Getting help

You land a job offer when a hiring manager decides she likes the way you come across. Put another way, you get the job when her perception of you matches up with the requirements of the job and the culture of the company. So, how useful would it be to know how you’re coming across to others? I’ll tell you — it’s critical.

The hiring manager’s perception of you involves how you look, sound, interact, and present on paper, email, telephone or web. To increase your odds of getting hired for the job you want, you’ll need help to figure out (and improve) how you’re perceived. Ideally, you’ll have a small team helping you (resources below).

If you can afford professional help with your resume or even a coach to work with you through your job search, get it (our resume writing service here). You’re looking for people who will not hesitate to tell you (politely) what 99% won’t – that you have bad breath, bad taste, bad timing, bad posture, body odor, personality issues, typos or whatever.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is entry-level stuff. Silly defects will stop a VP from becoming a CEO just as easily as they’ll stop a college grad from getting his first job. You’ve got to find someone who’s not shy and knows the environment you want to get hired into. Someone who can tell you how to fit in better if you have some rough edges. And who doesn’t?

Employment is a team sport for employers and it should be for you also. When we post a job, the position description has been reviewed by at least a handful of people in my company (who each usually suggest an edit or two). The text gets better with each review. The team approach improves every aspect of recruiting in my company (especially interviewing). So, why would you want to go solo in your job search?

when you need help with your job search, ask for itAre you a do-it-yourselfer? You want to get vital feedback and assistance from your friends and family with your resume, your cover letter(s), your dress, people skills and interviewing style.  You need to know how you come across to others, so, don’t give up until you find the right friend or coach.

If you don’t know anyone with the right smarts, consider networking with informational interviews to meet people that are in a position to give you valuable feedback and advice. These informational interviews may also lead directly to your next job – it happens.

Whether you go with professional help or prefer the do-it-yourself approach, getting feedback is a critical step in getting a job you love. Asking for feedback is also critical to keeping a job you love, so create the habit now.

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  • avatar

    cr July 31, 2013, 12:36 am

    I am an older student and had to learn the new mindset technique to writing a resume. Years ago the resume was about adding all of your accomplishments in sentence form and a bullet for each job task under the employer name. This format has changed significantly and has been a continual learning process. Just when you think you know what you are doing the game changes. It has taken me several weeks to accept the change of presenting a one page resume advertisement for all the years of hard work but it is more about the personality rather than the formal format used years ago. Time is limited and employers want concise clear explanation of your ability.

  • avatar

    rajib June 24, 2013, 10:56 am


  • avatar

    jmbrownie05 June 18, 2013, 2:57 pm

    Thank you so much! I found this post enormously helpful. Please send me more articles like this in the future!

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    natiaunie May 30, 2013, 8:48 pm

    When I graduated high school and enrolled in my first University, I thought it would be four years and then I’d have my degree and onto the job world. Unfortunately I had to take time off from school and missed semesters at a time while I dealt with personal issues. I worked retail jobs to support myself during this time. Some of the best job hunting advise came from my former Store Manager. He encouraged me to go back to school. He helped me put together my first resume. He coached me on how to interview for future jobs and how to present myself.

    Eventually I left that job and moved to a new state, where I currently reside. I am a full time student and worker, and have found a new mentor in the form of one of my former professors. I have been searching for internship and have consulted with him several times to spruce up my resume and keep in mind things that potential employers are looking for. He advised me on what to keep handy in my portfolio. Having previously been an business owner in the field I am studying, he gives me constructive advise on how to show off my work.

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    Daniel377 May 1, 2013, 5:29 am

    When I went in for an interview for a business consulting company I was very nervous, but I had always been good at hiding my nerves and revealing my inner confidence. When the interviewer(who is now my boss) came in the room I stood up a shook his hand firmly and introduced myself. Right away he began questioning me and I answered his questions quickly and confidently. My resume exceeded his expectations and it was clear that I was ready. After the interview my boss asked who had been coaching me. I had no idea what he was talking about and just chuckled thanked him for his time as I moved towards the door. Now I know what coach he was talking about.

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    Chelle678 March 3, 2013, 6:10 pm

    It is absolutely important to understand how you come across to others. I did not realize that when I applied for a job, but I was lucky enough to get it. Later, when I was working there, I realized how important it was. Interviewees would talk to the current employees and when they left, the hiring official would talk to us individually to see what we thought. Our office and field of work was very small and it was crucial to like the person because if we did not and they got hired, we would be stuck with them.

    Not only did we evaluate if we would get along, but we looked at their manners, how did they dress, how did they feel about the workload, the hours, the office, were they professional, how was their handwriting, and were they able to communicate effectively both in person and on paper. In addition, did we feel like they were a good fit for us in general and how would they come across to the clients. This was after their resume had been looked at and they had been screened and interviewed once before. If a person is interviewing for a job, it is helpful to do practices with others and have them evaluated. Or a person can try to be in a setting where they can see that profession at work to watch the mannerisms and compare themselves to those employees.

  • avatar

    Colin O'Brochta August 20, 2012, 7:03 am

    While I was a freshman in college I was not very good at getting help when I needed it. I went into that year thinking that I had to try and do well in my classes simply through my own intelligence and hard work, this didn’t work out so well. After my first semester I did not do nearly as well as I had “planned” on doing and I couldn’t seem to figure out why that was. Then as I began my second semester I decided that I would use the same method that I used in the first semester, but this time I was going to work even harder, this did not work either. It wasn’t until the end of my second semester that I began to even exercise the thought of seeking out help from my professors and classmates to better understand the material, as well as study more effectively. In my mind, using my classmates for help was sort of cheating in a way; but I soon realized that working together to maximize both you and your friends’ college performance is key to surviving in difficult courses. Nowadays, as I enter my Junior year of college, I am very diligent about getting help from my professors and studying with classmates because I know the benefits that can come from seeking help. I am enjoying school a lot more and getting a lot more out of it too.

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    Lisa Shannon August 7, 2012, 6:41 pm

    I have a friend who has been having a great deal of difficulty finding work over the last year. I finally asked to see her resume. The structure, layout, and verbiage were definitely affecting the perception of the reader as to whether she was actually qualified enough for the position. Additionally, she needed to work on sounding more professional, conducting herself with confidence not arrogance, and ensuring that she did not talk too much about herself but focused on the questions put forth instead. My friend and I have worked with her to help her see where she may be making mistakes, helped her revamp her resume and cover letter, and had her send thank you notes or emails following an interview to show her gratitude for the time. It has helped her considerably, although she has not been able to find permanent work as of yet. She told us that the input we provided her, allowing her to do practice interviews with us, and rewriting her resume has helped her remain steadily working as a temporary employee for the last 6 months. She’s learned to shine and will continue polishing her skills to land something permanent…or impresses her temporary employers enough so that they will hire her permanently. Perception is the key to getting your foot in the door; skill and hard work will keep you there.

  • avatar

    sean wise July 11, 2012, 2:47 am

    I have experienced this as well in my current position as a customer service representative for Blue Cross Blue Shield. For the interview, I met with three managers of the department, I was pretty nervous yet excited to display my interpersonal skills and experience within the department. Luckily, I carried copies of my resume and prior achievement evaluations from past positions within the company. It was a pleasure meeting the ladies because my boss called the day after to congratulate me on an impressive interview. I will admit, it was a true amazing feeling!


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In 1997, Eric Shannon launched the first job board for bilinguals who speak English/Spanish at Eric still serves as CEO of LatPro Inc., developer of He lives in Boulder, CO with his wife and two girls.