“Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?” Best Answers

Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job

Job hunting while you’re employed is a great way to advance your career and explore new opportunities.

But your answer to, “why are you looking to leave your current job?” can make or break your job interview, and be the difference between getting a job offer and not hearing back from the employer.

So I’m going to share my favorite method to explain why you want to leave your current job and take a new position, based on what I’ve seen works best during my time as a Recruiter.

Let’s get started…

How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Leave Your Job?”

First- Mistakes to Avoid!

Now… it might sound like they’re inviting you to bad-mouth and talk about the negative aspects of your current job when they ask something like, “Tell me why you want to leave your current position.”

But don’t do it.

Hiring managers do not want to hire someone who does this, and you don’t want to sound like you’re too eager to leave your current job anyway.

You have a big advantage if you’re job hunting while employed. Companies will want you more, and they know they need to put in more effort to attract you (since you already have a job that you’re safe/secure in).

So use this to your advantage when answering questions about why you want to leave your job right now, and don’t badmouth or make it sound like you dislike your job right now.

Here’s what to do instead…

Instead of Bad Mouthing or Complaining, Talk About What You Want Gain

What do you hope to gain or get MORE of in this job transition?

It could be a certain work environment you’d like to be a part of. A certain challenge you’d like to tackle (like leading a team, leading project, working more hands-on, etc.)

It could be a variety of things. But pick one or two things that you really want to do more of… and make sure they’re things that this job offers.

(You don’t want to say you’re looking for an opportunity to lead people if the job is an individual contributor role. Why would they hire you for a job that doesn’t fit what you say you want to be doing?)

But if you do this correctly, it will show them that you’re not desperate and that you’re looking for the RIGHT fit, not just for any job that’ll take you.

That’s a GREAT way to position yourself as a top candidate and someone they should hire.

There’s also one more thing you should do when answering, “why are you looking to leave your job?”… at the very start of your answer…

Also Talk About What You’ve Enjoyed in Your Current Job

If you feel it’s appropriate, you can also talk about how you’re grateful for what you’ve learned in your current job. Or talk about how you’ve built great skills there, but it’s simply time for something new.

Here’s what this might sound like:

“I’ve learned a lot here and it’s been great. I just feel it’s time for a move because I want more of an opportunity to do ____”.

That’s one way to begin an answer to the question of why you want to leave your current job.

A few other examples/phrases you could use to start your answer:

“I’ve learned a lot in this role, but after 2 years, I feel I’m ready for ____”.

“I’ve enjoyed this position a lot over the past 3 years. I just feel that in order to grow my career further, I need to expose myself to new challenges, and your company caught my attention because ____”.

One word of warning: Be aware that if you say you want more of an opportunity to do something, the interviewer will ask if you’ve tried to get that in your current job.

Example: If you say you want to be more involved in working with customers or clients, the hiring manager will probably say, “have you tried to see if there’s an opportunity to do this in your current company?”

So, be ready for that.

Now let’s look at some full example interview answers…

Example Answers for Why You Want to Leave Your Current Job

Sample Answer #1:

Let’s say your boss won’t let you manage any projects right now. Instead of badmouthing, you could say this:

“I’ve enjoyed my role a lot, but I’ve been here for two years and think it’s time to challenge myself further. One thing I’d love to do is manage projects, and I noticed that’s mentioned on the job description for this role. I’ve asked my current boss about this and it’s just not a responsibility that I can take on in my current role or my current team, and they don’t have room to promote me right now, so that’s why I’m willing to leave my current job.”

Sample Answer #2:

Maybe your job bores you to death. There’s no human interaction, and you just sit in front of a computer entering data into spreadsheets. Not fun, right? So you want a more exciting job.

But instead of badmouthing and saying the job is too easy, boring, etc., you could give an answer like this:

“I’ve gotten a lot out of my current position in the year I’ve been there. However, I think to continue challenging myself and growing in my career, it’s time for a change. Right now my role doesn’t involve a lot of human interaction, and that’s a skill I want to build more of. I love that this job seems to offer a mix of data entry like I’m doing now, but also some customer service work. I love interacting with customers and it’s something I did a lot of in my job I held three years ago, so I’d love to get back to doing some of that. Can you tell me more about how I’d help in your customer service efforts in this role?”

These two example interview answers assume you’re actively searching for jobs and really trying to get out of your current job (even though you’re not going to say that).

So, to recap, it’s okay to say you’re actively searching. It’s great to name a few things that you’d like more of in your next job – especially if you’re sure that this new job would offer those things!

But never sound like you’re miserable in your current job. It’s not going to help you get job offers, plain and simple.

Let’s look at one more example now. What if you’re not actively job searching AT ALL. Maybe a Recruiter called you, etc. Here’s a good example for that scenario.

Answering “Why Do You Want to Leave Your Job?” if You’re not Actively Job-Searching

If you weren’t searching, but you got on the phone with a recruiter and they convinced you to take an interview with the hiring manager, the hiring manager still might ask why you want to leave your current job.

So you need to be ready with great answers for the phone interview when they ask questions about this topic.

You can be direct and explain you’re not actively searching. But don’t stop there…

If you just say that and stop, they’ll be worried you’re not serious about considering their job, and then they will NOT offer you the position.

It’s okay if you’re on the fence and not sure you’d accept their job anyway, but you want to get the job offer, right? There’s no point on getting on the phone and immediately eliminating yourself from contention.

So you want to make it clear that you’re not in an active search, but then name one or two things that might attract you to a new position and make it worthwhile to leave your current job.

Here’s an example of how this might sound…

Example Answer if You’re NOT Actively Job Hunting:

“I’m actually not in an active job search, however when your recruiter contacted me about the position, it seemed interesting. I’ve been managing people for two years in my current job and would love to take on more leadership as I advance in my career. The recruiter I spoke with, Josh, mentioned there was an opportunity to build and lead a team of 5 in this role. Can you tell me more about that?”

This is a great answer because you’re explaining your situation clearly and directly, while also showing them why you want their job or what might convince you to take it.

You’re also ending your answer by asking a question of your own. Great tactic to set yourself apart in the interview!

