Are You Telling People You Are Desperate?

Does Your Resume and Profile Cry Desperation?

I see many resumes and especially on-line profiles crying out in desperation for someone to help. These people need a job and it just isn’t happening, but the problem is they are more interested in someone helping them versus their helping themselves. If you want someone to help; you must give them something so they can help!

Think of the movie, “Jerry Maguire”, with Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The part where the Cruise character says to the Gooding character, “You want me to help you, then help me help you!” The Gooding character wants a new football contract but is so caught up in himself, he doesn’t bring anything to the table for the Cruise character to use as justification for the new contract.

The people you reach out to must be able to connect the dots between you and the opportunities they see. Simply saying you need a job only tells a story of desperation. Telling your connections the skills you have to offer and how you have applied those skills gives your connections the information they need to work with on your behalf.

What Did You Do in the War Daddy?

In 1966 a movie came out titled “What Did You Do in the War Daddy?”, it was a comedy with James Coburn.

The title makes me think back to my time in the Air Force. The Air Force how exciting! When my kids would ask me about what I did they would have these visions of my piloting an airplane, flying high over enemy territory (I was in during Vietnam), being in a dogfight, etc. All exciting visuals from what they have seen on TV and with my younger kids what they see in video games. Was it that exciting for me? Nope, but my answer has always been I flew a desk. My answer was in jest, but the simple statement “I flew” would resonate and fortunately they didn’t picture a flying desk.

Today I reflect on the movie title much differently; I do it relative to what people put in their resumes and profiles and when I read I’m looking for the answer to the question: What did you do in your previous life? If the resume or profile cannot quickly tell me; I lose interest and move to the next always looking for the resume or profile which answers this question.

My question to you is: What Did You Do in the War or, in this case, Your Previous Life?

Is Your Resume or Profile Telling Your Story?

Recruiters and hiring managers want to read and then ideally hear what you have accomplished! They don’t want to simply read about your skills, they want to know how you put those skills to work. They want to know how those skills benefited you and the companies where you worked.

My story: I enjoy researching and analyzing information. On one engagement the client had a vendor support agreement for their computer equipment. One day I decided to review the charges and found they were being over charged hundreds of dollars each month. Additionally I was able to go back and challenge charges over the life of the agreement recovering over 12% of their total billings.

When you can relate your skills to a story of how you used those skills it drives home the point and the value. I’ve referred in other posts to the old adage facts tell and stories sell. You can tell your resume and profile readers all day about your skills but until you demonstrate how you use those skills; the message does not stick and you want stickiness.

Apply the KFC Approach to Your Resume and Profile

Nicholas Boothman in his book, “How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less”, he presents the KFC concept.

  1. K= Know what you want;
  2. F = Find out what you are getting; and
  3. C = Change what you are doing until you get what you want!

This is a very simple concept but one few people use, especially when it comes to their career.

Your Stories Will Set You Apart from Your Competition

In light of what Boothman says with the KFC approach, look at your career. Can you pass his test and answer each of those statements? If not, it is time to reassess your situation. If you have answers you can put the KFC approach to use in your career and change what you are doing so you will get what you want!

First know what you want for the next phase in your career and the relevant skills necessary to succeed. Identify how your skills match and write a story for each skill.

Do you want to make a difference in how your resume or on-line profile is received? Tell stories describing how you have put your skills, your education, your intuition or your experience to work and made a difference. It will matter!

Don’t just tell what you can do, show what you have done!


My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve! Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it.

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Job Search – What Are You Made Of?

Are You a Survivor?

I recently finished listening to “The Survivor’s Club” by Ben Sherwood. This should be mandatory reading for anyone that is unemployed or under employed and looking for work!

The book is not about employment and there is nothing in it employment related; it is simply stories about survival against the greatest of odds. Some of the important characteristics that are made by all of the survivor stories include:

  1. Faith
  2. Courage
  3. Commitment
  4. Determination

As I listened to these stories the parallels that can be drawn to the challenges faced by job seekers is easy to see.


Job seekers must have faith and know that the right job is out there for them. So many job seekers are susceptible to the negative thoughts of their own and others; that they forget about the importance of faith. Whether that faith is placed in a supreme being or faith in themselves is irrelevant. Faith is a critical characteristic necessary to overcome the influence of the negatives.


The unemployed and under employed must remain courageous throughout their ordeal. Yes, I said ordeal, because that is just what it is. Finding that next opportunity is a challenge and especially in this job market. Regardless of what they say in Washington and elsewhere about things improving; if you are out of work or under employed – you just do not see what they are seeing.

It takes courage to maintain your faith and your persistence, but you absolutely have no choice. Courage can help you stay positive and committed; which you must. Without these traits prospective employers and recruiters may see through the veneer and realize that you are desperate. Employers do not want desperate employees; they want people that are in control and will be productive.


