Career Coach Office Hours: August 12, 2022 |

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

I answered questions about #jobsearch #hiringstaff #management #leadership #workplace issues. Join me at 1 PM Eastern on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can also message me on Linkedin before the show and I will answer it, too. #careercoachofficehours #careercoaching #careercoach #jobsearchtips #jobsearchadvice #interviews #hiring #managingpeople #leadershipskills #linkedinlive #linkedinlivestreams

The Warning Sign of a Problem or That They Aren’t Sure


So let me just start off by saying I got some nice news about someone I’ve been coaching around the salary negotiation. She’s received an offer. We know we can up it or get it upped. And we’re going to meet next week for a strategy to do that. And it’s always fabulous to know that the work you’ve done for someone is about to pay off. So yay, yay.


The first one is an interesting one, because it deals with the job market. And there’s confusing information available about it. So the question is, ‘is hiring slowing down?’  The answer is there’s an interesting job market. Now, if you saw the government’s statistics recently, they said there were over 500,000 new jobs created in the United States during the month of July (2022). Fabulous number no one anticipated that. Then concurrently, LinkedIn said in their workforce report for July that hiring had slowed for the fourth consecutive month. These facts don’t compute correctly, unless you know how to look below the surface. Let me look at the government numbers for a second. More than 500,000 new jobs. So let’s start off with camp counselors were hired in July, and there are lots of them all over the country. In addition, when you look at the report, you discover that there’s over 300,000 part time and second jobs that were created during the month of July. In other words, a lot of people went to work to deal with inflation and higher cost of living. They took second jobs. They took part time jobs in order to pay their bills. These tend to be blue collar workers, no collar workers, who are doing this sort of stuff. And I say that because LinkedIn is primarily a white collar exchange. Yes, there are profiles of people who work in hospitality, which was a big growth area in the report but it’s not their primary place. And they don’t always update their profile so regularly. Like, my son has a LinkedIn profile. He’s 21. He works at a restaurant in northern New Jersey. And when it came time for him to take that position, he hasn’t updated his profile to show a new job there. So I’ll just say, don’t be confused by the government report.  If you’re a white collar worker, don’t think that when they talk about a job, they’re all full time positions in the report. They aren’t. And as I’ve said many times, if you work 20 hours a week for a job in Illinois, and 10 hours a week for another one in Virginia, and 15, more working remote for a firm in Texas. Three governors are claiming credit. And those are three different jobs according to the government report. And a lot of people are doing that. So I’ll just say, if you’re a white collar worker, the the economy has slowed down. And it’s going to continue to slow as controllers, as CFOs finalize their budgets for 2023. And they just don’t see the the revenue numbers that they were hoping for. If you’re a blue collar worker, there are options there for you. If you’re in building trades, there are options there for you. Like, if you’re a plumber, if you work in HVAC, if you do carpentry, there are a lot of firms that will hire you. So recognize that there’s two different job markets. And there are many different types of jobs, not just simply full time jobs, but part time ones as well. Jobs that will take someone on for a certain number of hours every week or every other week, based upon a need. So just recognize that you may be affected differently than other people.


What should you do if you have a job interview scheduled for a specific date but the company emails you a job update saying you’re no longer qualified? Shall I go ahead with the interview at the scheduled date? Or should I ignore it? I don’t understand this. Should I ignore it? I think they’ve cancelled the appointment by telling you that you’re no longer qualified. Why would you go to an organization that has told you you’re not qualified to do a job that they were originally going to interview you for? So if you want to confirm that, by all means. You can send them a text or an email that says, ‘Are you canceling this appointment with me? Is that what you’re telling me here?’ And they’ll say yes. And don’t bother going. All that’s happening is you’re wasting people’s time. You’re making them anxious because they say, ‘What is she doing here? What is he doing here? What are they doing here?’ And you’re not going to get an interview. If you do and someone’s walking down to say, ‘didn’t you get our email canceling the appointment?’ ‘I got an email saying I wasn’t qualified for the job. It didn’t say I was canceled!’ What do you think they were doing? And again, you can confirm this by email or text. Do that if if you have any concerns about my answer. I’d be happy to be wrong. But I’m pretty sure I’m not. 

