Our readers have been fantastic this year, especially since I joined the team in late August. We’ve enjoyed hosting a forum where job seekers can support each other and share their successes and words of encouragement. If I’ve learned anything about our fans, it’s that they tell it like it is.
We’ve had some great comments on our posts throughout the year, so let’s recap some of our 2011 favorites.
Advice and inspiration
“About 11 years ago I went to [an] interview and thought I did well. I was hired. Then a week later my boss had me look for some paperwork on his desk. I see a letter to the big boss stating he cannot work with unqualified people who apply because the pay is low. It seems that only three of us interviewed and the first two turned down the job. I was not his best choice and he needed someone right away. I copied that letter and kept it in my desk to motivate me and show him I was not a mistake. Five years and many co-workers later, I would be promoted by him and run my department. I am still in charge, and he wants me to continue my education and take his position one day with his recommendation. I never told him about the letter. I just give 100 percent to my employer and good things happen. God wanted me here for a reason.” — Richard, commenting on Job seekers’ most common and unusual interview mistakes
The lesson: Always do your best, and always find ways to provide value to your team.
“I did a phone interview with a woman for a position involving the use of a relatively new technology. She had no experience with the technology (it’s new, so it wasn’t a requirement), but she did have experience with other similar technologies. I brought her in for an in-person interview a couple days later. I asked her if she had researched the new technology at all, and she said she hadn’t. Two days is plenty of time (especially when you’re unemployed) to find 10 minutes to visit a Wikipedia page. This showed lack of motivation, and she was not hired.” — Nick, commenting on How not to get hired: bring your cockatoo to work
The lesson: Do your homework before an interview. Winging it is not something you should be proud of, much less share with your interviewer.
Excuses for being late to work
“I once opened my car door while parked in the parking structure at work and swallowed a bug that flew in exactly at that moment. By the time I recovered from vomiting the bug and cleaning up in the ladies room, I was 20 minutes late. My boss thought it was a fake excuse because it was so hard to believe.” — Christina, commenting on Nuttiest excuses for being late
“One morning [when] I was getting ready for work, I accidentally dropped something under my bed … when I went to get up, I knocked my head on my nightstand and knocked myself unconscious. When I got up, I saw that I was running late, but my head was killing me, so I decided to call in sick and take myself to the hospital, where it was confirmed I had a concussion!” — Dee, also commenting on Nuttiest excuses for being late
The lesson: You should always try to be on time. If you’re going to be late, let your boss know ahead of time instead of strolling in hours late and using a suspicious or weird excuse.
On midlife career changes
“I, too, am in the fab 50 club and went back for my masters in marriage family counseling at 51. It has been a long process, but I graduate in November. By the time I am able to take my state exams for licensing, I will probably be about 55. I am cool with that, because through this process, I have learned so much about myself and feel great about beginning a new career in this stage of life, especially a career that I feel can really make a difference in someone else’s life. Because of the economy and the many people that are educated now, it probably will be difficult to find work initially (I hear that about my career choice), but where there is a desire, the universe will make a way for it. Stay on your path and don’t allow negative words and circumstances to knock you off course.” — Toni, commenting on Do’s and Don’ts for a mid-life career change
The lesson: Perseverance is key, and so is harnessing your existing skills and applying them to a new career. Remember to sell your experience and not focus on your age.
“CareerBuilder helped me choose a career path. When I was laid off from a technology company due to the economy, I was not sure what I would do next. I had CareerBuilder job alerts set up and posted a résumé. I noticed “Medical Office” had high demand. I already had extensive office experience, so this sounded like the perfect new direction. I went to Pierce College to check out their Certificate of Medical Office Assistant program. I enrolled, and graduated one year later. After a one-month internship, I was hired (the day after I finished school) by a local and reputable medical clinic for exactly what I went to school for. And I love my job! Thanks CareerBuilder for letting me know what was hot in the job market.” — Lynnette M., commenting on Getting lucky on your job search
You can check out other favorite comments from our social media pages, where job seekers like Lynnette share their success stories with us daily!
Finally, pure moments of clarity
“I don’t think it’s necessary to list your email address in your signature. Can’t they just look at the top of the email they received and see what address it came from or just hit reply?” — Meg, commenting on What makes good and bad email signatures
“Read any success manual, and it will tell you that a positive attitude will precede a positive outcome.” — Jermaine, commenting on Why whiners don’t win at work
“On another note, as far as résumé writing goes, I have viewed other career counselors’ résumés only to find that they are too wordy, not visually pleasing, and provide information irrelevant to the job they are applying for. … I, too, would recommend job seekers to have someone else read the work before submitting it; it is always good to have a different perspective … Definitely make sure to have the interviewer’s name spelled correctly when you write letters or emails; if you don’t know the correct spelling, look the person up on LinkedIn or Google – information at your fingertips!” — Sarah, commenting on You won’t hear ‘you’re hired’ if you spell it ‘your Hired’
The lesson: The job search can be tough, but you have to keep your spirits high and stay on top of your game. Ask friends to help you interview or review your résumé.
What stories did you find most helpful this year? What other types of content or stories would you love to see more of on this blog?