Are you committed to your job seeking process? I mean are you really committed to the process? Many job seekers profess to be committed but when “push comes to shove” it is a half-hearted commitment. Where are you in the process?

One of the first things that you must be ready to do is to change. No, not change someone else, but to change yourself. What is your mindset when it comes to describing yourself?

      Do you see yourself as someone that changes as necessary or are you set in your ways?
      Do you see yourself as possessing a set of skills or do you see yourself as the job title you previously held?
      Do you see yourself as someone willing to learn new things or as someone who is too old to learn?
      Do you see yourself as someone with too little experience or someone willing to work to gain experience?

Commitment says that you have moved past these self-limiting beliefs and that you are ready to progress. To progress in your career and job search requires that you have a willingness and desire to change. Without change you cannot progress; in fact, you cannot even tread water. Without change you will drift with the current and it will take you over the waterfall, through the rapids, or out to see. When you drift you are powerless to control your destiny.


A successful job search requires determination that will see you through any setbacks or negativity. If you do not get the job, there is a reason. You may not agree, you may strongly disagree; but if you cannot put it behind you – you cannot progress.

Progression is they key and to progress you must move all of the negatives, your own or those of others, out of your way. You must have a strong belief in yourself, you must love yourself, you must be willing to continue moving forward, in spite of the negatives.

If you have people that are telling you that you cannot do it, that you are ridiculous to think you can do it, and any of the other negatives; get rid of them! You do not need that in your life. If they cannot pick up on your vision and support you in your efforts; what good are they? Some will say you need a dose of reality; maybe so, just not their reality. Do not let others put the box around you and do not box yourself in.

Commitment says that you will not allow yourself to be boxed in by yourself or anyone else. You are committed to making it through to your desired goal.

Are You Prone to Attitude Discrimination?

What is your attitude about your job search?

Are you excited and optomistic or hesitant and doubtful?

Job seekers often do not understand that they will typically wear their attitude on their sleeve. The interviewer can see it; it can even come through in your resume or cover letter. Job seekers that present themselves as excited and optomistic; will 9 times out of 10 win the job; and the time they do not win, probably it was not what they wanted in the first place.

So where are you in this spectrum?

When you have an attitude of hesitancy and doubt; you will sabotage your possibilities and your opportunities. The successful job seeker goes into every job search and interview expecting to be offered the position; once offered they can take time to evaluate the offer and whether it is right for them.

I have been there!

I know that this is true, because I have been a victim to my own self doubt and hesitancy and it has cost me opportunities. Granted some were opportunities where I was not excited and it showed and I honestly did not care one way or the other. Others were situations where I was excited about the opportunity, but I did not present well in all of the interviews.

Poor Attitudes Result in Rejection

The problem is that when you have this preconceived notion or attitude the recruiters and hiring managers can see it. They have seen it before and they are recognizing it again. If the job seeker has a negative attitude when they are in the interviewing process; what will it be like once they are on the job? Managers and recruiters do not want to run this risk; so they reject the candidate.

Why add a negative influence into the work environment?

Why would a company want to introduce what it appears to be a negative attitude into the workplace. The reality is that the company already has enough bad attitudes and they do not need one more. Is this discrimination on the part of the recruiters and hiring managers? Absolutely not; the best choice is to move on to the next candidate and hope for a better option.

There are other fish in the sea!

In today’s job market especially; there are many other job seekers and some will have greater potential. That being the case it is better for the recruiter, hiring manager, the organization, and probably for the individual as well; to move on and look for another candidate.

Examining attitudes

Here are some attitudes that will stand in the way of your being successful in your job search:

  1. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
  2. I have paid my dues; what more do you want from me?
  3. I have over 20 years experience; I know the answers!
  4. My experience speaks for itself; I’m not interested in jumping through your hoops.
  5. You don’t like older people; do you?
  6. Why do you want me to do it that way; I’ve been doing it like this for 20 years and never had any problems!
  7. I don’t like to learn new things.
  8. I have some great ideas on how you can do this better.
  9. My last boss was … (fill in the blank)
  10. How much time off do I get?
  11. How hard do you expect me to work?
  12. I will do anything you ask, but … (fill in another blank)
  13. Tell me about your benefit package

Obviously the list can continue ad infinitum and you are welcome to add your comments to this list.

In summary; your attitude will have a far greater impact on whether you get the job than will your grey hair and wrinkles. These are tough times for job seekers and to be successful you must move beyond the idea that your biggest problem is your age; because that is probably NOT your biggest problem. Be open to self evaluation and examine everything about you before jumping to the “age discrimination” conclusion.

Have a great career!