Answering “Why You Are Looking to Leave Your Job?” – Quick Instructions

  1. Talk about what you’ve learned and gained in your current job, and how you appreciate that (even though you may be ready to move on)
  2. Then highlight what you hope to gain in the next opportunity
  3. Always sound positive and talk about what you want to do next, instead of badmouthing or talking about what you want to “escape” in your current job
  4. Never badmouth or complain
  5. Don’t talk about performance-related issues, or an inability to handle the work in your current job
  6. If you’re actively looking for jobs, be honest and say so
  7. If you’re not an active job seeker, be clear about that too, but give a reason why you might consider their job

The times when you have a job can be the best times to look for jobs, because you’ll be more confident and have more bargaining-power/leverage.

Now you know how to answer questions like, “why are you looking to leave your current job?” or, “why do you want to leave your job?”.

If you follow these steps, you’ll impress the interviewer and boost your chances of getting the job offer.


Three Key Things to Change on Your Website to Impact Sales

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Sales are what run a business, and businesses run the world economy. Making money is the whole reason businesses are started. Whether they start off as a single-location shop or a mom-and-pop online provider of services, they all begin with the intent of earning income. To make that money, companies use a variety of tactics and technologies to bring in more customers and clients.

One such use of technology would be the Internet. By reaching out across the World Wide Web, companies can attract a wider customer base to their business; they are no longer restricted to a specific geographical region. By maintaining a company website, these businesses are bringing in more money than in decades past.

But what happens when the money stops flowing? Sales eventually become stagnant, and the source is discovered to be an issue stemming from Internet sales. What do you when your website is not drawing in clients anymore? There are a number of options you can look at when trying to update your website. The ones discussed below are probably the key aspects to focus on, however; the ones that will show a return on the time you invest in the effort. 



The overall appearance could be speaking to your customers in an unintended way. A sleek, streamlined website that is well-organized free of clutter is the best template to use. If you have too much going on, your content is too close together, or your fonts are over or undersized, then you may be steering clients away from your site. Clean it up, make it simple yet attractive.

Keep your global customer base in mind when redesigning your website. Professional designers understand that color use in a website has to be carefully considered. While the region of the world where the business is based may find a particular color attractive, in other areas may view it differently. White represents death in some Asian countries. Because of this, if your website has too much use of white, it could turn away your Asian customers.

And because you are (assumingly) targeting clients from the Far East, you will want to have your site available in the major languages of the area. Any country you want to extend your services to, you need to ensure they can read what those services are. As widespread as the English language is, not everyone speaks it. Keep that in mind and hire a translator to help with this design aspect. 


The content of your website may not be relevant anymore. Trends change, and quite frequently in the digital age. Your business will have to keep up with those trends. For ecommerce sites, your products could no longer be the latest craze. You will need to update your assortment and advertise them prominently on your home page. You may also have products available that are not being found. Improve their sales by switching them out with the older ones you have been displaying in key positions on your website.

If you are more of a services-based website, you may need to adjust your strategy. If you are offering a service that the need for is dying out, then you will need to add a new service to your site. While the original service will still need to be advertised, you will need to refocus your efforts on this new one in order to stay in business.

If your business is blogging, then you need to make sure you keep fresh content coming. Do not allow your site to go for too long without an update otherwise you will lose readers, and advertising dollars along with them. For many, this has become a primary source of income. Losing their advertising sales could be detrimental to their survival.



The layout of your website may be too difficult to maneuver through, and your page tabs may be hard to locate or positioned awkwardly. You may not have considered the page tabs being a significant part of the website design, but if a user cannot find them or use them in the way they are intended, potential customers will go to another site where it is more customer-friendly.

 You want to have as many tabs as necessary to provide a great customer experience. You need to position them in a spot where guests will see it quickly. This is typically up at the top of the screen but does not necessarily have to be. They do need to be labeled clearly. Tabs with cute descriptions rather than a one-word identifier can make it confusing to your visitors. The easier you can make it, the better.

 You also need your website to be mobile friendly. With so much business being done through cell phones and tablets, approximately 50% of all transactions, ecommerce sites can only benefit from a conversion.

 Service websites can make use of this formatting as well . It allows people to not only find your site on the go, but will allow them to make the decision to use your service right then; if you are not mobile friendly and the potential client wanted to use you, unfortunately you just missed out on a job. A tow truck company or mobile car mechanic with a website that does not have the ability to be used on the road can lose a lot of potential business.

If you notice a decline in recent sales, then your website could be to blame. The colors you use or the fonting sizes may be wrong for the demographic you are trying to reach. The content you are hosting on your site may not be as current as you would like to think. Your website may be too difficult to navigate, or it may not be negotiable at all for customers using their mobile devices. Take a close look at your website and see if any of these things are deterring clients from converting their visit into a sale.

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Answers for “Tell Me a Time When You Failed” – Interview Question

Tell Me a Time When You Failed interview question

Any time you have a job interview, you’re very likely to hear interview questions like, “tell me a time when you failed.”

I’m going to walk you through the best way to answer questions about times when you failed, and how to avoid the traps and mistakes that can cost you the job offer.

There are three key things employers look for in your answer, and some things they definitely do *not* want to hear, so we’ll cover everything.

Let’s get started…

How to Answer “Tell Me About a Time When You Failed”

There are three key things employers are looking for when they ask this.

1. They want to see that you’re accountable and upfront, instead of making excuses.

Show them you take responsibility for past mistakes instead of putting the blame on others.

2. Next, they want to see that you can learn from your mistakes and use the experience to get better.

Everyone makes mistakes, but no hiring manager wants to hire somebody who’s going to keep repeating the same errors over and over. That drives them CRAZY.

So make sure you show them what you learned from the experience and how you used it to improve.

There’s one more key thing they might be looking for too…

3. Stay on track with your answer and make sure to tell a clear, concise story.

Any time they ask a question that requires a story (which definitely includes a question like, “tell me about a time when you failed”), they’re looking to see whether you can tell a clear story and get from point A to point B without getting sidetracked.

So don’t let your interview answers ramble on for 5 minutes or go in a bunch of different directions.

Keep it on-track and brief.

Describe the situation you were in, the choice you made, and how it turned out in 1-2 minutes. Then you can spend 30 more seconds talking about how you used the experience to improve in the future.

One more thing – you’ll always get bonus points from a hiring manager if you sound humble, so try to do that as well.

Do this by sounding like you appreciate the lesson you learned and are happy to have learned it (even though experiencing a failure is NOT fun at the time…)

If you do those things, you’ll have a great answer that will impress the interviewer when they ask you to describe a time you failed.

