3 Job Search Blunders Older Job Seekers Make

Job seekers over 40 and 50 years old are challenged.  Ageism exists and finding a new job can be frustrating.  You have two battles to fight:

  1. Recruiter and Hiring Manager Perceptions of You

  2. Your own Perception, Confidence and Job Search Strategy

You will probably hear the dreaded word, “overqualified”, from a recruiter or hiring manager at some point in your job search.  Often that term really means:

You require a salary so high that the company either cannot afford you or it can find someone else (stay tuned and read below how you can convince them that you are worth your salary) at a lower salary.

  • If you are hired at a lower wage than you used to earn, you won’t be as happy and either start looking for another job or not be as committed to the job.
  • Based on your experience, and especially if you have held a management position, you will start trying to change things or tell people how to do their jobs.
  • You may not get along with the younger employees or your manager if younger than you.

Much of an older job seeker’s perceptions that they are too old or overqualified are self imposed. Continue reading


Get Hired by “Showing”, not “Telling”

Shawn was a stubborn client.  Though successfully employed as a Sales Manager of a highly recognized Fortune 500 biomedical company, he was eager to be promoted to a Regional Sales Manager and expand his territory as well as his influence and compensation.  When we first talked about how I worked with career coach clients, I explained that I could help him stand out in the job search against his competition – potentially hundreds of other candidates who had similar backgrounds as he.  Shawn was quick to tell me about his many successes in gaining and retaining new businesses and how well liked and respected he was by customers, colleagues and his manager. But he struggled with the HOW and WHY of his career success on his resume.      tip-the-hiring-scale-with-an-achievement-based-resume-and-profile

A few job seekers can explain how they overcame obstacles, in the work setting, to contribute greatly to the company for which they work.  But most can’t really put their finger on why they think they are qualified for a promotion, internally or externally.

“SHOW employers your value – don’t just TELL them”

Continue reading

Why your LinkedIn Profile is Costing you Thousands

Most professional job seekers are savvy enough to know that over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source for top talent.  And most hiring managers complete their due diligence by Googling job candidates to research additional information.  So no problem, right, because you have a profile and it mirrors your resume.  Well, not so fast.  Just HAVING a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough; it has to be optimized, have the keywords that the recruiter is searching for, showcase your achievements prominently and much more.

Unfortunately, most LinkedIn profiles do not pass the test and, as a result, actually turn off a recruiter or hiring manager and COST otherwise qualified candidates a job interview and job offer.

That is exactly why I quit my Fortune 200 company corporate HR and Talent Management position and started a career coaching practice; I talked to too many professionals who did not communicate their value in an effective, much less a compelling way, on their resumes, networking pitches, or in the interview.  They may well have been more qualified than the final candidate, who ultimately was hired, but they just did not market them effectively and strategically.  Continue reading

What’s Costing you your Dream Job? Your Online Digital Footprint?

No; I am not talking about having inappropriate postings on FaceBook.  Everyone is wise to cleaning up or managing visibility of social media postings which could jeopardize your job search.

Your Online Footprint - Build it and they will come

Your Online Footprint – Build it and they will come

I am talking about simply NOT having an online presence that is relevant and conducive to your career.  Here is the classic example.  When I am talking to a potential client, I ask about their LinkedIn profile and usually hear, “Yeah; I have a profile but don’t do much with it.”  That is exactly the problem.  It is not sufficient to simply have your profile posted, even if LinkedIn gives you an “All Star” status.

The Profile is just the beginning, folks. 

Most people incorrectly remember Kevin Costner’s famous line as, “If we build it they will come”.  In the movie, Field of Dreams, he plays an Iowa corn farmer who hears a voice telling him: “If you build it, he will come.” He interprets this as Continue reading

Take the Mystery out of the Hidden Job Market


Solve the Puzzle of the Hidden Job Market

I remember reading the Nancy Drew books, as a young girl, and was fascinated when I learned the “Secret of the Hidden Door” and other mysteries. If you are a job seeker, one of the biggest mysteries of our time is the Hidden Job Market.

It is estimated that 80% of job openings are not posted.  This is called the hidden job market.  As frustrating as it is, there are legitimate reasons why so many positions are not advertised on job boards or publicly . Your job is to understand why and know where you can find them.

Let’s Start with Why

There are many reasons why an organization may not advertise a position.  Here are some:

  • The position is not yet budgeted or approved
  • Due to pending mergers, reorganizations or acquisitions, an official announcement of an opening would be premature
  • The employer is replacing someone currently in the position and whose departure has not been finalized
  • A variety of reasons may require a confidential search       man-at-desk-overwhelmed-with-a-stack-paper-300x300

The most common reason, though, is  SHEER VOLUME.  Posting a position on a major job board  Continue reading

Fascinate Others with your Linked In Profile

Do you paint outside the lines with Linked In?

When you were a child, did you carefully color inside the lines or did your colors sometimes stray beyond the boundaries?  There are so many guidelines and rules to remember when writing your resume (i.e. two page maximum, ATS requirements for strict formatting of dates of employment and its lack of forgiveness if any of those, largely unknown, rules are broken – “in the Block Hole” your resume goes).  Paint outside the lines on linked ain and be creative


But Linked In beckons our creative genius to unleash creative opportunities to tell our story and showcase our awesomeness to the world. Sadly, though, many Linked In profiles fall victim to the resume rut and Continue reading

Job Seeker – You cost the same as a BMW

You or the BMW?

