Monthly Archives: January 2012

“What’s Wrong With Interviews?”

Today I received my daily email from–the electronic recruiter’s thought-provoking newsletter. Several times a week this one piece of email makes me take a minute to sit back and think about trends and truths in job seeking.

Just such an opportunity came up today and I jumped at it–for you–the job seeker.

Today’s post contained an article from regular contributor Dr. John Sullivan, Professor of Management at San Francisco State University and author of over 900 articles on HR and 8 books!

If you are like  many job seekers I speak with who have a ‘hard heart’ towards HR this is important information. It may just open some job seeker eyes. That is my goal anyway.

Dr. Sullivan’s article is written for HR professionals and the point is that THEY could be doing a better job interviewing. (To be honest, HR is usually pretty good at interviewing. It’s the OTHER departments that usually don’t understand how to play the game.) Anyway I thought this article important enough for job seekers to read that I took a moment to formally request permission from Dr. Sullivan to make it available to you.

This read will provide you with a 180° view of the interviewing process. In other words–this is your chance to look at the interviewing process from the other side of the desk and understand that the profession is working hard to get even better at what they do.

For your review please click on the this title: What’s Wrong With Interviews? The Top 50 Most Common Interview Problems by Dr. John Sullivan.

Good (Job) Hunting!

Rick Gillis

I’m Seeking a New Title

I’m Seeking a Title

Posted on January 15, 2012 by rick


I have been giving a lot of thought lately to what I should call myself professionally. I’m seeking a title.

So, you might ask, what could this drivel have to do with me? Why am I wasting my time reading this? I’m looking for a job.
Stay with me–especially if you are job seeking–and you’ll see the value in this post.

I have always been reluctant in calling myself a career coach. I’m not. I don’t usually do the once-a-week, half-hour phone session, etc. (My sessions tend to be few and highly effective. People land their next job and I never hear from them again except on LinkedIn.)

I don’t like the term coach as people may apply it to me. As a friend of mine who attended a national coaching conference several years ago told me upon his return—what he learned from being there was that in order to become a coach all you need (his words) “is a pencil.”

I agree. I could send a bunch of money to one of the various ‘certifying’ organizations, learn the secret handshake, drink the Kool-Aid, obtain an official, multicolored certificate (Suitable for Framing) and access to a logo that I could place on my website and b/card–for what?! Hell, I can create my own certificate and design a logo right here at my desk.

The best counselors/coaches I recommend (and there aren’t too many) are those who have specific degrees and extensive experience in the field they coach. I’m also a fan of psychology and counseling degrees. Are you getting the gist yet? There is no such thing as a Bachelor or Master’s Degree in Coaching. Who have YOU been listening to?

Now in fairness I genuinely believe that most life/career coaches have their client’s best interest at heart; they are the real-deal and offer a valid service. Many people come to appreciate their one-on-one sessions with their trusted adviser and I have been personally advised by one or two I trust–because I know their background.

When it comes to job search (as opposed to career) coaches I find most are little more than job seekers who have attended a multitude of job-search networking meetings and eventually come away thinking “I can do that” and begin their coaching/speaking “careers.” In my opinion these people do more damage than good. They usually don’t understand the mechanics behind the techniques and tactics someone like me will teach. Nevertheless they motor on–taking on clients–until they land their next job.

The other variant is the goof who manages to land a job with a state employment agency and after a week or two of “training” and taking a swig of that same Kool-Aid believes that they have all the answers. Once again and to be fair, there are some really good folks at these agencies–it’s the ‘newbies’ you have to watch out for.

Essentially these players cheapen what I do. I am really good at what I do. My successes speak for themselves.

I am self-made; I did not apply for a job in the job search/employment/ speaking/authoring/radio & TV guesting business. A pastor buddy of mine says its my calling. (I tend to agree. I wasn’t looking for this!) I got here by virtue of my sales & product development career with 4 different job boards. I claim to be a pioneer of online job search and I can defend that claim–with references. I write. I speak. I study. (Just keeping up with social media and job search takes several hours a week.) I have a degree in management, have written 3 books on job search with a new one soon to hit the streets. I speak on the subject and talk with employment professionals daily. I am continuously learning. It’s necessary–job search in this economy and in the electronic era is a moving target.

