9 Common Job Search Mistakes That Will Immediately Disqualify You (#7 is a Doozy)

television jobs

If you want to work in entertainment, avoid some of these big time job search mistakes

There are far more than nine pitfalls of job seeking but many of those fall into the dumb, or criminal, mistake category. These are common mistakes job seekers make daily without even realizing how damaging they are.

Sometimes they are careless, other times oblivious.

Either way, when you make these job search mistakes your employment hopes will travel to the “NO” pile faster than the Ghostbusters remake can flop at the box office.


Here are the 9 most common job search mistakes people make – if you want to get a job, make sure these aren’t in your repertoire:

9 Common Job Search Mistakes That Will Immediately Disqualify You (#7 is a Doozy) Click To Tweet

1: Being Stupid

Contact information should be the easiest part of any resume or cover letter, but you’d be surprised how many people mess this up. And by mess it up I don’t mean inserting the wrong phone number or misspelling their own name, I mean something far worse.

“We were doing some hiring for a company and narrowed down their pool of candidates to eight that we thought could be their ideal employee,” says WorkinSports.com CEO John Mellor. “When we enacted our contact plan for next steps with the eight finalists, we realized one of them had the email address doubledsplease@email.com as their main point of contact.

“That was an immediate turnoff and disqualified the candidate even-though they had the right skill set for the job.  It showed a clear lack of judgment and professionalism.”

I’ve seen resumes with 420allday@email.com and ManEater@email.com and thought to myself, what are these people thinking?!

2: Spelling Errors

The most important attribute hiring managers are looking for is attention to detail.

Of course, they will analyze your skills, your experience and your references – but the real thing they are wanting is the confidence in knowing you can be trusted.

When a hiring manager recommends a potential hire, they are putting their name and reputation on the line too. If your resume or cover letter has spelling errors and inconsistent grammar, you can’t be trusted and you won’t be hired.

job search mistakes3: Not Knowing Thyself

“People make themselves appear ridiculous when they are trying to know obscure things before they know themselves.” – Plato

I’m no Plato, but the message is clear even if it has nothing to do with job searching.  You have to understand where you fit in an organization based on who you are, not who you want to be.

Don’t waste the time of an employer applying for a job you aren’t qualified for – and if someone advises you to ‘just go for it, you never know what will happen!’ that person is a fool, or is your mother (or in some instances, both).

job searching mistakes plato advice

“People make themselves appear ridiculous when they are trying to know obscure things before they know themselves.” – Plato (sorry, no color pictures of him)

All you will do is anger and frustrate employers.

Know where you fit. If you have a goal to be something bigger, develop a plan to get yourself there…but don’t skip steps and think you can vault yourself ahead of where you are ‘just because’.

4: Complete Applications in Lowercase

Anyone who reads much of my writing knows that I often reference the movie Se7en, it’s an addiction I am willing to admit. I’m in a Se7en step program (get it – ok that was awful)

Undaunted, here goes another one: while Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are close on the tail of a crazy psychopath played by Kevin Spacey, they find hundreds of his journals stashed in his apartment. As they sit to read them, they discover they are written in a manner reserved for movie bad guys – all lowercase, no spaces, stream of nut job consciousness.

It’s spooky.

Filling out a job application in all lowercase doesn’t make you a serial killer (or does it?), but it does tell employers, ‘this person is just going through the motions without intention or attention.’

“I get a lot of applications that are all lowercase and people will just upload the application and think that there are done,” says John Quinones, Vice President of Recruitment at Major League Baseball. “My feeling is if you are not going to take this simple step, I’m not going to take the extra step to find out whether or not you qualify.”

Spoiler Alert: Gwyneth Paltrow dies in the end of Se7en. Alright, I’ll stop…it’s a disease, I can’t help it.

5: Jumping from Job to Job

Hiring isn’t fun. It’s important, but it’s not fun.

Hiring managers want to put someone in a role and feel confident that they won’t have to return to that position for a while, unless the person is so good they get promoted.

