Workplace Rights

Weekly (6/20/11)

Topic of the Week  Limitless: The New Hiring Realities

  • Don't overrate what you know vs. who you know.
  • Do focus on mindset over skill set.
  • Do overcome stature with sweat.
  • Do be clever.


Much of the job hunting advice out there is dated and not very helpful. That's why I wanted to present a different take on job hunting. Which reminds me of the last time I called an airline about a nonrefundable ticket that I'd purchased but could no longer use. Okay, I made a point of being personable and funny. I've found once you get someone laughing it's tougher for them to say no. The supervisor gave me a full refund.


And that's also a key to landing a job, being so upbeat that the person just wants to be around you. This is difficult when you've been let go, but I believe it is a key to being hired again. That's why I've included three Do's and one Don't below to give you the proper mindset to find work. For more, check out Ford R. Myers book "Get the Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring (Wiley, 2009).


Don't overrate what you know vs. who you know. Networking has always been important. But in our increasingly isolated work lives, it has only grown in importance. So if you are a person who has put precious little effort into networking, it's time to make nice to the people with the fat contact lists. How can you tell who these people are, take note of how many contacts they have on Linkedin. Sure some people are posers, but even then there are probably people in there who can help you out.


Do focus on mindset over skill set. Sure there are jobs out there that are pure rocket science or brain surgery. But there are a heck of a lot more that most people can be trained to do. Take writing a column, please. If you are hungry and trainable, you'll be surprised at how many different jobs are suddenly within reach. I understand this flies in the face of all the job listings that contain long lists of job requirements. But as my friend Dick Bolles is fond of observing, for every job requirement, there are many exceptions. Find them and you can often find a way to skirt requirements.


Do overcome stature with sweat. Remember, most people who are hiring start by asking colleagues who they know who can do the job. It is possible to get a job before the job description is ever written. But you have to figure out how to remain on the front burner for all the people out there who know what you can contribute.


Do be clever. Clever? I believe that there are many people just going through the motions when it comes to getting hired. A friend of mine got hired for a promotions job because she sent a huge helium balloon to the hiring manger with her business card attached. Clever. My question when I talk to job seekers is always the same, are you being clever enough?


Follow these tips and you just could get the best refund of all, a new job.

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

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