Now let’s look at some of the traps, mistakes, and errors that can get you rejected in an interview when answering this question.

Mistakes to Avoid When Talking About a Time You Failed

First, don’t let your answer get disorganized or go on for 3-4 minutes. Remember to be concise and brief!

Also, don’t make it sound like you learned nothing from the experience, and don’t blame others. Always be accountable for what you could have done differently in the failure.

Another big mistake: Not having an answer prepared and ready to go. Everyone fails, so don’t try to hide it or act like you have no failures. Prepare an example and be ready to talk about it.

Also, avoid giving a story that makes you sound careless, or like someone who rushes through things and makes many mistakes in general.

Hiring managers aren’t going to want to hire someone who seems like they rush and make mistakes frequently.

It’s better to tell a story that shows a one-time mistake or error, rather than a pattern or repeating problem.

Finally, one other mistake you want to avoid:

I wouldn’t recommend talking about a huge disaster. If you made a massive mistake that cost a past company $2 million, I’d keep quiet and find a “less scary” story.

So it’s a bit of a “balancing act”… Pick a real failure but don’t talk about a disaster that severely hurt your company.

Those are the mistakes to avoid when answering, “tell me about a time when you failed.”

Next, let’s look at some sample answers so you can build confidence and practice.

Example Answers for “Tell Me a Time When You Failed”

Sample Answer #1:

“I was managing a project for one of our biggest clients in my previous company, and I was so eager to please them that I told them we could finish the project within 2 weeks. I thought this was doable, but it ended up taking 3 weeks and they were not happy. Looking back, I realized I should have been more conservative in my estimate to the client. I realized that a client isn’t going to be upset if you’re clear about the timeline in advance, but they are going to be disappointed if you promise something and then don’t deliver. So I took this experience and used it to become much better at managing expectations of clients during projects I oversee. For example, on the next project with a different client, I told them it’d take 4 weeks and we finished in 3. They were very happy about this.” 

This example answer does a lot of the things we talked about earlier in the article.

It tells a clear, concise story.

It shows what you learned from the experience, and even ends with an example of exactly how you used this lesson to improve your abilities.

Let’s look at one more example answer now…

Sample Answer #2:

“In my last job, our CEO gave me a chance to interview and hire entry-level people for our team. I chose to hire someone who seemed to have a lot of potential but also had some “red flags” or things that worried me. It ended up being a big mistake. They had a poor attitude and dragged the team down until my CEO had to fire them. I learned to be more careful and not rush my decisions and to speak with others on my team who have more experience if I’m unsure of something. I also realized how important each hiring decision is, which made me a better manager in the last couple years of my career. Since then, I’ve hired 8 other people and never had a bad experience like this again. But it was a great lesson to learn early in my career.”

The Best Way to “Wow” the Interviewer at the End of Your Answer

When you finish telling them about a time you failed… don’t just talk about what you learned from it… show them with a real example.

Notice both sample interview answers we just covered do this.

In the first example, the story is that you told the next client their project would take 4 weeks and you finished in 3.

In the second example answer, the story is that you’ve hired 8 more people since that failure, and each one has been a success.

It’s one thing to say you learned a lot from a failure, but an example or story is more powerful. 

Answering “Tell Me About a Time You Failed” – Quick Instructions

  1. Talk about a real failure you’ve had, starting by describing the situation.
  2. Explain what happened clearly and quickly.
  3. Take responsibility and don’t make excuses for the failure.
  4. Show what you learned from the experience.
  5. Talk about how you’ve used the experience to become better at your job and to avoid similar mistakes.
  6. Don’t talk about anything that was a disaster for your employer. Pick a real failure but not anything too costly.
  7. Don’t share any story that makes you sound careless in general. It’s better to share a one-time failure that you quickly learned from and moved past.
  8. Be brief and concise. Keep your answer to 2-3 minutes.

If you use these steps to answer “tell me about a time when you failed,” you’ll have an impressive interview answer that makes employers want to hire you.


6 Tips for Getting Back in the Game After Long-Term Unemployment

starting work after unemployment

With the unemployment rate at a super low 4 percent, many people who haven’t been able to find jobs are going back to work. If you’ve been unemployed for a long stretch of time, you too may be headed back into the workforce. And, if you’ve been out of work for a significant amount of time, you may be feeling a mix of emotions about this next step.

It’s normal to feel a heady mix of relief and anxiety (as well as excitement and fear) when you’re heading back into a job after an extended period of unemployment. To soothe your nerves and allay your fears, we’ve come up with a list of 6 tips for easing your way back into a job.

1. Adopt work-friendly habits in advance

One of the perks of being unemployed is the ability to eat, sleep, and socialize whenever you feel like it. Once you have a job, however, you’ll have to adhere to a schedule, which can be a major shock to the system.

To soften the blow, once you get your job offer, do your best to start getting back into a schedule that lines up with what your work schedule will be.

Start eating regular meals, adjust your workout schedule, and start going to sleep and waking up at times that will line up with your new work schedule.

2. Pare down your outside obligations

If you’ve been unemployed for a really long time, your mind might be slightly blown by how tired you are in the first few weeks of your new job. Your body will be adjusting to a new schedule and your mind will be spinning with all of the new things you are learning.

So, at least for a little while, take it easy on making plans during your workweek. Whenever possible, plan to pare down your weekday social activities to the bare minimum. Don’t underestimate how tiring it can be to get back into a routine. Remember it’s only temporary. Within a few weeks you’ll be on solid ground at work and will have more stamina for socializing.

3. Be humble

Once you begin your new job, remember that it’s okay to be the rookie. Ease into your role in the beginning.

Set realistic goals for yourself and don’t try to do it all or learn it all in your first week. Enthusiasm is a great quality at work but give yourself some time to be an observer of your colleagues and your environment so that you can learn the flow of things.

4. Don’t be a know-it-all

Long periods of unemployment can create insecurity in people and light a fire under them to burst through the door of a new job ready to prove themselves. But taking the place by storm might not be the best approach.

Remember, you were hired because you have the right skill set. So instead of walking through the door, ready to start taking names and kicking butt, take a deep breath and give yourself permission to start slowly. Ask a lot of questions, and admit that you have a lot of learning to do. This will not only take some pressure off of you but being humble about your knowledge will put your coworkers at ease.