If the majority of your relevant job experience is at various companies for under a year each – red flag. Big time. Employment isn’t a game of quantity, we’re looking for quality.

The impression job hopping makes is that you are unsettled, unsure and lacking commitment – these are not attributes someone wants in a new hire. Think big picture before you leave a job and make sure there isn’t valuable experience you can still gain there. It will help you greatly in the long run.

6: Not Following Instructions

“Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind” – General Douglas MacArthur

Great quote. Powerful. Confident. And I’m sure inspiring to the bevy of troops under his command.

It’s also really, really misguided in about 90% of circumstances – especially in job seeking.

job searc mistakes follow instructions

Thank goodness MacArthur didn’t climb many ladders while leading the troops in the Philippines

“Follow instructions,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of the online job search site FlexJobs. “I’ve hired for hundreds of positions and can usually eliminate about a third of applicants because they didn’t follow the instructions in the job description.”

It’s a pretty easy filter – if the instructions say:

  • No phone calls please and someone calls…
  • Fill out the entire application and someone doesn’t…
  • Include references and someone ignores that request…

The list can go on and on. Again, it’s about attention to detail and being coachable. If you can’t listen and follow the simple steps, how are you supposed to achieve great heights in an organization?

7: Assume the Hiring Manager is a Man

Want to really make a hiring manager mad? Assume that they must be a Mr. and not a Mrs. – and then stand back, because you are in for it.

Don’t be the ignorant person that assumes a person with decision making power must be a man.

“I once had a candidate that was in the running for a job – they had the skills we needed, they had enough experience, they weren’t perfect but they had a good chance,” recalls a female television executive who would prefer to remain anonymous. “We set up a phone interview and when I was on the other line, the candidate insisted that they must have the wrong person. I asked them why this felt wrong to them, and they explained without any remorse, because the person I am supposed to interview with is a man.

“Playing along, I asked coyly, ‘why would you think that?’ he obviously didn’t see the trap before him and said ‘because that’s the way things work.'”

“I’d love to tell you this has only happened this one time, but that would be a lie. It happens at least once a month.”

There is really nothing else to say.

josb search mistakes find music jobs8: Wrong Name or Wrong Title

The shotgun technique for job seekers is wrought with problems. If you aren’t familiar with the shotgun technique, it’s essentially sending out your cover letter and resume to any job you think comes close to your skills and letting the various hiring managers figure it out.

Some people seem to believe applying for 30 jobs a week raises their chances of finding the “one”.


The problem, other than #3 above, is when someone takes this approach they aren’t personalizing any correspondence, they aren’t researching and showing how connected they are to their potential employer. Instead, they are copying and pasting their resume and cover letter across multiple platforms – which leads to big, embarrassing mistakes.

“There’s been numerous times when I’ve gotten a letter or a resume that has been addressed to my name, manager of human resources, Washington Redskins or Washington Capitals,” says Alan Gromest, Manager of Human Resources for the Washington NATIONALS.

Clearly these applicants were just sending their resume out without concern for accuracy or proper personalization. Big mistake.

9: Social Media Failures

Every resume needs your LinkedIn profile included, that is the expectation, but don’t think for one second hiring managers aren’t looking deeper into your closets. Twitter, Facebook, G+…all fair game.

If you like to rant and rave about pop culture issues and your style is borderline, or includes jokes your friends would get, but the rest of the world may view you as a pig – you are in for a rude awakening.

“My best piece of advice for people who are quick to tweet or share without thinking is Notepad,” says Chicago Tribune social media editor Scott Kleinberg. “Instead of typing what you want to say in the social media program, type your f-bombs and insults and incoherent babble in notepad. Go nuts. Bang on the keys if you are mad. And then hit the delete key until you see each letter disappear. Now, type what you really should type – without the choice words. It’s therapeutic because you technically got it out, you just didn’t get it out there where everyone can see it. And remember it.”

Being an ahole on social media is yet another quick way to end up the “NO” pile faster than Taylor Swift can get a new boyfriend. (At least it wasn’t another Se7en reference)

What job search mistakes did we miss? Add them to the comments below!

