Be at the beginning of the line. Get hired faster.

May 29th, 2013 No comments

What goes on behind the curtains of the hiring decision is usually murky for those that are job seeking. Most of the times, we apply to a job and hope that the application lands in the right hands. What really is going behind this curtain? We’re going to go behind the curtains and show you the work that recruiters are a part of, and.. how you can use this to get hired faster!

Be the first in line.8214124711_a9f6738627_n

It’s simple. To get hired faster, your goal should be to eliminate time wasted in scrolling through old job applications. You want to apply to fresh jobs- the fresher the better. You may say, well what if I’m qualified for this listing, but it’s 3 weeks old? Does this mean I should pass it by? By all means, apply to it! But if you’re in a job search with very limited time (which most job seekers have), and you’re seeking efficiency, it really increases your chances of getting hired if you mainly target new listings.

Why is it important to apply to fresh jobs?

When you apply to a job early, you’re casting your hook at a time when the fish are hungry and biting. Here is what goes on at the recruiter’s side:

The recruiter’s goal is to get a hire completed as fast as possible. Their goal is to bring a candidate to the employer and move on to their next recruiting assignment. So what this means is, if they find good enough candidates in the first 1-2 weeks of a job posting, they’ll move on to interviews. Once they find qualified candidates from the interviews, they’ll bring these people to the employer for a final hiring decision. What happens to those who find the job posting 2 weeks past the posting date? These later applications don’t get read.

A StartWire survey conducted amongst new hires show that 50% of new hires applied within the first week of a job posting.

Where can you apply to fresh jobs?

There are job listings that show you exactly how many hours or days ago that the job was posted.  StartWire’s also taken upon itself to only post job listings that are 2 weeks old.  Results from the StartWire survey also inspired the creation of StartWire’s Express Apply Jobs, which allow all job seekers to quickly locate a job of interest, and then apply within 60 seconds.  Once a resume is uploaded to their StartWire account, the Express Apply feature sends their resume directly to the employer without needing to fill out any job applications. How’s that for efficiency?

Another great tip is to sign up for job alerts. Most job search sites send job alerts when new openings come out. Ever see an interesting job and put off applying thinking it’ll still be there?  Next time you see a new listing, don’t procrastinate! Apply as soon as possible. It just might be your next job.



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Super Bowl Lessons for the Job Search

January 29th, 2013 No comments

Whether you’re a football fan or not, chances are good that you’ve heard – and will hear more – stories about players, plays, personal superbowland team triumphs before Super Bowl XLVII comes to a close on Sunday.

You’ll also likely hear stories this week about the latest U.S. Unemployment numbers, slated for release this Friday, February 1.

We’re not saying we see a direct connection between the NFL and unemployment numbers, but here are three tips from our “Silver Linings Playbook” for the job search.

1.  You’re more likely to make the team if you come recommended.

It is estimated that only five percent of NFL players made the team as a walk-on. Just as the vast majority of NFL players get drafted, you have a better chance of getting a job offer if a friend, former colleague or networking connection recommends you for the position. How much more likely? The New York Times reports that employers are setting target goals to recruit up to 50% of new employees based on referrals from current employees.

For tips on how to get a referral inside the company even if you don’t know anyone, click here.

Don’t forget to check out StartWire’s built-in free tool that recommends potential sources of referral based on your LinkedIn network.

2. Professional players – and teams – frequently lose on the road to success.

Here’s a piece of trivia you’ll hear over and over – the Ravens (1-0) and the 49ers (5-0) each come to the Super Bowl undefeated in the Big Game. But each team lost three or more games over the course of the season, and it’s been over ten years since either team took the field for a Super Bowl.

Unless you are applying for jobs that you are over-qualified for – or if no one else applies – you are going to experience the pain of loss.  You are going to be turned down for some of the jobs you apply for, just like some of the passes in football go down in the history books as incompletes or fumbles. It’s part of the process.

Would it make you feel better to know how often this occurs on the football field? Even the winners are accustomed to loss. Of the teams who have played more than one Super Bowl, only the San Francisco 49’ers have a perfect record for the Big Game – and they’ll put that on the line on Sunday.

3. Focus on jobs you want with discipline and determination – and it’s quite likely you’ll get a shot at interviewing. Just don’t give up.

Think some teams are doomed to have a Charlie Brown life? Or that it’s all about employer contracts and buying wins? Consider this: 28 of the NFL’s 32 teams have played in a Super Bowl. That’s 87% of all NFL teams! Not bad, eh?