5. Get to know your coworkers

Making a friend at work is a great way to begin to settle into a new job. For one, having someone who is available to answer questions large and small will help you feel a little less lost.

From simple things like, “Where is the printer?” to more complicated questions like, “Which health plan did you choose?” a coworker will help you get oriented far faster than trying to muddle through alone.

Also, if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, you may already feel slightly out of place in your new job. Making friends with your teammates or colleagues will ensure you’ll have someone to have coffee or lunch with, which will alleviate the anxiety of being the new kid in the cafeteria with no one to sit with.

6. Let your boss be the boss

If you have gone back to work in a different field, or have taken a less-senior role in your industry, you’ll have to adjust to your new circumstances. So, while you may have been at the top of the totem pole in your last job, someone else is chief now. It’s okay to share your experience but remember that you aren’t the boss anymore. Let your supervisor do his or her job without having a chip on your shoulder about your current job title.

About this guest author:

Since 2005, LiveCareer has been developing tools that have helped over 10 million users build stronger resumes, write persuasive cover letters, and develop better interview skills. Land the job you want faster using our free resume examples and resume templates, writing guides, and easy-to-use resume builder.


How to Get a Job While Being Overqualified

How to Get the Job While Being Overqualified

One of the toughest obstacles to getting hired: Being overqualified, or being told you’re overqualified by employers.

You might hear it in rejection emails after applying for a job, in an interview question, or when you get feedback after your interview.

No matter what, it’s frustrating, demoralizing and difficult to overcome!

Don’t worry though, in this article, I’m going to walk you through:

  • What it means to be overqualified
  • Why employers think being overqualified is bad
  • How to overcome being overqualified in cover letters, resumes, interviews and more

Let’s get started!

What Does Being Overqualified Mean?

Before discussing how to get hired while being overqualified, we need to define what “overqualified” really means…

Employers have a few big fears and concerns when hiring someone.

One of the biggest is the fear that you’ll leave within the first year. You see, it costs a lot of time, energy and resources to hire you, train you, etc.

It’s often weeks or months before you really start producing results for the employer, yet they’re paying your salary starting from day one. They’re also paying people to train you, supervise you, set up benefits/payroll with you, etc.

It’s a big process and when they hire a full-time, permanent employee, they don’t want to have to repeat that process again soon.

So often times, when they ask “aren’t you overqualified?” they’re just concerned you don’t really want this job for the right reasons, and you’re unlikely to stay for long.

Along with that, they may worry your salary expectations are too high for what they’re willing to pay.

When employers say you’re overqualified, they usually mean one of the following:

  • They’re concerned you don’t really want this specific job, and you just need something for the short-term while you look for something better
  • They are concerned you won’t be satisfied in this job and will leave soon after joining
  • They’re afraid you’re going to want too high of a salary
  • They want to hire somebody younger (yes, age discrimination happens, unfortunately)

Now, we can’t do a lot about that last one unfortunately… the only solution is apply to many companies, like any job seeker should do, and accept that a few might not want to hire somebody your age if you’re job hunting at age 50+.

That’s okay! You only need to find one job, right?

For all the other obstacles listed above, there are simple ways to put an employer’s mind at ease and quickly answer any questions about you being overqualified.

How to Get Hired While Being Overqualified for a Job

The best way to get hired even if you seem overqualified is to address these issues upfront.

If you think salary might be their concern, tell them that you understand that this position might not pay as well as some of the positions you’ve held in the past, and you’re okay with that.

If you think they’d look at your resume employment history and be concerned about why you want this job, explain it in a cover letter and be ready to answer questions in your interview about this.

For example, here’s one common scenario I see a lot as a Recruiter:

Any time you’ve been a Manager or Supervisor in the past, and then you apply for an individual-contributor position where you won’t manage anyone, employers are going to be concerned about why you seem to want to take a step back in your career.

You’ll often hear questions like, “aren’t you overqualified?” in scenarios like this.

The key is to show them this is what you want to be doing, and you’ve put a lot of thought into this. Explain WHY you’ve made the decision to move into an individual contributor role.

If you explain yourself well, they’ll be thrilled to have someone with your experience in that type of role! But you have to explain yourself.

One great way to put their mind that you want their job at ease is show them you’re applying for multiple jobs of this type.

You might end your explanation by saying, “… in fact, all of the positions I’m applying for now are individual-contributor roles. This is the exact type of role I want, after putting a lot of thought into it.”

Writing a Cover Letter if You’re Overqualified

Once you’ve decided to apply, it’s a good idea to address the fact you’re overqualified in your cover letter.

Explain what you’re looking for, why their position caught your attention, and how you’d help their organization succeed. Make sure to spend extra time/effort showing them you’ve thought a lot about your job search, and why this job is the exact type of job you’re looking for.

Here’s an article on how to write a great cover letter.

Writing a Resume if You’re Overqualified

Next, you’ll need a great resume. If you’re overqualified, you’re probably wondering, “should I remove some experience from my resume?”

You don’t always need to, but if you’ve been working for 20+ years, it can help curb age discrimination and get you more interviews.

However, the most important thing is to tailor your recent resume experience to be as relevant as possible for the jobs you’re applying for.

For example, if you’re a former manager looking to move into an individual-contributor role, you really want to emphasize the hands-on, direct work you’ve done recently, if any.

Don’t emphasize management, leadership, and delegation because you won’t be doing any of that in your next job.

You need to show employers what’s most relevant to THEM. And you figure this out by studying their job posting.

If you want help writing a great resume, here are some resources to get you started:

Answering Interview Questions About Being Overqualified

Next up is the interview. If you’ve written a great resume and cover letter, you should start getting interviews even if you seem overqualified for the position you applied for.

But the employer is still going to ask you about it in the interview, so be ready to answer questions about being overqualified.

Here’s how to answer interview questions about being overqualified:

  • Explain exactly why you want this job
  • If possible, tell them you’re applying for many jobs similar to theirs
  • Show them you’ve put a lot of thought into your career and job search so they don’t worry you’ll change your mind and leave
  • Tell them salary isn’t the most important factor to you, and you’re willing to discuss and negotiate to make it work
  • If you’re taking a “step back” in your career (e.g. moving from Manager to individual-contributor), be ready to explain why

Here are a few very common interview questions you should be ready for:

Being Overqualified – You Can’t Win ‘Em All

The tips and resources above will give you the best chance at getting a job while being overqualified.