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.


  1. I hope that the same HR people will get a dose of their own medicine when they hit 50 years of age trying to make ends meet, put their kids through college, and pay the mortgage. Oh, and by the way, a college degree, 2 associates, a MBA, and 40 hours above a Masters doesn’t matter when you’re in your fifties. What goes around comes around.

    • Denise – I feel your pain in your writing, let me know if I can do anything to help – sounds like you are in a tough spot right now. -Brian

      • I’m 38 and trying to secure a job that I spent years studying for in college. I have my Master’s Degree and some additional schooling which by some accounts, would make me a bit overqualified for the job I’m seeking. The issue I keep running into is every employer wants someone with anywhere from 5-7 years experience in my field! How can I get the experience without getting the job? I’ve even written a follow-up letter to a couple of employers after my interview offering to work for free for a certain period if time to prove that I will be an asset to their company.

        • Lisa – Thanks for commenting, I can completely understand your frustration. Before I can really add much to the conversation can you tell me what type of job you are looking for? And what your degree is in? I may be able to help… -Brian

      • Suzann Loyd says:

        Are Denise and Lee correct about fifty-something’s being passed over and ignored for positions?

        And, if this is indeed correct, what is the basis HR representatives use to disqualify this age group? What makes someone over 50 years of age not worth hiring?

        • Suzann – I think skills still speak volumes to employers, if you got em it doesn’t matter how old you are. But I also don’t want to be naive, I’m sure there are some HR people or hiring managers who look right past 50 somethings… but I can’t explain why, since that sounds ridiculous to me. – Brian

          • Jeffrey Lowy says:

            Interesting comments about 50-somethings having trouble finding a job. I’m sure for some jobs that might be true, albeit illegal (although who wants to try to prove it). I wouldn’t apply for a lot of social media or audience engagement jobs for companies or artists that are trying to market/appeal to millennials….that might be a problem.
            On the other hand, there seems to be a pendulum swing for a lot of HR people. 50-somethings are of a generation that was trained to work hard and long, often exhausting hours, nights and weekends. The 20-somethings that are looking for a job are stressing work-life balance. They want to know how much paid time off they get. They want to know if there are a gym, game room, and free snacks.

            I just interviewed for an entertainment job…working days, nights, holidays, weekends, whatever. And I think that’s refreshing to an HR manager who needs experienced help, that won’t be looking for the next job in a year and is willing to show up early, stay late, etc.

            Don’t give up the ship. We still have a lot to offer…

          • Couldn’t agree more Jeffrey – great comment! – Brian

        • My guess is that they are thought of as less “trainable,” are thought to not want to start at the bottom of the pay scale, may have serious medical issues known and/or unknown, assumed to have too many issues, presumed to possibly retire sooner, or they may even consider the time getting a 50+ person settled in not worth it.

          I’ve never had an issue with employers nor getting jobs, but each time I stepped back into the ring (after a failed marriage, after raising 7 children, after a forced career change due to an abusive situation [we are all fine now!]), I’ve really had to prove that there is no one for the job but me. And it’s not been easy because though I’m educated, I’ve no degree and each of my specialities have lost licensing/certification due to not continuing to work other than freelance in order to successfully raise productive kids.

          To get someone to get to know me takes creative work even on my resume–because the truth is, my information shows my age. The year I started working and going to college, for instance, let someone know I am not 25.

          Furthermore, whether we admit it or not, the HR/hiring person is HUMAN and if they aren’t nearing/over 50 themselves, they may unconsciously go for the experienced but younger person. We’ve all been there. It’s not even something you think about.

          If age didn’t matter-no one would work so hard and pay so much money (skin cream, for example, is a billion dollar industry) to slow it down. Makes sense that even on paper, a resume, we would gravitate to the best person for the job… and out of the 8, who has potential to stay with us the longest?

          There aren’t a lot of beginning actors becoming “stars” at the tender age of 53. Shoot, most (except for the absolute brightest stars) are flickering and realizing what excellent character actors they will make if they wanna keep working.

