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The Career Hot Seat

Learn from Others' Job-Hunting Mistakes

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With more than 12 million people still unemployed in the U.S., the new reality show “The Job” on CBS strikes a chord with viewers. 

The show chronicles the plight of five contestants looking to find employment by surviving live interviews and enduring tests evaluating their skills. 

However, in the first episode only two of the five contestants were actually unemployed, which is unfortunate considering the millions of qualified candidates out there struggling to make ends meet.   If anything, the show did shed some light on why some folks out there are struggling. 

Here are three job-searching tips to help unemployed workers find their dream job: 

Do Your Homework. When the shows contestants were put to the test one showed up underdressed and the other lacked some basic skills the position required. Before applying and again before the interview do a quick online search to learn about a company’s culture, skill requirements and other relevant information that will help you stand out. 

It’s Not All About You. When the show’s contestants were given the chance to sell themselves to the hiring manager, a number of them spent the majority of their allotted time talking about how the job would change their life. When you are interviewing for a job, it’s not about you, it’s about what you bring to the table. President John F. Kennedy put it best in his inaugural address when he said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” 

Remember, you aren’t there to take, you are there to contribute! 

Address Your Mistakes. When faced with her litany of mistakes on the test trial, one of the show’s players, who was the first contestant to get the boot, failed to demonstrate what she learned and focused more on confirming her inadequacies. Bottom line, managers want learners, so be sure to address your mistakes and show you can learn.  

Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and the new on-line course The YOU Plan for Career Change on Udemy. Dr. Woody is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership. Follow Dr. Woody on Twitter and Facebook.

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