Getting Comfortable With ‘No’

YesNoSometimes a client comes back and says, “They don’t want me!”

To him or her, I say, “Because who you are doesn’t match what they need.”

And that shouldn’t be taken personally.

Imagine if every résumé was so clearly written that you could tell whether you wanted to meet that person within moments.

Forget curbside-appeal and keyword optimization.

A well-designed, keyword-optimized résumé is a matter of course in today’s hiring world.

Résumé writing colleagues and I—not to mention recruiters and executive coaches who refer to us—can attest to that.

No. I’m talking about the details that distinguish you from others.

Niche yourself.

If you have 10-14 years of experience, odds are high that you have specializations that are not only unique to you, but attractive to someone else.

Niching carries the risk that you’ll repel opportunities who aren’t a good fit, of course.

But what’s wrong with that? Repel away!

If it’s not a good fit, why try squeezing a round peg into a square hole?

For many, that’s a perspective shift because we grow up trying to please everybody.

Trying to be who they want us to be. Getting more people to say yes.

People pleasing is fine for a while.

It’s the fulfillment of, say, obligations that don’t fit skill sets, or duties you didn’t know about before you said yes, that can get in the way of delivering on your word.

That can be missing delivery altogether because you should have said no, or delivering on time but with bruises to show for it.

Here’s what you can do.

The more experienced we become, the narrower the opportunities.

We are no longer freshly out of college, blank canvases ready to be groomed.

We have serious marketable skills, and companies are ready to pay for those skills; not for the skills we have yet to learn.

The silver lining—in fact the beauty of that fact—is that it’s this very expertise that helps us command a professional salary.


  • Commit to being comfortable with no. It doesn’t indicate your worth as a human being, it merely means you’re not a fit (or you didn’t take the effort to clearly outline the fit in your résumé or interview).
  • Work hard to find the right fit. It’s easy to give lip service to this idea, and noodling around on job boards might make you feel like you’re doing something. But it’s hard to actually do the work. Mount an all out research and discovery mission using a blend of LinkedIn, Google Alerts, public company records, Hoovers, Google Finance, and Use to track your job search progress.
  • Spend 85-90% of your job search effort outside of job boards. The best jobs might not be obvious. In fact, most aren’t. The more seniority you achieve, the less likely that your next position will be obvious.
  • Plan to actively job search one month for every $10K per year that you make. This is a commonly cited concept in the career development world, but not everyone knows it. The higher up you go, the longer it takes to find the right fit.
  • Build your boat. It takes time to craft the right documents, career copy, and personal brand. We’re often the very ones we overlook, however, so committing to the effort of representing and presenting yourself requires willpower and dedication.
  • Be sure your LinkedIn profile is up to snuff. It’s the absolute best to be passively found for the right position. It happens all the time. It’s why roughly fifty percent of LinkedIn’s revenue in 2012 was from Talent Recruit; the expensive deep dive service they sell to recruiters for big bucks. You won’t know if you’re missing out unless you’re out there. Here’s a webinar I presented to CFA Society members (shared with permission) that you may find helpful. All you have to do is register.

Until next time!

Jared Redick
Visit: The Resume | About Jared
Follow: @TheResumeStudio
Like Us:
Call: 415-397-6640

4 Reasons You Need a Career-Only Email Address

These four realities make a great case for creating a career development only email address 

Reality #1:  

You can’t assume that you’ll always be in control of your work email address. 

Harvard attorney Shauna Bryce of and says it’s natural to feel like we’ll always be in control of our work email addresses until we relinquish them.

But it’s not always true. Continue reading

Q&A: What About Relocating During a Job Search?

I used to do Q&As with newsletter subscribers. In 2006, a job seeker wrote in about relocation biases.

Dear Jared:

I’m open to relocation and have sent résumés to other cities. So far no one has expressed interest. I feel like they only want local candidates. — Anita, Tampa, FL.

Dear Anita:

They probably do. Many companies draw from local candidate pools first. It’s less costly, the candidates are familiar with the territory, and they’re easier to meet face-to-face.

As an executive search consultant who conducted national searches, I was surprised by how frequently companies got “geographically stuck.” We were often restricted in the talent we could find until we were able to convince the client to look at the bigger picture.

As a candidate, it’s your job to speak up, subtly. You can’t dictate what a hiring entity wants, but you can remove a few barriers upfront to improve the odds.

Here are a few techniques:

  • Place “Willing to Relocate,” “Open to Relocation,” or “Relocating to [City Name]” under your résumé address.
  • Have a friend of family member in your intended city? Ask permission to list their address next to your current address.
  • Start the second paragraph of your cover letter with a succinct statement about your relocation plans and your willingness to be readily available to interview and move at your own cost.

You never know when relocation will enter your job search, or how. But being prepared with the right tools can make a difference.

Until next time!

Jared Redick
Visit: The Resume
Follow: @TheResumeStudio
Call: 415-397-6640

3 Ways to Get More Job Search Attention

Job seekers twenty years ago made follow-up phone calls to potential employers after responding to advertised positions.

Do that today and you’re likely to be ignored.

A common job seeker frustration is not hearing back from a company you’re interested in, especially when it sounds like a perfect fit.

Improve your odds. Get a phone call by writing to the expectations of your reader. Take a moment to think about what the recipient wants to see on your résumé, then make their dreams come true. If your background is a fit, show them why and how.

Wondering how to get the attention of potential employers?  Continue reading

Why It’s Smart to Take Recruiter Calls

Why it's smart to take recruiter callsA lot of busy executives don’t want to be bothered by recruiters.

Until they need them.

I always smile when a client says, “How do I get my résumé to an executive recruiter?”

If you want to play in the retained executive search game, you have to let them know YOU’RE willing to play.

And that means spending a few minutes chatting the next time they call, instead of ditching them to voicemail.

I say “retained executive search” because it’s an important distinction. Think Heidrick & Struggles, Korn Ferry, and the boutique firms that open when recruiters from the big firms strike out on their own. They will often use the same sophisticated recruiting processes and be just as valuable to your career.

The next time a recruiter calls you, be sure you understand their perspective, then consider these points.  Continue reading