          Ramble… yeah, I can see problems for older people. Too bad we don’t realize the older people are often more mature, have good experience, and will be more dedicated in the long run.

      • Linda Salvati says:


        I think you are very sweet to reach out to Suzann. I mean this seriously. Very kind to help.
        Yes, at 59, it is difficult re-entering the career I had before lay-offs. My hope is that
        more HR recruiters and hiring managers may have witnessed in their personal lives someone dear to them going through the lack of employment opportunity and give back.

  2. Lee Clymer says:

    I so deeply agree. I spent over thirty five years in telecommunications, and I got laid off in 2004 and haven’t been able to find a job in my field since. At fifty – nine it is even worse, of course. I have even been back to college to change fields (to digital media), and I angered by the lack of attention employers give to seniors. I am also a Vietnam Era veteran, but nothing seems to matter. I am still not getting a decent job. Since people are living much longer, and are remaining vibrant well into their seventies, I don’t understand why employers will not take advantage of our experience and wisdom that can only be acquired by being there and working many years at our craft. Maybe I should move to Asia where they have common sense in business.

  3. Micky Baker says:

    I don’t think it’s true that employers care about what you say on Social Media. We see sports figures saying things that we don’t agree with all of the time, including those on our favorite teams. Employers should watch out for burning the bridges with people that would be perfect for the position and maybe they should set the rules after you’re hired and not apply them by not hiring the good, hard working people who have a right to have an opinion.

    One of these was common during Monday Night Football and Bob Costas going on his political rants that should have been be offensive enough to fire Bob Costas if the same types of things would mean not hiring someone. Bob Costas might have right skills, but apparently the rules don’t apply to him. This was in particular his views on gun control during the halftime of Monday Night Football.

    Then you have people who hate the tea party calling the Tea Party terrorists, and some of these people are in places where they make the decisions to hire or not hire. You see, political views are a protected right of the people. You don’t have to agree with me. I’m not going to treat you differently in the work place, but if you want to try to dehumanize me by telling me that I don’t care for the poor and that I’m “only for the rich”, or that I’m a racist because I don’t support what the progressives are doing, then you don’t deserve me if defending myself from the libelous and slanderous attacks in the political arena offends you.

    It seems that it doesn’t go both ways in politics. If you’re on the left, you don’t get held accountable for calling women nasty names or dropping the f-bomb. If you’re on the right, you get blacklisted. That’s not okay to do.

    After you hire them, you can let them know, but to make that a reason not to hire is indeed discriminatory. It’s not ethical to have a double standard. I hope the author understands how subjective the point he made on Social Media is. The employer can’t discriminate for any other reason except for political views, apparently.

    There is a reason I don’t turn the TV on to ESPN to watch a game and a reason I didn’t watch Monday Night Football. Stick with football Bob Costas. It’s not there for you to get on your soap box about and then be critical of those that don’t agree with you and then not hire them because they don’t.

    By the way, why should anyone have to pay for a subscription to find a job in sports like this website charges?

    • Micky – thanks for responding we always enjoy a passionate comment!….but I think we took a left (or right) turn somewhere (notice I didn’t want it to be a political statement and kept it ambidextrous). Hiring managers will look at your social media – it’s an undeniable fact – but its not for the reasons you are concerned about (i.e. political views) I have never heard of anyone taken out of consideration for a job based political views – I have known people removed from consideration because of pictures of them doing keg stands, smoking pot, public urination – things of that nature. The point is, be smart if you don’t think your mom would want to see it, don’t put it on social media – and if your mom enjoyes public urination of smoking pot, we’ll that’s another discussion to be had.

      As for why we charge a subscription for complete access to out 6,000 + sports jobs and internships – I think we articulate it very well right here:

      If you have questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to ask – I respond to every single inquiry. And P.S. you aren’t the only person who was mad at Bob Costas – many many people complained.

      – Brian

      • Micky Baker says:


        You mean Rush Limbaugh wasn’t prohibited from buying the St. Louis Rams because of his political views? Of course he was.