Get out there, and keep trying!

Now pass the guacamole and chips. Tell us, how can we help you achieve your goals?



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Turning Lemons Into Lemonade: How to Sweeten a Sour Experience in Your Job Search

January 15th, 2013 No comments

Looking for a new job without a perfect work history? You’re not alone…Even legendary leaders Lou Holtz, Steve Jobs, and Michael Bloomberg have been fired! And as for the widely-quoted statistic that most Americans can expect to work in at least 11 jobs over the course lemonade_smallof a lifetime…it’s also been said that most people can expect to be fired or laid-off once or twice.

As with many things in life, it’s not how you fall down — but how you get back up on your feet that ultimately matters most. We scoured the web for different perspectives on how to get back up if you’ve run into an awkward situation with a former boss or employer. Here are five different strategies on how you can turn your own career lemon into lemonade:

1. Get distance and the perspective of time. Then preserve relationships if you can.

Rough work experience can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Give yourself time to process it — and when you do speak of it, avoid making a face!

“Don’t do anything rash or bitter. As satisfying as it might be to send former co-workers or client lists an email about everything that’s wrong with that company, don’t do it. You need to protect your reputation now more than ever, and a bitter, hostile exit will make that impossible…

…Think about who you want to keep in touch with from your last job—not just co-workers, but clients and vendors too. Reach out to them. A good way to mitigate awkwardness with former co-workers who might be unsure how to handle your firing: Tell them what you liked about working with them and why they are good at what they do. People will be impressed by your classiness.”

– Alison Green, U.S. News.  Ten Things You Should Do Immediately After Getting Fired

2. You should hear (and see) how they’ll talk about you.

“If you have been fired or terminated, check with your former employer and ask what information they will give out when they get a call to verify your work history. If they do give out more information than the basics, what they say may be negotiable and it can’t hurt to ask. When you left under difficult circumstances, you could ask someone you know to call and check your references; that way you’ll know what information is going to come out. Or, you can also use a reference checking service to check on what will be disclosed to future employers.”

– Alison Doyle, What Can Employers Say About Former Employees?

3. Don’t say why you left on your resume.

“The general rule when discussing having lost a job is to be honest but brief. Note that there’s no need to list how you left a job on a resume, but be prepared for the question to occur in an interview. It really helps to have a standard answer available so you can comfortably answer the question, and then move on to other more positive topics.”

– WiseGEEKShould I Tell a Potential Employer that I was Fired from a Job?

Focus on the what instead of the when and where.

Have a long gap between jobs? Create “a resume that highlights qualifications rather than work history.”

– Elisabeth Sanders-Park, author of No One is Unemployable and The Six Reasons You’ll Get the Job.

4. When asked about your career lemon, be brief and objective.

“The economy has pushed many talented professionals into the workforce, so don’t be ashamed to simply explain that you were a part of a downsizing. If you were fired for performance issues, it’s best to merely say you “parted ways” and refocus the discussion on how your skill set matches the current position.”

– Tony Lee, CareerCast, The Ten Toughest Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

5. Hold your head up high.

“People who are laid off and people who get fired should follow the same rules as people who quit. You should just act like you quit. The world does not need to hear what the terms of departure are. People just want to know what you are doing with your life and how you fit in with them.”

– Penelope Trunk, The Best Way to Deal with Getting Fired

Do you have other suggestions and strategies for avoiding negative pitfalls with past employers?







Three Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting the Job

September 4th, 2012 No comments

Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken you on a tour of what happens inside companies behind closed doors — we’ve shown you how jobs get approved, how employers find potential candidates, and frequent knots in the process that lead to re-posting of jobs and hiring delays.Attribution:

As always, applying for jobs is a two-way street: Just as employers pick who they want to hire, you get to pick where and who you want to work with. Throughout the search process, remember you also have the right to choose your employer. If you don’t like the way you are treated as a candidate, you still have the option to withdraw your application — or turn down a job if you don’t feel that the culture is a fit. Regardless of what happens in the process, don’t forget that you have the power in this part of the hiring process.

If you experience roadblocks as you apply for a job — but still remain interested in the job — here are three easy action steps you can take to increase your chances.

1. Take a personal approach. Whenever possible, apply for positions as early as possible and address your application to a real person. (If the job description doesn’t include a name, use LinkedIn or Google to find the name of the person that has the same title mentioned in the job description as the Supervisor. Then address your cover letter and email to this person.)

