Tag Archives: first interview

What to do about serial disasters in your job search

I lived a couple of summers on a dairy and hog farm.  There were only two things to do with manure, put it on the fields or in the creek.  Yes, once it went into the creek. The manure that went on the fields helped grow more corn and alfalfa.  The manure that went into the creek was a shame, dangerous, and very easy to get rid of. Dumping in the creek eventually became illegal.  It’s a good thing.  That was a bad choice.

The difference between fertilizer and pollution was not the ingredients, it was what we chose to do with our time and resources.

When you spend your time job hunting poorly, you flush your work down the creek.

You can be getting killed before you are interviewed, after the first interview, or when references are checked.

Killed before you are interviewed

If you make one poor resume and send it out 500 times in a year with no interviews, you are polluting, not fertilizing.  That resume goes on file at many companies and keeps you from being hired for job after job.  If you are getting no response, either:

  1. you are not qualified for the jobs
  2. the resume is not working
  3. you have a bad reputation

In any one of these cases, you need to change what you are doing.

If you are not qualified, get experience and certifications, or lower your sights to the jobs you really are qualified for.  If the resume is not working, you need to fix it.  Go to www.dilts.us/books to get the best resume book ever written. If your reputation stinks, you may have to move or try a new field of work.

Stopped after your first interview

If you are getting interviews every week, but never being called back for a second set of interviews, you are polluting.  The companies you are interviewing with are putting you on their “Not Good Enough” list for some reason. You need to do some practice interviews on camera, and practice with managers who can’t hire you but will critique you. You need interview help. You also need to get back with every interviewer you can find and beg them for honest feedback.  If they consider you a really bad match, they will often hide that for fear of angering you.  When you ask for feedback, listen meekly and probe.

Ruined by your references

Does your job search fall apart every time it gets to the reference check phase?  Someone or something in your background is killing you.  You may have a reference who is polluting your job search.  It could be a lukewarm or hostile person who smiles at you and moans during a reference check.  Some people are just negative.  They hedge and hold back and wouldn’t give Superman a good reference because of his “Kryptonite problem.”   If you know a credit check or criminal background check is stopping you, you may have to back down your job aspirations or get to know which companies will hire you anyway. Sometimes an industry change is necessary.  Changing states may help.


If your job search is not working, there is always a reason.  Always.  Where your search is falling apart may tell you what the problem is and how to fix it.  Getting to the same place over and over only to lose out because of YOUR problem pollutes the job market against you. Find out if you have a problem.  Honestly work to correct that problem and you’ll find a job.

Something to do today

Keep track of where your job search is falling apart.  Figure out if it is your resume, interviews, or reference checks that are killing you.  Now, start researching ways to overcome that problem.  Work at it.