But nothing works 100% of the time. Some employers out there just will not want to hire you for their job, no matter how persuasive you are.

They have a certain type of person in mind, and your background doesn’t quite fit that.

But that’s okay. There are so many employers, and you only need one job, right?

So don’t get discouraged.

If you follow these steps, focus on doing things the right way, and keep repeating… you will find a job.

So… Should You Apply for a Job Even if You’re Overqualified?

Yes, absolutely. As long as it’s a job you want! Never let someone discourage you from applying for a position you think you’d perform well in.

This is true whether you’re overqualified, or a tiny bit underqualified (missing one or two specific areas of experience, but qualified otherwise).

You never know unless you apply. The only sure-fire way to NOT get the job is to not apply.

Getting a Job While Being Overqualified – Quick Instructions

  1. Use your cover letter to explain why you want their specific job, and why you want this type of job in general
  2. Tailor your resume to highlight the most relevant pieces of your recent work for their job duties (using the job description)
  3. In the interview, be ready to explain why this is the specific type of job you want (just like on your cover letter)
  4. If possible, tell them you’re applying for many jobs similar to theirs. This will make them feel more “safe” in hiring you
  5. If you’re taking a “step back” in your career (e.g. moving from Manager to individual-contributor), be ready to explain why you’ve chosen to make this move
  6. If you think salary is a concern of theirs, consider telling them salary is negotiable and you understand this job might not pay as much as some jobs you’ve held in the past
  7. Apply to a lot of jobs. Not every employer will hire someone who’s overqualified, but some will
  8. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t let anyone convince you not to apply for a job just because you’re a bit overqualified. You CAN get hired if you follow these steps


How to Stand Out in an Interview – 8 Strategies

How to Stand Out in an Interview

It’s common for employers to interview 15 or more people for a single job opening, so getting noticed and getting the job offer is not easy…

However, there are some ways to stand out and get hired faster.

I’m going to share 8 tips for how to stand out in an interview and make employers want to offer you the job, even if you’re not the most qualified candidate.

Let’s get started!

8 Ways to Stand Out in a Job Interview

1. Research the company more than anyone else

Most people research the company enough to “get by” or not embarrass themselves.

They cover the basics and have a few talking points for when the interviewer asks, “what do you know about our company?“… or, “why do you want to work here?”

But if you really want to stand out, make it your goal to know more about the company than anyone else they’ve spoken to!

Read some recent news stories.

Read their company history. Why were they founded, when, and by whom?

Who’s their CEO?

How many locations do they have?

What do they sell, and who are their customers?

How are they different than their competitors?

Doing this extra research will make you more seem more confident, and make you feel more comfortable in your interview – especially in the first few minutes when you’re making that all-important first impression!

2. Be results-oriented

Most people talk in very general terms… both when describing their past work and when talking about what they’d accomplish in a new position.

Don’t do this. You want to stand out, remember?

So instead, talk about specific results.

If they ask about your past work, talk about the actual results you achieved.

What was the impact? Be ready to name specific facts and data.

How did you help your past company save money, save time, or make money?

How did you make your manager’s life easier? This new hiring manager is definitely going to want to hire someone who will make his or her life easier, too. So this is a great thing to show!

3. Bring a case study

To continue on the last idea, if you really want to stand out you should consider coming up with detailed examples, and measurable results, and putting them into a case study to show what you’ve done in the past.

What were one or two big projects you completed for your last employer?

If you just graduated and are looking for your first job after college, what projects or internships did you complete in school?

Go ask your former boss or colleagues if you need help gathering details and results of your work. Is it easy? No. But it’s how to stand out and get the best jobs out there!

Then create a one-page document showing the “before and after”.

Let’s say you were working on improving the company’s sales process. Maybe the company was converting 29% of leads into customers before you started working, and you improved it to 33%.

Those are your “before and after” stats.

It doesn’t have to be sales-related, it can be anything you’ve improved for your previous employer.

4. Bring a 30-60-90 day plan

Consider creating another document highlighting exactly what you’ll do for this company if they hire you.

How will you learn the position and get up to speed quickly? (This is one of the top things employers want to see!)

How will you use your skills, experience, and expertise to help them reach their goals?

What value will you add? What can you do for them within the first 90 days?

Lay out what goals you hope to accomplish in the first 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. Be realistic, but ambitious.

You don’t want to sound like you’re over-confident, but you want to show them you plan on working hard when you start this job.

Just by showing up with this plan, you’ll stand out in the interview. Most job seekers are not doing this.

5. Ask amazing questions

Most people know you should ask questions in an interview, but very few job seekers realize how important it is.

Employers really do judge you heavily based on this.

They want to hire somebody who’s being selective in their job search and really knows what they want!

And the only way to show them this is to ask a lot of questions.

How can you be sure this job is the right fit for you if you don’t ask many questions?

I’ll repeat it again: Employers want somebody who’s being picky and looking for specific things in their next job! (And they’re NOT looking for somebody who appears to just want any job they can get).

So asking bad questions, or not enough questions, is one of the top reasons people struggle to find a job.

So what should you do?

Ask questions about the job, the training you’ll receive, the group, the company overall, and more.

Avoid asking about salary, benefits, working hours, vacation time, or anything that’s not work-related!

You want to seem like you’re focused on coming in and getting up-to-speed in their job when you ask questions.

Here’s a list of 105 of the best questions to ask in an interview, to get you started.

And if you’re talking to a recruiter, here are some good questions to ask a recruiter.

6. Have awesome body language

Your body language is super important if you want to stand out and leave a great impression in your interviews.

People judge you visually before anything else; it’s just human nature. And the hiring manager or interviewer is going to gather their first impression of you within a few seconds of meeting you.

This isn’t just about the first impression either; this will affect how they react to everything you say in the interview.

If you’re sitting up straight and maintaining good eye contact while giving interview answers, it’s going to give you a huge boost.

Whereas if you’re glancing down or to the side while talking, and slouched over, your answer will be less impressive even if you said all the right things!

tips to stand out in job interview

Try to walk in looking like you’re confident and happy to be there, not terrified or anxious.

Keep a soft smile on your face like the image above.

Dress for success, maintain eye contact, and sit upright. Lean slightly forward to show interest.

Don’t tap your feet, grind your teeth, tap your hands, or anything else that’ll distract from the conversation.

This all takes practice, so make sure to build these habits BEFORE your interview.

