[01.02.09]
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18 Ways To Help Others In Job Search

This post is about helping others in job search.

helping others

This past Wednesday, as I was driving back to the office from lunch, I saw a man with a curious affliction.

Only one, mind you. Nothing that would cause him despair or significant pain, but something serious nonetheless.

To be sure I had it right, I leaned back and rubbernecked. Yep, there it was again. I wondered whether he was aware? Maybe he was aware but didn’t understand about this particular mistake. Maybe he was clueless altogether having not being the proud owner of a mirror. His affliction?

His pants were at least 4 inches above his shoes.

In my younger days I might have shouted “Hey, where’s the flood?”. Lucky for him, I have matured dramatically since my younger days. My first thought as I continued on was about the many other afflictions that can drive an embarrassing or painful moment in one’s life. You may have a few others to add. Here’s my list:
  1. A food stain on your tie or blouse
  2. An unzipped zipper
  3. Your new outfit – out on the town – with a dangling price tag
  4. Ketchup on your upper lip
  5. Your skirt caught in the car door

Now here’s the real test. If you saw someone (friend or complete stranger) with one of the above afflictions, would you tell them? Would you avoid the situation altogether so as to not have to be the one to share the bad news?

So tell me.  Should I have stopped to tell this man that his pants were wrongly tailored or to remind him that as he grows he needs to buy larger pants?
What if this scenario was changed slightly? What if instead of it being a social issue it was related to job search?  Someone you meet at a networking event has a problem that he/she is not aware of . . . and it could mean the difference in getting an interview or getting an offer.

Are you helping others? Would you tell them?

So, while the afflictions listed above can clearly play a role in a disappointing result in job search, what are the examples that can “do you in” during a search?  Here’s my list of 18 (which includes what I hope are helpful links back to my posts on these subjects):

Helping others with their resume and cover letter

– A spelling or grammatical error (or two!)
– The misrepresentation of a responsibility or an accomplishment (honest resume)
– The use of a tiny or unreadable font
– Writing in paragraph form vs. easy to digest bullet points (resume template)
– A lack of specific and measurable accomplishments
– See my Cover Letter Segmentation Study

Helping others with job search networking events

Over-eating or over-drinking

No clear job objectives or target companies
Not properly dressed

Helping others with interviews

– A lack of interesting or compelling things to say

Poor interviewing techniques including telling jokes or swearing
Disguising the real you

Helping others with networking

Not paying for lunch
– Being selfish with sharing job leads
Forget to say “thanks”

Helping others with the rest

– An unprofessional or depressed voice mail message
– Letting your ego get in the way
– Going it alone
OK. So here’s your task. At your next networking event, look for the guy or gal with an affliction. Instead of saying “glad that’s not me”, I’ve got an other option for you . . .
Tell them about it.
Thanks Alan Levine for the photo via Flickr.


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Career Networking

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