2. Know where you stand in the applicant pool. Many companies provide applicants with status updates on their application, but — traditionally — you can only see this data if you log back into the website where you applied for the job.

StartWire provides you with a free way to get these updates on the status of your applications at 7,000+ companies. Just sign up for an account, tell us where you’ve applied and track your application — and we’ll tell you if we can send you updates.

If you should be able to get updates on your application, and there’s no record of your application — check back with the company and confirm that your application was received.

3. Enlist help of friends and colleagues for an “in.” As we’ve discussed, getting a referral and word-of-mouth shout-out that you’d be great for a job is one of the best ways to get hired. Here’s how to get a referral even if you don’t know someone.

Next week, we’ll provide you with strategies you can use to follow-up throughout your job search – from how and when to contact potential employers to touch base on what to say if the employer suddenly goes “dark” after an interview.  If you have specific questions on this that you’d like us to answer, please ask away in the comments section.


Find Work as a Convicted Felon

August 10th, 2012 No comments

A lot of the posts we write here at the StartWire blog are inspired by conversations we have with real job seekers and StartWire users. I wrote this post after speaking with a job seeker who was having trouble getting back on their feet after getting out of jail.

Turning your life around after being convicted of a felony can be difficult. There are some types of jobs that will simply not accept convicted felons. If you have been working in a field that does not accept felons for employment, it is likely that you will have to undergo a career change. For example, many health care positions have strict policies against accepting convicted felons.

However, it IS possible to find work as a convicted felon. So do not give up hope! Finding work is an important part of your future, so keep at it, keep your head up and eventually you will be on your feet.

1. Look for work at small companies.

Large, nationwide corporations often have a web of hiring rules and restrictions. Even if an individual at the company likes you, they may not be able to hire you because of your background. Small companies have more flexibility to make decisions on a case-by-case basis and you are more likely to get a chance to explain yourself and overcome the conviction.

 2. Keep your conviction off of your resume.

You absolutely should be honest about convictions. Employers will find out about your past soon enough. However, your resume is a place to sell your best qualities, not reveal past mistakes. Most applications will require you to state whether or not you’ve been convicted of a felony. If you aren’t asked, it’s best to be upfront early on before a background check is done.

 3. Start at the bottom and work your way up.

When you are fresh out of jail or off of probation, it is important to rebuild your credibility. This may mean taking any work you can find, and proving yourself to be an honest and hard worker. The work is often minimum wage in manufacturing or fast food. By proving yourself here, you will have opportunities to rebuild work experience and gain the trust of potential employers.

 4. Use all the resources available to you.

There’s no way around it. Getting back into the workforce as a convicted felon is challenging. There are resources in place throughout many communities that are designed to help. Contact your parole officer; seek out human services organizations near you that offer support for convicted felons. These people may be able to point you toward employers willing to hire convicted felons, career training resources or other opportunities.

Most of all, do not give up. Persistence is the key to finding work in a difficult job search. Once you find that first job, no matter what it is, you will be able to start rebuilding your skills and employers trust in you.

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What to Do in Your Job Search Before the Phone Rings

April 17th, 2012 No comments

You’ve done your job search homework. You’ve adopted the 5 Habits of an Effective Job Seeker.  It’s time to reap the rewards of your hard work and move on to the next step – the phone interview.To help get you through this crucial step, today we’re sharing three simple must-do steps to prepare for the phone interview.

  • 1. Put the right phone number on your resume and in your contact information.

  • This is not just a correct phone number, but the best number for a potential employer to call. Make sure you think it through.

    Because many employers call – rather than e-mail – to set up a phone interview, you want to make sure that you use a phone number on your resume where you can be reached – and that will reflect well on you.Choosing the right number to list on your resume can be tricky:
    If you are currently employed, never list your work phone number on your resume. Even if the best place to reach you is at work, the impression you will leave is that you are comfortable using your current employer’s resources to look for a job – and that doesn’t sit well with most hiring managers.Only list your cell number if you experience good reception at least 90% of the time. That sounded like an interesting job but I couldn’t hear what it was through all the static.

    Landlines can be great as the reception is always clear, but coach anyone in your household on the way you’d like them to handle a call from a potential employer for you. If a child regularly answers your phone, you may want to use a different number.

    Alternative option: Create a Google Voice number that will ring where – and when – you tell it to.

    2. Invite people to leave you a voice mail.

    You know how it important it is to look good on paper; you also need a great greeting for your voice mail.