If you need help building and practicing these habits, here’s a full article on body language tips.

7. Send a great “thank you” email after the interview

After the interview, you’ll want to follow up and thank them for their time, reaffirm that you’re interested in the position, and tell them you’re eager to hear feedback and information about the next steps.

I recommend doing it the day after your interview, or Monday if your interview was on a Friday.

Also, customize the email so they know it’s not just a cut-and-paste email you send to everyone. You should have at least one place where it’s clear you didn’t just copy and paste it.

One easy way to do this: Thank them for sharing information about a specific topic they discussed with you – something that you found interesting.

Example: “Thanks for taking the time to interview me on Thursday. I really enjoyed our conversation, and the information you shared about how this role would collaborate with other groups and manage projects across the organization sounded fantastic…”

You can get full thank you email templates in this article.

8. Treat it like what it is: A conversation

Once you realize an interview is just a conversation, it becomes a whole lot easier.

The interview is simply a conversation between two sides, to see if it’s a good potential match.

That’s it.

Yet most job seekers don’t view it like this and don’t treat it like this.

They walk in nervous, they view themselves as being inferior to the hiring manager… like a subordinate, and they lack confidence and calmness because of it.

Walk in and view yourself as an equal to the interviewer.

You both have things you’re looking for, to determine if this is a good potential match, and you should both be asking questions and having a discussion to find out if it’s a match or not.

Once you treat it like this, everything else becomes far easier, and you’ll feel completely different in every interview you go on.

How to Stand Out in an Interview – Quick Instructions

  1. Make it your goal to know more about their company than anyone else they’ve interviewed
  2. Be results-oriented and talk about specific metrics and accomplishments you’ve achieved for past employers
  3. Bring a case study highlighting a project you worked on, and how you helped your employer reach a specific goal or improvement
  4. Bring a 30-60-90 day plan showing how you plan on succeeding in their position in the first three months
  5. Prepare great questions to ask the interviewer, including questions about the position, the group, and the overall company
  6. Practice having great body language including eye contact, posture, and handshake so that you stand out immediately and make a better first impression
  7. Send detailed, customized “thank you” emails after the interview to remind them you’re interested
  8. Relax and treat it like what it really is: A conversation

If you follow the 8 strategies we’ve covered above, you’re going to stand out in your job interviews and get more job offers.


Finding a Job After Long-Term Unemployment

finding job after long term unemployment

Finding a job after long-term unemployment isn’t easy.

Whether you took time off to raise a child, continue your education, or anything else, there are some employers who are going to have some questions about this.

So I’m going to share some tips that will help you get a job after long-term unemployment, even if it’s been years since you’ve worked.

How to Get a Job after Long-Term Unemployment

We’re going to look at the recommended steps for finding a job after long-term unemployment including:

  • Your cover letter
  • Your resume
  • Job interviews

If you want to get hired quickly, you’ll need a plan for all three of these areas, so let’s go step-by-step through it and I’ll explain what to do to find a new job.

Your Cover Letter After Long-Term Unemployment

This is the first place you want to address your gap in employment and reasons for long-term unemployment.

You want to explain what happened, including why you left your last job.

Next, you want to discuss what you’ve done to stay relevant and keep your skills sharp.

If you haven’t done anything, start now. Find an online course, start an independent project, or try to find a freelance client or do some consulting.

It’s really going to help you get hired if you can show employers you’ve kept your skills fresh!

Then, the final thing you want to do on your cover letter is show them that you’re fully available to work now.

You need to make it very clear that if there was a reason that you were unemployed for a few months or years, that the reason is resolved.

Otherwise, they’re going to be worried that you won’t be able to work the hours they want.


Let’s say you’ve been unemployed for two years while caring for an elderly family member.

Now you’re looking for a job, so you need to explain what changed. Maybe a sibling is helping care for them now. Maybe they’re in an assisted living facility, etc.

Whatever the case, you want to explain why you’re able to return to work now, and show them it won’t be an ongoing issue.

Your Resume After Unemployment

Next up is your resume. The cover letter should help you explain any gaps in employment on your resume employment history, but there are some changes you can make to your resume too.

You can consider using only years, instead of years and months. That can make some gaps appear slightly shorter, but it might also cause employers to ask more questions about your prior dates of employment.

There’s some benefit, but also some risk.

But it’s worth trying and it’s something I’ve done myself in the past! (I’ve had a few gaps in employment and periods of unemployment. Not for years at a time, but for a few months at a time).

Also, you can put anything you’ve done to stay fresh/current on your resume, even if you weren’t paid to do the work.

This can include volunteering, freelancing, pro bono work, taking courses, etc. Show them you’ve been active in maintaining your skill-set.

The longer it’s been since you’ve worked or used your skills, the more employers will worry that you’ve “lost” your abilities/knowledge.

Is this fair?  Not really. You never forget a lot of what you know, but that’s how employers view it.

Answering Interview Questions About Long-Term Unemployment

Next, you’ll need to be ready to face questions about your long-term unemployment in the interview.

My advice here is the same as the cover letter:

Be ready to clearly explain why you left your last job, and what caused the period of long-time unemployment since then.

Then, be ready to explain how and why you’re now available to work.

You want to put their mind at ease that you won’t need to resign for the same reasons you had this gap in the first place (whether it’s a health issue, family issue, or anything else).

Calmly answer their questions, and try to put their mind at ease quickly and then redirect the conversation back to the responsibilities of the job.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say they ask, “So, how has your situation changed, and what made you decide to look for work now?”…

…You’d want to explain quickly, but then say something like, “…and now I’m hoping to find a position that will allow me to keep building my skills as an HR Manager. Can you tell me a bit more about what you’re hoping somebody can come in and accomplish in this specific Manager job?”

Obviously, you’d replace “HR Manager” with whatever the job title is that you’re interviewing for. But this is how to redirect the conversation back to what matters most – the job itself.

The point of the interview is to show them you have the skills and experience to come in and QUICKLY get up to speed and succeed in their role. So that’s what to focus on.

Your Network is a Huge Asset in Finding a Job After a Long-Term Gap in Employment

To get more interviews, make sure to utilize your network.

Networking is often the fastest way to find a job, and always one of the most effective.

And when you’re coming off long-term unemployment, it can be even more effective. Here’s why…

Getting your foot in the door with employers, or getting them to take a chance on you and interview you, is one of the hardest tasks if you have an unusual career path or a resume with some gaps.

