By Joyce Lain Kennedy


Even with 20 years' experience, I haven't had an interview since last year. I think I've tried everything to get a job. What am I missing? -- E.L.


You and the economy are missing jobs. But here are some classic suggestions to tape to your closet door and review each morning.

Preselect employers

Establish objectives so you can connect your qualifications to qualification requirements in the places where you want to go. Executive talent agent Debra Feldman ( spells it out: "Don't begin by writing a resume that's candidate-centered and sounds like an obituary of past jobs. Research employers to find those that satisfy your preferences. Make a list. For each company on your list, outline the employer's challenges and describe how you can solve, address or manage them." The intent is to show the employer that the supply of ideal candidates is not infinite even in this slow job market and that you are the best available candidate the employer will find.

Track your resume

Avoid submitting your resume and waiting for an invitation to interview. Instead, use free tracking technology to follow up, advises marketing expert Chris Hewitt. His excellent concept is an eye-opener. Get the details at this URL shortener:

Work the phones

Job hunting is harder work than doing the job. Networking pros say it takes 200 to 300 telephone calls or contacts to turn up 10 live job leads. In this economy, you probably need to double those numbers.

Stalk reputation blemishes

Do you know what others are saying about you online as a person or as a worker? Find out. Google your name. If you've got an image problem, Web-search for reputation management and look for solutions.

Negotiate with "golden tonsils." When you can do the work but lack the normal industry experience or education, the only way to beat the deficit is to get to the boss you'd be working for. Then let the boss run interference with HR staff. Negotiating skill is key to this move. Read Roger Dawson's "Secrets of Power Negotiating, 15th Anniversary Edition: Inside Secrets From a Master Negotiator" (Career Press).

Revisit possibilities

Periodically check back with each contact, including those who turned you down. Change happens. And scout for leads by talking with vendors, accountants, bankers and marketing staff.

Audit your interview presence

Have you developed unattractive, desperate overtones that undermine you in interviews? Practice interviewing with a video recording and work with video until you present yourself as confident and competent.

Stay alive

Are you so financially strapped that your judgment is affected? Do any legal thing you have to do -- drive a cab at night or moonlight anywhere you can. Drive neighborhood streets and notice businesses that may want to temporarily hire you at a bargain wage. Think of odd jobs you can do for $20 an hour -- install safety bars in seniors' bathrooms, for example. What can you do for $10 an hour, other than paint street addresses on curbs?

Develop cheerful compadres

Whether you tie up with a fellow job-hunting buddy or join a free job club, try to stay off anti-depressant pills by hanging with people who see the bright side of life even when they're standing in the rain at midnight. Nothing will take you out of the hiring race faster than coming off as a person of misery. Find job clubs online by Web-searching for "job clubs" followed by the name of your city.

Investigate more resources

If you don't find anything in today's tips that you can use, review the free archives of my column on my website:

Available at

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements

Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success

What's Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job

Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, about Anything


Careers - Trying Everything to Get a New Job

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