10 Signs Your Interview Will Go Nowhere


Why do potential employers so often get the selection process for candidates incorrect? I’m going to answer this in a variety of different ways that I don’t think many people will like, but it’s my opinion. So it starts off with what makes you think that they got the process wrong? Because you don’t like the hire? Because you just think they hired the wrong person? I don’t think so. That’s not a criteria here. In addition, I’ll just remind you that you’re not always right. And they may think they got the process right now. And do you mean that they got it wrong because people left quickly. That’s another possible reason for why you might think they got a wrong. It could be that this person less left for an even better job. Remember, it’s a two way street as to how firms react or respond once someone’s on board. Also, why did they get it wrong? Because job hunters misrepresent their qualifications. Employers misrepresent what the opportunity is. And thus, people wind up in situations that were represented one way and winds up being something different. So there’s lots of reasons but I always start off with what makes you think they got it wrong? Because I don’t know that your criteria is so good. So that’s what I think on this subject.


What should I do when I apply for a job with a bad resume? That’s the question the next question. And the answer is, don’t plan on getting an interview. Because you’re not going to get one. It’s so rare that someone misreads a resume that’s bad and goes, ‘oh, I want to talk to this person. I want to ask them about their bad resume. I think they have something here that we’re looking for.’ So what happens is you don’t get an interview That’s usually what happens. What you should do is tailor your resume to what the job description’s telling you that they’re looking for. Make the fit obvious. Do it earlier in the resume rather than later. Because systems believe that when the information is higher up in the resume, where it’s in a position where it can be noticed earlier, their ATS system will recognize it and act upon it in a good way. So change your resume. Don’t waste your time or theirs, and their systems or throughput by sending a bad resume.


For startup companies, what are good strategies to hire good people from the very beginning? So one thing is use your employees to refer people to you, and then review the heck, test the heck out of these people to make sure that they know what they claim to know. Be clear about standardizing around a series of questions that will allow you to evaluate and assess people. Because if you don’t standardize around questions, you’re gonna get mishires. You also want to make sure you understand what the criteria is, that’s going to make a good hire, so that you don’t make mistakes and everyone’s on the same page, at least, developing a baseline of questions that will allow you to assess or, for qualifications, then from there, once you have assessed for baseline qualifications, you try and go in a little bit deeper. And in doing so, what you want to do is make sure that everyone that you’re evaluating meets minimum standards, and then from there, you want to ensure that there are tie breakers that go deeper and deeper and deeper, that will allow you to evaluate people fairly and make good choices. But it starts off with a baseline of questions that will help you


Can job applicants choose not to mention their age throughout the hiring process? Yeah! Don’t. What reason should you mentioned your age? If you’re old, you’re afraid of being discriminated against because you’re too old. When you’re young, you’ve are afraid of being discriminated against, because you’re too young. I know, when I was younger, and this is not a young face anymore, but when I was younger, people thought I was older than I am. I did nothing to dissuade them from that. So, as an older individual people tell me, you’ve got great energy to you and they don’t know my age. They think, I don’t want to say to significantly younger, but they think I’m younger than I am. And thus, I’m able to help people in a variety of different ways to get to where they want to get to. So I’ll just simply say, there’s no reason to bring up your age. If it doesn’t serve you. Let the projection that they have about you, as a younger worker, advantage you. And as an older worker, well, if you mentioned your age, they may think you’re younger than you are like they sometimes do with me. So don’t make that mistake.


How can I make my cover letter stand out the hiring managers, and recruiters at top companies. A lot of people don’t like cover letters anymore. I think of them as a sales opportunity. So I believe that the one type of cover letter that works is one where you lay out how your background fits what they’re looking for, and what they will want you to do. Thus flush left, you indicate the requirements of the position. And what they would have you do, and then flush right, how long and how recently you’ve done it. You do this for the body of an email. If you’re uploading it to an applicant tracking system, you make this page one of your resume. Page one of the resume? Why would I do that? So that you’re keyword stuffing your resume with everything the system is looking for making it page one and thus making the system think that you have lots of experience like this. And you’ve placed it prominently at the beginning of the resume so it believes it’s permanent work. So I’ll just simply say, in terms of your cover letter, the goal is to make it stand out to hiring managers and systems by making it prominent so that they think it’s recent qualifications. And you do it in the way that I’ve described.

How to Answer “How Much Are You Looking For?”