And when somebody who is trusted by an employer introduces you directly or recommends you for a  position, the employer immediately trusts you a lot more.

While this doesn’t guarantee they’ll hire you, it definitely boosts the chance you’ll get interviewed.

So tell everyone you’re job searching. Connect with people personally and ask if they have any ideas or leads you should pursue.

Apply for a Lot of Jobs!

It’s more difficult to find a job after long-term unemployment; but it’s very possible.

However, you need to apply for a lot of jobs.

Try a combination of methods, including telling everyone in your network that you’re job searching, applying directly to employers via their website, and searching on one or two job platforms (I like LinkedIn’s job search feature the most).

You’re probably going to need to interview for at least a few jobs to find an employer who thinks you’re the right fit. And we all know you need to apply for a lot of jobs just to get one interview usually.

So expect to have to put in the time and effort to get a job after being unemployed for a long stretch of time. The good news is you only have to do this once!

Finding a Job After Long-Term Unemployment – Quick Instructions

  1. Use your cover letter to explain what caused the stretch of long-term unemployment, and how your situation has changed to allow you to work again.
  2. Be ready to explain those same ideas in your job interview.
  3. Do everything possible to keep your skills current during the period of unemployment, including taking a few courses, volunteering, doing freelance work or consulting. If you haven’t done any of this, start now.
  4. Put any and all items from step #3 on your resume, to avoid having a big gap in employment.
  5. Leverage your network first in your job search; you’ll get more interviews when somebody that knows an employer recommends you.
  6. Apply for a high volume of positions using multiple methods. You’re at a disadvantage when trying to get a job after a long-term unemployment gap, so you need to make up for it with effort/volume.
  7. Be ready to show employers how you’ll contribute to their goals immediately. If you want to get a job offer after a long period of unemployment, you need to show them your skills are current and you’re ready to learn their job and immediately start helping.


How To Have A Successful Career As A Professional Driver

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How To Have A Successful Career As A Professional Driver

Professional driving is the second largest source of employment in India. The fast-growing sector is one of the most important in India, and jobs exist in many areas such as truck driving, logistics, cab driving and many more. If you’re looking for a career that allows you to indulge in your passion of autos or even driving while also having the ability and freedom to craft a decent work-life balance, then being a professional driver might be a good fit for you.


The state of India’s driving industry

Truck drivers play a major role in the entire transportation system of India, and it is a rapidly growing industry. There are many driver training programs in place all around the country that work to help improve road safety while also enhancing employment prospects for rural youth. The industry and need for professional drivers are actually growing so fast that the country has deemed it necessary to increase the number of training institutions. The Indian Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship plans to open at least 500 driving training institutes in the near future in order to train skilled professionals who are passionate about the job.

Education and training needed as a professional driver

Communication skills, great judgment skills, attention to detail and a working knowledge of trucks and how to inspect and service them will all take you far as a professional driver. Aside from natural driving skills, you will be required to be certified professionally outside of a normal driver’s license. If you decide to enroll in one of the professional driving schools in India, you can expect to take courses such as Training for Heavy Motor Vehicles, Training for Public Service Vehicles, Training for Defensive Driving and Fuel Efficiency and more. Most companies will require you to have a clean driving record in order to make sure that you and the vehicle are safe as well as some minor knowledge of how to make general repairs to cars and trucks.

Driving quickly becoming a lucrative career

As a professional driver, you will be helping to support your local economy while also participating heavily in the logistics and delivery of important goods to people and companies all over the country. If you have a natural inclination towards automotive, driving, and the freedom that comes with being able to hit the open road as part of work, then becoming certified to work as a professional driver is a great option, especially as the sector begins to heat up more all over India.

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11 Smart Ways to Answer Interview Questions

ways to answer interview questions

If you want to get noticed and get job offers in your interviews, this article is going to help.

We’re going to look at 11 proven ways to answer interview questions effectively.

Let’s get started…

11 Effective Ways to Answer Interview Questions

1. Know when to tell a story, and when not to

Storytelling is a great skill to be more memorable and persuasive, but you need to know when to use it…

Don’t tell a story for a yes/no question. That’s going to drive the interviewer insane.

However, for questions that open the door for you to give a longer answer, like behavioral questions (“tell me about a time you ___?”), storytelling is a powerful skill.


Let’s say they ask a question like, “tell me about your experience serving customers in a fast-paced environment.”

You could just say, “I’ve worked with customers a lot and my last company was very fast-paced,” but that’s not going to be very memorable.

You’ll be a lot more memorable if you paint a picture through storytelling.

You might say, “In my last job, I interacted with an average of 50 customers per day. I really excel in a fast-paced environment like this. In fact, each year our company gives an award to the top person in customer service, and I won last year for earning the highest customer satisfaction rating.”

2. Share specific facts and data to make your answers more impressive

Which one sounds better:

A: “I’m one of the top salespeople in my company right now.”

B: “I’m one of the top 5 salespeople in our group of over 50, and I’m on pace to hit 200% of annual sales goals for my position.”

Facts, data, and statistics make your answers far more impressive.

Do your research before the interview so you KNOW your past results and can talk about it.

Ask former colleagues and bosses if you need to. This will also boost your resume bullets if you put it on there as well!

3. Make a comparison

A reader emailed me recently and was having trouble in her interviews…

She had experience selling, but she had never sold to software developers. And in this new position, that’s who she would be selling to.

So to address this concern of the employer, I recommended she make a comparison.

At some point, she had never sold to her current clientele either, right? (In this case, it was other types of engineers).

So I told her to explain how she learned to sell to those people, with no experience, and then using that to show them she would be able to learn to sell to this new client-base as well.

Making comparisons like this can shift the interviewer’s focus and turn a negative into a positive (or at least make it a non-factor and stop them from being concerned).

4. Be brief and concise

This is another way to answer interview questions more effectively…

Cover the important details and highlight your best points, but then STOP.

Many job seekers have a tendency to carry on for too long when they should have stopped after answering the main question or highlighting their best points.

5. Take your time and ask for clarification if needed

This is one of the most under-utilized ways to answer interview questions…

And it’s dead simple:

Take a breath, relax and really think before answering. You can’t take something back after you say it, so don’t rush yourself.

And if you’re not sure you understood the question, ask for clarification.