        I don’t drink, do drugs, or anything like that. However, I have been called a terrorist by one guy that worked at ESPN at the time he said it on twitter. He didn’t get fired for it either. I’ve been called a racist on Twitter because I don’t agree with Obama by people responsible for hiring people in the profession that I’m going to graduate in next month. I’ve been called much worse names than those because I disagree with people who are in position of hiring people and by HR managers.

        But what I’ve never done is called anyone or referred to anyone as a racial slur. But I’ve been called a cracker. I’ve been called an anarchist, but I’m not one. I’ve been called a lot of names Brian. Some of these people probably work in sports, and still have their jobs. In fact, some of them have posted crap on Twitter and still have their jobs. In fact, I know Keith Olbermann worked in sports when he said it on Twitter.

        There is a clear bias in the entertainment industry against conservatives who aren’t the same kind of conservative from the 1860s or 1960s. I also know of former athletes like Roger Craig, Jim Abbot, and Erick Dickerson who follow me on Twitter that don’t disagree with me but they are often found at the bad end of the insults, particularly Craig and Dickerson because they’re black and don’t agree with Obama.

        I’ve also stood behind minorities like Michelle Malkin who has been called nasty names, but I bet those people didn’t lose their jobs. Dana Loesch was threatened when she lived in St. Louis, she’s now in Dallas. Think about that, two of the largest media sports media markets in the country, but she’s not threatened in Dallas, TX, a state where “we’re supposed to hate women” according to the progressives.

        I know you didn’t want to make it political, but in the end, the entertainment and sports industry placed itself into politics. When people in the industry attempt to dehumanize people who are politically opposite, it should sound alarms. Let’s look at Dennis Rodman. A free society is not a place for group think, and when they try to ridicule someone by dehumanizing them, which is exactly what Keith Olbermann did while working for both MSNBC and ESPN, he got away with it.

        There are some names for you. That doesn’t cover it all as this is written quite hastily in response to you. I don’t buy that employers, including those in the sports industry do not discriminate based on political views. I believe that Bob Costas wouldn’t keep his job if he was a conservative and ranted in favor of giving teachers a chance to protect the children from deranged shooters.

        I think there is more to this outlook, especially in media, than you’re willing to acknowledge. ESPN is owned by ABC News. If I said the things that some of these people in sports media have said when I was going to college for Radio and Television Communications, I would have had my scholarship taken away from me.

        Piers Morgan is another one. He is a big soccer expert in European leagues. He gets away with it too. It’s because his bosses approve of his message.

        Enough of this rant for now, but there are clearly people on both sides of the aisle and one side of the aisle isn’t being treated equally.


        • Micky – I understand you have some anger towards established names in the sports industry, and you feel you have been unfairly punished for your political views – I’m sorry but I can’t really help you with that. Maybe some employers do discriminate based on political views – I can’t speak for every employer out there, all I recommend is that everyone is careful what they share or say on social media because it can negatively impact you in your job search. If you disagree that is your right, if you believe you should be able to say whatever you want, that is also your right. My intent was not to upset you, rather I was just attempting to give clarity (and a bit of humor) to my article. I hope this venting has helped you, I know sometimes it makes me feel better to let off some steam. I wish you the best on your path – Brian

          • Micky Baker says:


            It’s really no use. If you have to stop believing in certain things in order to find work, then we are no longer a free country. We’re a country full of “group thinkers” that believe that only they can have the right and anyone that doesn’t fall in shouldn’t have the right. That’s not American.


          • Micky – As the great Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson once said (and I’m paraphrasing here), “If the 53rd man on the roster fell asleep in a meeting, I would cut him immediately and make a big scene about it so no one would make the same mistake again… if Troy Aikman or Emmitt Smith fell asleep in a meeting I would tap them on the shoulder and say hey troy are you feeling ok, can I get you anything?”

            To think you and I play by the same rules as Troy Aikman, Bob Costas, Keith Olbermann, Rush Limbaugh or any other well established voice is I think is misguided. Best of luck to you.