Why is intern not counted as experience in a resume or CV? A recruiter told me that. Okay. Well, I think this means is that their client doesn’t treat it that way. Other firms do, and rightly so. You could spend a year interning as someone I know did, a top law firm in New York. And you know, it’s considered great experience. You could have interned, if you work in social services, at a great agency or psychotherapy facility, or some other place that everyone knows and holds in high regard. Why wouldn’t they treat that as a valid experience? They will. I know when I did, I was in graduate school. I have a Master’s in social work, and I had to do field work. And the first year I hated the assignment. It was awful. The second year was better. I was doing more therapy work. And then doing that I had to write reports. And doing that, I had to provide notes that confirmed the  nature of the treatment. And if I wanted to pursue a career, in psychotherapy, in agency life, this would have been good experience because I would have been able to tell them that I’d worked in a social services agency. I was doing therapy work as an intern there. I was working 20 hours a week. I was writing reports for them. I was doing notes that would be audited by state agencies. I had supervision there, there’d be a lot of good things that I could talk about. But for a lot of you, this recruiter who’s told you this, that their client doesn’t consider it valid. . .When I did tech recruiting, I had clients who didn’t like people whose only experience was working part time while they were in school, doing programming for some organization. So the result winds up being that this recruiter doesn’t have an option. That makes sense, given their client base. Keep looking, you’ll find someone who will take it.



What do recruiters look for when looking at programmer’s titles? Do they just have a degree or doesn’t have a prestigious university? Boy? This is a weird question. I don’t think the title is the thing. So if you’re a rookie, if you’re graduating from school, and they’re looking at your profile, what they’re looking for is the university and your grades. Did you do anything while you were in school that was work related? Did you work while you were in school? And the title and I’m gonna say your program or your software developer, the title is going to be pretty simple. It’s not like you’re going to be writing about developing major systems for four years that were eventually implemented. It’s going to be pretty straightforward kind of stuff. So they’re looking for congruence between your resume and your LinkedIn profile that demonstrates you can do the work that’s involved.


Is it common for companies to hire their own employees without going through recruitment agencies? Some of these questions are so poorly worded. So if I’m understanding you correctly, will they take an internal person rather than an external person that they get through an agency? Yes, of course they will. Because, number one, they have experience. The organization has experiences working with you, that allow them to evaluate and assess you. They’ve got the reports that have been written at the time of your reviews. This all helps them decide about you. So is it common? It allows them to hold on to their existing staff because if a person is applying for something internally, it’s a qualified individual, usually, who is looking at a promotional opportunity or transfer. They don’t want to lose you, because then they have another position to fill. So yes, it’s very common that this occurs. Very, very common. And don’t get me wrong. Sometimes your manager can defer one it is you move on. Like they can say, ‘We need him/we need her now and we can’t let them go. So thus, they’ll open it up to the outside. But the long the short of it is yes, it’s very common for this to occur.

Stupid Resume Mistakes: No Months


Can a person be an effective leader without being popular? And if so, how can this be done without coming across as being too aloof or unapproachable? My first reaction is, this isn’t about being a leader. This is really about being a manager. Leaders already know how to lead; their goal is to inspire confidence that their team can get things done. They’re an inspirational person, they light a fire within someone and don’t have to light a fire underneath someone. So the long the short of it is, can they do it? Yeah. Without being popular is an interesting thing. Now, I’m going to assume not a tyrant, because there’s the concern about being aloof or unapproachable, which I don’t associate with someone who’s been a tyrant. I associate that with someone who stays in their office most of the time, doesn’t communicate things along those lines. So, the goal for you should be, well can they do it? Can they do it without being aloof or unapproachable? That’s up to you. It’s harder to do that. You’re missing a key asset that allows you to be effective, which is they want to help you. They like you. They’re willing to put themselves out for someone who they like, who is there to help them. And you’re missing that part of it. Can you change? Yes. You can be effective both ways. But it’s easier to be effective when someone is not being aloof or unapproachable. When they show that they care about someone, it’s easier to lead. Leadership is about lighting a fire within someone. And then there’s motivation, which is lighting a fire underneath someone.  Be great at everything you do. Don’t make excuses for yourself, and then expect your team is going to cover for you. Don’t do it that way.

The Changing Power Dynamics in the Labor Market


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2400 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? People hire me to provide No BS career advice whether that is about a job search, hiring better, leadership, management or support with a workplace issue. Schedule a discovery call at my website, 

My courses are available on my The courses include ones about Informational InterviewsInterviewing, final interview preparation, salary negotiation mistakes to avoidthe top 10 questions to prepare for on any job interview, and starting a new job.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, YouTube (on the account) and on Facebook (on the Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter page) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30 minute show.

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