You can say things like:

  • “Are you hoping for a specific example? I just want to make sure I understand the question.”
  • “Do you only want to hear about my hands-on experience? I’ve done this directly, but I’ve also led small project teams for this.”

And you can ask for feedback at the end of your answers too, for example:

  • “Did that answer your question, or did you want more detail?”

(This is a great way to make sure your answers don’t go on too long and annoy the interviewer, which was tip #4).

6. End your answer with a question

Asking questions mid-interview helps you target their needs and “tailor” your answers as the interview goes on!

Let’s look at how to do this…


They mention the job requires managing people and ask for your experience in this area.

After answering and highlighting your relevant experience, you’d say, “Can you tell me more about the management I’d be doing? For example, what size team would I lead, and would I be responsible for hiring and growing the team?”

This will also make it feel more like a casual two-way conversation, which will boost your confidence and help you give better answers overall.

7. Make it about them, not you

Most job seekers think the interview is all about them…

The truth is, you’ll get more job offers if you focus on talking about THEM.

What are their concerns and needs?

For example, don’t just describe your skills and experience when they ask about it.

Instead, show them how you’ll put those skills to use in this specific role, and how their lives will be easier by having you on their team.

That’s how you get more job offers and stand out from other job seekers, who just talk about themselves.

8. Speak with high energy and enthusiasm

Showing enthusiasm is an important part of giving good answers in an interview.

It’s okay if you’re an introvert or naturally quiet… you don’t have to be the most outgoing, bubbly personality to get hired.

Just turn it up a bit…

Do slightly more than you usually do in terms of energy in your tone of voice and body language.

Tone of voice is especially important when answering questions in phone interviews since they can’t see your facial expressions or body language.

If you need help showing energy and enthusiasm in your voice, try standing up and smiling when you talk on the phone. This may sound odd, but it’s a proven trick that phone salespeople use all the time.

9. Treat it like a conversation

When you boil it down, the interview is really just a conversation to see if it’s a good fit for both sides.

It’s a two-way deal.

So go in and treat it like that and you’ll feel a lot more comfortable.

This is one of the best ways to answer interview questions in terms of your mindset.

How do you treat it like a conversation?

You should ask a lot of questions to figure out if you’re interested in the job.

You should build rapport with the hiring manager and find out one or two things about them.

Remember their name when they introduce themselves, and use it once or twice in the conversation.

To make them like you even more… send a personalized “thank you” email after the interview to thank them for the great conversation.

Get their business card after the interview too… it’ll make this and all of your follow-ups easier.

10. Talk about the future

A lot of interview questions are going to be about your past: Past experience, past successes, past failures.

But one key to giving great interview answers is to talk about the future too.

When you give answers about your skills and experience, also talk about the future and how you’ll use those skills to perform well in their role.

Mention something you saw on the job description, or something they mentioned earlier in the conversation, that makes you think your background will be useful to them in this role!

This is one of the best ways to answer any interview question and most job seekers don’t do this.

11. Tell the truth

Most employers will forgive a few interview mistakes, or missing pieces of experience (the truth is the requirements are mostly just a “wish list” for them).

However, if you lie or seem like you’re hiding something, you will NOT get hired.

Trust and credibility are as important as anything else in the interview… and no hiring manager is going to want you on their team if they don’t feel comfortable trusting you.

It’s better to be 80% qualified and tell the truth, than lie and pretend to be 100% qualified.

I guarantee you’ll get more job offers if you take the first approach.

How to Answer Interview Questions – Quick Instructions

  1. Use storytelling to make yourself more memorable
  2. Share specific facts and data in your answers
  3. Make comparisons between your past experience and the job duties in this role
  4. Be brief and concise; get to the point quickly
  5. Don’t rush – ask for a second to think when you need to, and ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question
  6. End some of your answers with a question directed at the interviewer
  7. Make your answers about their needs, not yours
  8. Speak with higher-than-normal energy and enthusiasm
  9. Treat it like a regular conversation
  10. Talk about the future and how you’ll directly help them
  11. Tell the truth – be honest, accountable, and upfront when answering questions and you’ll get more job offers

Those are 11 of the best ways to answer interview questions effectively, so you can stand out and get hired in less time.


The List of People You Should Consider For Your Job Reference

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The List of People You Should Consider For Your Job Reference

When looking for a job, among the things you should have ready is your professional job reference. A reference gives a future employer the ability to understand your capabilities, skills and background. In most cases, a job reference letter will be requested after conducting a successful interview and just before you get hired. To some employers, it will strongly determine if you will get the job or not. In most cases, a potential employer will demand up to four or more reference letters. Therefore, ensure you have your job reference ready.

To get a good job reference, first identify the right people to write it for you. Consider your work relationship with the individual and the period you have worked together. Pick people who are likely to point out your strengths to the potential employer. Basically, pick people who can professionally attest to your work ethics. This will make you look like a potential employee.


The following are the people that you should include in your job reference:

  1. A Former Employer

A former employer will properly highlight your work ethic and skills. Ensure that your former boss is included in the list of yourjob reference. Leaving him out may raise eyebrows and cause suspicions which might negatively affect your job search. If you have to drop off your previous employer in your reference, give out the reasons as to why.

  1. Co-Workers

A fellow employee with whom you have worked closely with can write for you a professional reference. Avoid using your work friend here because they might not well articulate your work ethics and responsibilities. The right person in this category is your team mate at work.

  1. A Charity You Have Volunteered

If you have worked as a volunteer in any place, you need that for your job reference. Your potential employer will be moved to know you can work beyond the normal working schedule. Statistically, you increase your chances of getting hired for a job by 27%.

  1. Your Professor and Teacher

Getting a job reference from a professor or a teacher who taught you something in your career is great. Also consider your academic advisor, since they know your skills and abilities academically.

  1. Someone You Have Causally Worked For

This could be someone you babysat for or mowed the lawn for. A reference from the odd jobs you did will help your potential employer understand your personality and work ethics better.

Here is a list of people you should not have in your job reference:

  • Your family members
  • Your fiancé
  • Relatives
  • Your own reference
  • Other unprofessional references

You can have more relevant references, but you should be guided by the number your potential employer wants. Also, remember to follow up the people you have for your job reference to let them know your job status. Let them know they might be called upon to provide reference. Additionally, let them know if you have been hired and where possible send them a thank you card.



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