But back to the task at hand: giving myself a ‘working title.’ I have decided that going forward I will call myself a Job Search Advocate. That’s what I do. Using the term ‘advocate’ I can coach if I please and counsel to my heart’s content. The fact is that I do a TON of one-on-one job search counseling with clients all over the country. If you REALLY want to learn how to successfully navigate the obstacles that modern job search has become–the software, social media, mindset, documentation, interviewing/negotiating/age discrimination (both young and old) issues that exist–I can do that. Drop me an email.

I want to leave you with a question: Where are you getting your job search advice from?

HNY (!) and Thoughts on CREATIVE Job Search

Dear Job Seeker!
Happy New Year (HNY)! It’s 2012 and I’m feeling better about this coming year than I have in a long time. I predicted the jobs/employment/mortgage crash a good 3 years before it all came tumbling down. Back then my audiences thought I was nuts. Unfortunately I wasn’t. I was dead on.

Although we have the European financial mess to keep an eye on as well as the movement of the Chinese yuan I’m thinking that this is the year that corporate America will finally begin loosening the purse strings somewhat and begin hiring. The real blast won’t come until after the November elections–which in reality means activity in 2013–but the run up to action begins this year and hiring is a necessary and vital component to corporate success (ya think?!).

OK. Enough of my drivel. What I would like to propose to you in the moment is two fold: First–your mindset as a job seeker and Second–the level of creativity in your job search.

Although one week we hear good news about jobs and the economy the following week we get an entirely different read. And so it goes.

With that in mind I would like you to remain informed (always important–don’t ya think?!) but here is YOUR focal point: You are only seeking ONE JOB! That is your goal. Nothing more. Nothing less. One job. Kinda makes all the reported ups and downs in the news a little less important when you are seeking only for you.

The ‘creative’ I bring to this posting is that I would like you, dear job seeker, to try to really, really think outside the box (‘outside the box’ is one of my least favorite cliche’s but it suits the discussion at hand) and get creative–really creative–in your job search this year–actually this week! And by creative I mean to do something to get someone’s attention that surprises even you. And then do it again. And again. And again until someone responds.

I have all kinds of ideas that, as a sales guy, I have used over the years to make the appointment. Some are mentioned in my “The Real Secret to Finding a Job” book. The action taken necessarily needs to suitably fit — and then exceed — the position and person.

Networking is still the only and best way to find a job. I teach ALL kinds of job search tactics…and I’m the best around to teach you preparation for when you DO make that handshake but till then how about REALLY doing something extraordinary that will make an impression and get someone to call you?!

Over the holidays my wife and went and saw the Matt Damon/Cameron Crowe move “We Bought a Zoo.” There was a line/thought/idea repeated a couple of times in the movie that I really liked and it suits this discussion. The idea was that most great acts of heroism, altruism or just plain courage (to include ‘making the phone call!) only take 20 seconds to accomplish! Isn’t that a great concept? How many ’20 seconds’ are you sorry you have passed on during your life? Well, that’s too many!

Focus on that idea during your job search. Maybe it just means making that cold call to the ONE person who could make a difference. Do It!

I was speaking with Steven Carr, CEO of, and I mentioned to him that Google receives some 25,000 resumes PER WEEK! Think about that. So how the hell do you rise about the talent (and clutter) of 25,000 resumes?!

Steve off-handedly mentioned that he would take his resume and have it engraved on a brass plate and send it off to the senior manager of the division he wanted to work for. We chuckled at the idea but the outrageousness of the idea is rich! Although sending a brass resume might now actually land you the job (resumes don’t land jobs. they land appointments.) –it will sure as hell get everyone’s attention and in all likelihood get you the phone call.

So ‘think outside the box’ might be a trite cliche but damn–it just might work. Remember: you aren’t looking for a job. You are looking for a phone call!

Think outside the box.

Happy New Year and Good (Job) Hunting!

Rick Gillis
Job Search Expert/Author/Speaker


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