    If an employer calls you and receives a generic “this party is not available right now – please leave a message” response, they may wonder if they have the right number and choose not to leave a message at all.

    Create a simple message with your first and last name. Invite people to leave their contact information, and – ideally – give a window of when they can expect a response.


    “Hi, this is Jane Clarke. I’m not available right now, but please leave me your name, phone number, and your email address and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours. Thanks for calling!”

    Make sure your message is clear and that your tone sounds friendly and professional. 

    3. When the phone rings, don’t be afraid to say you can’t talk.

    Even if a hiring manager says, “this isn’t an interview” – all phone conversations are part of the hiring process, and many “first conversations” are also the last.

    If you’re in an active job search, don’t answer calls from strangers in sports arenas, bars, or other crowded venues. As soon as you say hello, you need to be able to respond in “hire me” mode – and if you’re not in a position to do this, you need to postpone.

    It’s always okay to say, “I’m not in a quiet place right now, can we set up a time to speak?” Make sure you have a pen and paper close at hand to get the details down. Even if your iPhone is amazing, you should never put your potential interviewer on hold so that you can take down details while you are talking!

    Give folks the right number, convey your professionalism on the other end of the line, and put our upcoming tips for phone interviews to work – and you’ll be all set to start talking about how you can do the job!

    Categories: Interviewing Tags:

    What Recruiters Don’t Tell You: And How You Can Get to the Front of the Line

    March 20th, 2012 No comments

    Are you currently in the job market or know someone who is? Check out our webinar on the 5 Habits of Highly Effective Job Seekers, a StartWire exclusive presented by our CEO Chris Forman. Last week, we focused on Habit #1: “Don’t post and pray.”

    This week we’re talking about Habit #2  – “Apply early.” It’s more important than you might think. A StartWire survey of over 6,600 successful job seekers across ten industries revealed a stat that startled me: A majority of job seekers who got hired applied early – 50% applied within a week of a job being listed, and 75% within three weeks. The earlier you apply, the better chance you have of getting full consideration for the position.

    The importance of applying early is a dirty little secret you rarely hear discussed in job search forums – and by employers: Many companies don’t make a second review of job applications after they’ve made their first “short list” of who to interview for a job. The reason? Most recruiters at large companies hire for 20 or more jobs at one time. If you’ve got a short list of good applicants, you don’t spend time going back through the queue after you’ve got the interview process started. It’s second nature to recruiters and hiring managers to focus on the batch of applicants that have applied first – and the ones that have come recommended.

    Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to land on this short list – you just need to apply early. Here are five easy ways to make sure you know about and respond to openings as soon as – or before – they are listed. (No inside track required.)

    1. Find out about new jobs before they are listed. 

    Pay attention to the business news in the location where you want to work. Economic development agencies, politicians, and your local Chamber of Commerce often tout new job openings and anticipated hiring by companies positioned to grow. Want to be among the first to know? Attend public meetings, pay attention to local news, and look for announcements that contain information about jobs, funding, and tax breaks – all are harbingers of potential job openings.

    2. Talk to an Admissions officer for your local community college – even if you don’t have any intention of signing up for classes.

    Why? Local companies that are growing fast and have specific hiring needs often partner with community colleges to create training programs and offer courses to potential and current employees. Admissions officers are generally knowledgeable about these opportunities – and can share with you names of companies who have training initiatives with the school. Once you know who’s hiring, you can follow up with the company and let them know how you learned about them. (Note: This works even if you don’t have the skills a company is training new employees for since most companies hire for multiple positions at any given time.)

    3. Create a pathway for leads with friends and former colleagues.

    Be specific about your skills but open to hearing about jobs from multiple organizations. If you say “I’m interested in Marketing Manager positions at these five companies,” you may not come “top of mind” if there’s an opening at a company not at your short list or a job with the same exact title. But if you share your interests and a success story or two of work you’ve enjoyed doing before, you may be at the “tip of the tongue” when someone you know is asked, “Do you know anyone who could?”

    4. Sign up for job alerts to receive information about when new jobs are listed.

    Many job sites have a feature that notifies you when new jobs that match your career interests and locations are posted to the site; StartWire now only lists jobs that have been posted within two weeks – and send job alerts on new listings.

    5. Be ready to pounce when you hear of an opening.

    Have an up-to-date resume with an opening summary that provides an overview of your experience.  When you see a listing, customize the bullets in your resume to show how your experience matches the job – then send the resume in and apply. Once your resume and cover letter are ready, you can apply for the job in approximately eight minutes. How easy is that? 