  4. Matt Gerhan says:

    I agree with most of this, although with number five I’ve had four internships, but I always knew they were going to end. I had two before I went to grad school and I have had two in grad school, couple were at the same time. I would love to stay somewhere for 20 years, but that opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet. Sometimes you don’t have a choice but to move on.

    • Matt thanks for commenting – #5 was about job hopping – not intern hopping. Of course those come to an end, and of course an employer understands that while in college or grad school internships are the best way to gain experience. Do as many as you can! – Brian

  5. I want to get in on the ground floor of the local rock station here in my city.My first question is this:regardless of why I have been invited for a face to face interview,should I dress for success or go more modern with new,clean jeans,good shoes and a good looking button down shirt(untucked)?
    How do I capture this info without asking right out from someone inside the station seeing this would be an opportunity to show my stuff.I’m lost on this subject..one of the on air guys is really a good guy the one time I spoke with him.Should I contact him and explain my desire for geting in with the sstation and what the hiring managers style is like and what he would expect,accept or throww me out the door look.Can you share your well earned ideas on this subject?


    Dave Sowers 2/17/15

  6. Good advice all around. I agree with all of it. I also unfortunately know from experience that, even though you can’t prove it, age discrimination exists. People in their 50’s and 60’s, unless their lucky, will not be hired for a staff position these days.

  7. AlterCocker says:

    Well, if you were applying for a job with me you wouldn’t get very far…if you’re going to use Yiddish, you need to learn to spell it. The word is “oy”–no “e.”

    • Good advice AlterCocker, I’ll edit that change. You have some tough standards if you don’t hire people who spell oy incorrectly – thank goodness I’m not applying for a job with you! -Brian

  8. Cary Schulman says:

    Great dialogue! I just want to say that we all face obstacles, hurdles, discomfort, prejudices and sometimes we are misunderstood. It is not easy and if it is for anyone, it is not a gift for we only learn humility and only obtain true higher consciousness through overcoming adversity. My point, we can let unfairness stand in our way or we can overcome. If you think you have it hard, go to your local public school which cares for severely disabled children, walk around, speak with some of them and their teachers and parents and if you are still depressed about your situation, you simply do not get it yet. Do not fall into the pity trap even though we all do from time to time. Get out of it because it only brings more of the same. Accept full responsibility for where you are at and for everything that has happened to you in your life because only then do you have power. Once you accept the responsibility, then the only thing standing in your way is yourself. If you take the other view, well then you will never overcome because hey, what can you do it is not your fault. Get out of this negative trap. We all face this, all of us. Even those which seem privileged and without difficulties have their own; trust me on this. You just do not see it from where you are standing. Elvis, the most beloved man on earth possibly, was depressed and felt alone. Think about that. So, the answer is, despite the trap of self-pity and it is out-of-my-hands attitudes, resist these. Rather, reject them in your mind. This is proactive. Accept responsibility, think proactively and positively, keep trying despite difficulties, all the while enjoying the miracle of life by living in the moment, and you will get where you need to go. Sometime where we think we need to be is not really where we need to be; we just do not know it yet. We are all learning and that is the only purpose we have here. It is not to die with the most toys. So ask yourself, would you have learned as much as you have not going through the difficult times? Then maybe you are exactly where you need to be to learn the lesson which you are currently being taught. Me saying this is one thing but following my own advice is very difficult and I have to remind myself constantly of this because everyday I want to blame others for my situation. But if I only learned from going through adversity, and that is truly the purpose for our being, maybe I should be thanking them. I know this is true and so I have taken the time to try and help others learn what took me much too long and which I still struggle with. Learn this and you can really sore into much greater lessons as you do not get to go to step 9 until you master 8. So for all of the people who have treated me unfairly, abused me, placed me in very difficult situations, caused me to be depressed and full of self-pity, for all of those people who did not give me a chance when I thought I was the most deserving and for all of those people who overlooked me for less qualified or talented people, I sincerely and truly thank you.

