your experiences, etc., that show how you meet the requirements.
10. Prepare your 30 second commercial so you can answer “Tell me about yourself”
11. Practice your stories.
12. Target 20 companies of choice.
13. Make a list of everyone you and your parents know. This is your network.
Let them know what you are looking for and why you think you would be of value (why you meet the qualifications) to a company and ask to be referred to anyone they know. Ask for referrals into your 20 companies of choice. Networking is how most grads are getting their jobs.
14. Reach out to your college alumni who are working in your career of choice and your 20 target companies, for advice.
15. Remember, looking for a job is your job right now. Do not give up. Think of it like a funnel. The more you put in the more comes out the other end. However, its got to be quality or the funnel will get clogged.

Staying in action will help the anxiety lift. Remember some anxiety is good because it can be motivating. When the anxiety gets debilitating and you feel like you can’t move, take one step at time.

The Interview Isn’t Always What You Expect

April 27, 2011 by  
Filed under General

A client of mine went for an interview the other day. She was greeted by the woman who she knew was going to interview her. The woman asked her to join her and when they entered the room there were four other people at a conference table waiting to interview her. She didn’t know this was going to be a panel interview! Not only was this a panel interview, it was a well orchestrated one. There was a manager from each department and a peer level staff member as well. They had a list of questions, mostly behavioral questions, and passed the list to each other throughout the interview. The interview went well because my client was prepared. Here are some tips: If you have the opportunity, shake hands and make eye contact with each person as you are introduced. Next open your portfolio and on the pad inside write the names of each person in the order that they are seated and write their position as well. When you answer a question, as you begin speaking make eye contact with the person who asked the question but then make sure you look at each person as you continue your answer and then return to the person who asked the question. Remember there is a purpose behind every question so keep that in mind as you answer. Use the S.T.A.R. format which works best in behavioral questions. S-situation, T-task, A-action you took, R-result. Of course you have prepared questions in advance so make sure you match your question to the appropriate panel member: hence noting there position on your diagram. When leaving, shake hands with each person and ask for their business card. Write a thank you to each before your head hits the pillow that night. Most people, whether a recent college graduate or an experienced executive are nervous when such a surprise like this happens, but try to think of it this way: This position must be important or the company wouldn’t take the time to orchestrate such an interview event. In addition, it’s a good sign of the companies commitment to their hiring process because they took the time to prepare. Finally, this helps shorten the interview process as everyone is in the same place at the same time. So next time this happens to you, don’t be surprised… prepared to ace the interview.


May 11, 2009 by  
Filed under General

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