    Categories: Job Search Advice Tags:

    When No Means Yes in a Job Hunt: 3 Ways It Can Help

    January 31st, 2012 No comments

    Recently StartWire’s job application status update features have received a lot of attention from media outlets, including TechCrunch, Mashable, and Fortune. We’re glad we’re not the only ones who think finding out what’s happening to your job application is a good idea!

    But we’ve also heard from several employers that they’d rather not send rejections – and from job seekers that they’d rather not know when they’ve been rejected.

    Whether you want to know when you’ve received a “no” or not is a matter of personal preference. Here are three reasons why we think a “no” is better than no answer at all.

    1. A “no” response brings closure.In your dating life (whether past or present), have you ever spent hours waiting for the phone to ring? Even if it never did…Knowing you aren’t in the running stops this waiting process; it makes it harder to say yes to other opportunities that come along while you’re waiting. You’ve just gotten permission to move on.
    1. A “no” response gives you a nudge to ask in a different way.As we mentioned last week, a recent Talent Function infographicin The Wall Street Journal says 25 out of 100 job applications received by companies are actually read by employers. The rest are screened out by applicant tracking systems when they don’t include the necessary keywords – or received after an interview “short list” is developed.If your application has only a 25% chance of being read, shouldn’t you make sure it gets the attention that it deserves? While the job is likely filled by the time you receive your rejection – it doesn’t mean you can’t apply for another job with the same company.

      Consider your “no” your walking papers: Dare yourself to reach out in other ways in the future. Use StartWire’s “Get Referral” feature to see LinkedIn and Facebook connections that can help you. And let them know when you’ve applied for your next job.

      Don’t know anyone? Say hi to a recruiter on social media. Why? Most companies encourage REAL people to respond to user comments on social media. Here’s an interesting stat: 95% of Facebook Wall posts are not by brands (organizations). Only 13% of Facebook users say they post about brands they like. So when you do post up a message on a company wall expressing interest in learning more about jobs – you will stand out and it is more likely you’ll hear back. (In a good way.)

    2. A “no” response gives you the opportunity to ask for more feedback. What can you do to improve your candidacy for next time?

    Asking for feedback isn’t fun. But it can be clarifying. Was the job filled by someone who had more experience than you do? Did the employer assume you weren’t interested enough because you didn’t send a cover letter? Were you over-qualified or under-qualified?

    All of these responses can actually be helpful because they can show you what to do next time. And in some – very rare but not unheard of cases – they can actually turn a “no” into a “yes.”

    I recently watched a candidate who had just been turned down for a job at a Fortune 100, send a thank you note to her interviewer. “Yes,” said the candidate, “I know I look over-qualified for this particular aspect of the job, but the job would have helped me learn _______ which I haven’t done before. I was excited about that.”

    That employer reconsidered. They invited the candidate in, and they gave her an offer two days later.

    You just never know.

    Categories: Job Search Advice Tags:

    Best-Kept Job Search Tips for Job Seekers’ 2012 New Year’s Resolutions

    December 14th, 2011 No comments

    Lebanon, NH (December 13, 2011) – Trying to give job seekers a leg-up on 2012 job searches, StartWire™, a game-changing Internet job search organizer, is sharing its first annual Best-Kept Job Search Tips for 2012. Seeking to radically improve the job search process, StartWire closes the “résumé black hole” by providing job seekers with automatic application status updates from thousands of employers.


                “Typically, this is the time of year when job seekers reflect on their current job search and re-ignite their efforts to land a position in the new year,” said Chris Forman, CEO & Co-Founder of StartWire. “The problem is that job seekers have no real insight into the progress of previously submitted job applications. StartWire’s mission is to change this black hole mentality by providing updates on job searches and now also deliver proven job search recommendations to increase their chances for success.”

                StartWire’s 2012 Best-Kept Job Search Tips include:

    1. Early bird gets the job – Applying first to just-posted positions will dramatically increase your chance of getting hired. StartWire’s recent study of more than 6,600 hires across 10 industries shows that nearly 50% of company hires were applicants who applied within the first week and approximately 75% of all hired candidates applied within three weeks of the job posting.