    • Good stuff Cary – I’ll admit whenever I am looking at our comments and someone has a long post they are usually bashing me or my perspective on some issue — it was a nice change to read your story and share in your experience! Best of luck, Brian

  9. Angelica says:

    Great article. Good advice! loved the movie reference 🙂

  10. Hi Brian,

    I read all 9 common job search mistakes and I don’t believe I have made any of these. My problem is that I don’t have a degree, but have worked in Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable for a total of 35+ years and recently lost my job due work our accounting department being outsourced to India. I’ve had a temp job for about 5 months, but unfortunately it did not go full time. I am 58 and believe that I’m being overlooked or not considered for employment, even for temp jobs because they are afraid after a year or two, I would want to retire, which is so far from the truth. I am single with one child still at home to support. I follow all instructions, even if it may take an hour or so to fill out their online applications, and send out at least 3 to 7 resumes a week, it’s frustrating because I have a lot of experience, (no degree though) with strong work ethics. What can I do to get people to believe in me and give me a chance? I’m trying to stay positive and pray a lot, but I want to and need to work. Simple as that!

    • Susie – I think your best bet is to connect with people you have worked with over your 35 years in the industry – they know you, they know the quality of your work and you can tell them directly that you aren’t planning on retiring anytime soon. You’ll have a much better chance leveraging the relationships that you’ve made in the industry rather than expecting some new person at some new company to take a chance on you. Best of Luck!! Brian

  11. Good Day Brian !
    Found your article circa 2014…in 2016.
    Great advise!
    My question is regarding the time on the job piece.
    Working in the Event arena, my resume reflects a fair litney of travel and one day large scale event work.
    Any insight on how to articulate my passion for events and travel into a “nutshell” on a resume without fending off clients looking for ” years on the job” commitment?

    • It’s a good question – most employers understand that this requirement changes depending on the job – you aren’t working a standard 9-5 career, you are in more of a freelance/event to event world – so that particular piece of advice doesn’t apply to you as directly as others. For you they’ll want to see the types of events you’ve worked on and the overall experience you have in the industry! – Brian

  12. I don’t know about 7 honestly. I would argue that in many official settings a woman takes the masculine address and that this is enough justify the, “mistake.” Modern culture still defaults to the masculine article and there is a fine line between a default and an assumption. That said, if the hiring manager takes offense they are the person guilty of assumption in that they assumed a guess at their gender had been made. More often than not we don’t think about the article we use so for someone to take such petty offense, I believe, is evidence of a poor leader and someone you really don’t want to get stuck working for.

    There’s all this anxiety centered around making the most pristine application/resume/cover letter/first born rights/ etc so that one might be considered for the position. There’s something very wrong with that. I had a boss who acted as though working for him was a privilege and keeping me employed was some kind of personal favor (it wasn’t even a selfless act, not at my pay rate). If I have to suffer through another period of time with an employer who believes they are above L&I conduct codes and has the whole, “My way is the right way ’cause I’m the Boss!” attitude, it just might be a start to a very long rap sheet.

    inevitably someone may suggest that with more than one bad experience behind me perhaps the problem isn’t with the employers. I would have to agree, it takes two to tango. I’ve had some amazing bosses too and the thing is, if you treat me with respect and pay me a (remotely) fair wage there isn’t anything within reason that I wouldn’t do in return and I work hard.

    I’ll probably be accused of a poor attitude or a problem with authority which is a cheap way to disagree while belittling someone simultaneously. I don’t have a problem with authority, I have a problem with arrogance from the people above who set arbitrary rules and regs to keep things from growing too fast and ensuring they still have some relevance in their old age.Selfish Self-important Narcissism, that’s the real bad attitude.

    • Angel – you jumped from point to point here so I’m not sure what your exact point is. In regards to item #7 — if you were on a phone interview with a woman, and asked to speak to the man in charge you honestly don’t see that as a problem?! It’s not a simple saying Mr. vs. Mrs. — this is coming out and saying to a woman, you can’t possibly be the person in charge of me. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you didn’t read the whole thing, and just wanted to get your “I’ve had bad bosses” rant off your chest. — Brian


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