You or the BMW?

The Employer’s Dilemma:  The Ultimate Driving Machine or You?

One of the better career websites,TheLadders.com, recently asked me to offer some  job search advice to young professionals and I am delighted to do so; however, I hope the information is relevant to all job seekers, regardless of their level or industry.  I have interviewed many job candidates, during my career, and I offer you these suggestions based on that experience. While the selection process seems like a huge mystery, it is quite simple.  You, as a job seeker, need to understand the “why’s” behind the interview process and I am also offering you some “how’s” which will give you a competitive advantage.  So back to that BMW………………….

Consider the average cost of selecting a new employee:


  • entry level professional = slightly used BMW 128
  • mid level manager = new BMW 320i
  • senior executive = brand new BMW 500 – 700 series

You may be surprised at the high cost of hiring and selection.  Studies show that the cost of interviewing, selection and training replacement employees costs between 30% and 80% of the employee’s annual salary.

In my last post, Why only three interview questions count, I explained why the hiring manager’s interview questions are simply designed to answer the following:

  1. Can you do the job?
  2. Will you do the job?
  3. Will we like to work with you?

The first two, designed to identify if job seekers have the education and experience, as well as  Continue reading

Missing Something on your Linked In Profile?

As an educated and informed job seeker, you know that your Linked In Profile is as crucial as your Resume.  You have added detail and you look at it one last time before declaring it as “final”.


Photo uploaded?     checkmark2

Headline under your photo?

Contact Information?  Experience?

Skills & Endorsements?


Member (and participate in) Groups?

Hold on; are you missing something? 

What about your “Summary”?  Beneath your photo, headline, contact info, one of the most important sections of Linked In waits to be used but commonly is forgotten.  By not completing, you are compromising your profile’s effectiveness.  Some job seekers don’t think the summary statement is important but it like an “open door” to the rest of your profile.


open doorThe Summary statement leads the reader to the remainder of your experience and credentials.  If the recruiter’s interest is piqued, by the summary statement, s/he continues to read your profile, recommendations, endorsements and the “rest of your story”.  If it is not, s/he moves on to the next profile and you lose your opportunity of what might have been a position perfectly matched to you.

Need more reasons to write a compelling summary?

  • SEO – search engine optimization.  A keyword rich summary statement will help you rank higher when recruiters search for people with your qualifications.
  • Branding – keeping in mind that the linked in profile is not the same as your resume, you can utilize creativity to describe your career history in terms of a value proposition to potential employers.  Ask yourself:  what message do you want to create?
  • Be Yourself – unlike with your resume, the linked in profile allows you to express your personality and uniqueness.  What connection do you want to make?
  • Tell your story like no one else can – you have a unique set of education and career experiences.  Share exactly what you want a potential employer to know without being restricted by any prescribed notions or expectations.  A word of caution:  be “professional”.

Just as an elevator speech is critical if attending a network function, a summary is critical to your linked in profile success.  Use metrics and data to showcase your accomplishments and grab attention so the recruiter will want to interview you and learn more about how you, such as these examples:

  • Increased sales by 37% in 6 months
  • Reduced costs of sales training by 51% and saving $19,500

Bullet points are easy to read but freely use your 2,000 character space to tell your story.  It’s yours and your career depends upon you telling it well.

For more information on optimizing your Linked In Profile, learning advanced Linked In functions or other job search strategies, contact Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com. 

Photo sources: fotosearch.com and ct.gov

Linked In – Do It Right (Part 2)

In my last post,  I covered the basics of a Linked In Profile and one reader asked  for more techniques to create a winning strategy using this powerful job search/career management tool so here’s Part 2.

This post will help you to create the WOW factor you need to really showcase your talent and give you the needed competitive advantage.

... with LinkedIn

… with LinkedIn

Your ultimate goal is to interest the reader, whether that be a recruiter, hiring manager, colleague  or potential client into reading more of your profile, connecting with you, meeting with you and, ultimately, working with you.Linked In is like a “branding genie”,

Continue reading

Linked In – Do it Right

Do it right?  Is there a wrong way?  Look at it this way:  Linked in is a mighty hard working tool that never sleeps.  If you have a strong profile, it will do much of your “work” for you.  Let it advertise your “brand”; let it find connections for you. The list goes on and on but……………..you need a very GOOD profile and you need to follow the advice below.

Let’s get started – Have you looked at your Linked In profile recently?  REALLY looked at it?  It’s hard to objectively critique yourself, isn’t it?  It looks pretty good to you but how does it look to a recruiter or hiring manager?

Linked In: Do it right!

Linked In: Do it right!

How’s your profile photo?  If you don’t have a photo, you MUST!  Did you know many profiles are completely overlooked when there is no photo?  You may not even be considered for the job though the rest of the profile portrays your experience so well.

And why do so many people take the effort to complete their profile in order to network but don’t  Continue reading