    1. Read the business section – Thousands of resumes pour in from the help wanted/employment ads and job boards. If you really want to be considered for a job, take a look at the local newspaper’s business section or the regional business magazine to find unearthed opportunities. Positive corporate announcements, such as receiving funding or landing new clients, often mean new jobs. Get ahead of the game and contact recruiters before jobs are posted.


    1. Understand a company’s hiring approach – All companies recruit differently. Depending on the recruiting department’s philosophy, the company may hire exclusively through employee referrals or via corporate events. Take the time to find out what their hiring approach is and tailor your efforts to be noticed so that your resume will have a greater chance of making it to the top of the pile.


    1. Find local connections to industry jobs – Local connections are paramount in a successful job search. In addition to local business organizations, almost every industry has a professional association with local chapters. Send an introductory email to the local chapter leaders and attend some of the relevant events. It can open doors to future job positions. 


    1. Use Social Media to get inside– Actively following and engaging with potential employers’ social media networks may help increase your chances for an interview or a second look by hiring managers. This shows you are interested in the company and are actively following its efforts. Plus, social media circles often yield inside networking opportunities. Research shows that 1 in 10 candidates whose resumes come through a referral are hired, compared to 1 in 100 general applicants.

    Q & A: Laura Allen on How to Use a 15 Second Pitch to Market Yourself

    March 4th, 2011 Comments off

    Laura Allen once closed a $5.5 million deal that started with a cold call.  She is the co-founder of, a site which helps job seekers and entrepreneurs pitch themselves. She’s been interviewed by ABC News and The Wall Street Journal, now she sits down with us.

    Why do job seekers need a pitch?

    A pitch is a clear, concise, compelling way to explain who you are and what you do . You can say a lot in 15 seconds if you are focused, consistent and give it a little thought. It allows job seekers to talk about something they excel at, instead of talking about how they need a job.

    You talk about the importance of being brief. Why?

    Many years ago, people advocated for the value of an elevator pitch—a  sales pitch marketing your wares in two minutes. But we live in an ADHD society; most buildings aren’t tall enough for a two minute elevator ride.

    Few people have the time or energy to listen to an elevator pitch. To get the attention of a c-level leader, you need to get your point across fast. You need to be able to say who you are, what you do, why you are the best at what you do, and what you offer in a space that could fit on the back of a business card.

    A commanding quick pitch that is well received will get you 15 minutes later.  It will be remembered.

    What if I’d rather say I have a unique skill set than say I’m the best? Does this matter.

    People often say “why do I need to say that I’m the best at something, why can’t I talk about how what I offer that is different?” In reality, “why you are The Best at something is what makes you the most desirable AND employable!  People remember it.” You need them to remember you.

    Where should I use my quick pitch?

    You can use it anywhere—in an online summary in a social network, in an e-mail, on your Twitter or Facebook profile.  It’s a subtle way to market your skills, interests and what makes you unique.

    What’s the biggest mistake people make in pitching themselves?

    Using the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach. They talk about diverse interests and try to appeal to all. In the process, they appeal to none. Employers hire people to solve a specific problem. You need to focus on the skills that are relevant to the employer. If you have two interests, develop a separate custom pitch for each one. Don’t use a hybrid pitch.

    How do I know the needs of my audience?

    If you really want to know, ask the other person what they need first.  Be interested.  Listen well. I was at a networking event recently where a woman was in a panic because she had been underemployed for several years.  Two women attempted to share several job ideas with her. She was so busy talking about her fears and anxieties that she did not hear the advice given to her.  She interrupted these two well-meaning women so many times that they both gave up trying to help her.  Share your deepest fears with your closest friends; not with strangers at a networking event.

    When you hear what others need, you know better how to refine your pitch to show how you align with their needs. If you don’t fit with the needs, drop a name or refer a person who can help. When you give an opportunity away, you share good karma—and show maturity.

    What’s a question that I should ask that I haven’t asked. And what is your answer.

    Can you give me an example of a good pitch?
    Several years ago, I met a fellow named Ken at a networking event. When I asked him what he did, he said, “business development for the entertainment industry.” He had long hair but a nice suit. After a few questions, I learned more.

    When he reintroduced himself as a Kellogg MBA and Comic book fan who had put together a billion dollar deal for the Lord of the Rings, he became much more interesting to the same people who had yawned before.

    Can you give me actionable advice in 140 characters or less?

    Identify what you do best and how you can fill a need. Make this your pitch and prepare it before you need it.

    Editor’s Note: Check out the free pitch wizard at You’ll walk away with a draft pitch in under five minutes.

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