The Ultimate Resource For Job Seekers and Corporate Outplacement

Steps To Success

The Ultimate Resource For Job Seekers and Corporate Outplacement
We offer the ultimate collection of job seeker resources and tools on our website for free. Everything is included. The only thing you pay for is coaching, which is provided by our certified experts and integrated with our web-based resources.
Step 1 - Commit To The Process
This process will require a minimum of one to three hours of your time per week for at least two months. You will probably be tempted to skip or shortcut some of these steps. When tempted, please do a gut check. Think about your priorities. After your faith and your family, your career may be the most important driver of the quality of your life. These few hours can make an enormous difference (perhaps millions of dollars) in your lifetime earnings and determine where you live and where your children and grandchildren go to school. These few hours can determine what kind of healthcare you and your family receive. They can determine what resources you have available to share with those in need. They can determine whether you experience yourself as thriving or merely surviving. And these few hours do not have to be spent alone. is right there with you.

We also recommend that you get an accountability partner (or mentor) to help you in this process. Most people find the job search process to be very stressful. Many people get depressed by it. Almost everyone can benefit by having someone walk through the process with them. We recommend that your accountability partner become familiar with these Steps to Success and help you meet all of the targets along the way.

You will find everything you need to succeed included for free here on this site. But if you want to supercharge the process and maximize your success, consider our coaching services. Our coaches are qualified, motivated, and have a proven track record of helping people like you put this process into practice at the highest level. Our model of integrated email and video allows us to deliver one-on-one coaching at the best possible price.
Step 2 - Aim At The Right Target
If you have not already done a career assessment, then utilize one of our free assessment tools. Look at these assessment results, or the results of the assessments you may have already done. Go for a walk in the woods and think about what direction you want your career to go. Sit down and write out a list of ten possible career directions you would consider pursuing.

Look through the job postings on two or three online sites and make a list of fifty jobs openings that interest you. You are not committing to do these jobs, simply making note of your interest in them.

Make a list of fifty people to call and ask for "help and advice" in this process. These are people whom you respect and admire, whose phone numbers you have or can get, and who are or might be willing with talk to you for a couple of minutes. We will talk much more about this "help and advice" approach shortly.

Don't skip these steps or stop before ALL assignments are COMPLETE.

Cut your list of ten career directions down to five.

Cut your list of job postings from fifty down to twenty-five.

Cut your help and advice list from fifty down to twenty-five.

Keep the lists of items you have eliminated. You will need some of those entries later.

We will come back to these lists and work with them very thoroughly, but first, there will be times as we go forward from here when you are going to need a resume. Actually, you will need several different resumes, aim for three resumes to start with, so we're going to use our work so far to help us to create a resume which can be quickly and easily modified to fit any of the entries on your three lists above.
Step 3 - Versatile Resumes With Immediate Impact
Your resume will be reviewed by a person who is working through a stack of a hundred resumes and discarding 95% of them as quickly as possible. You have about five seconds to convince that person that your resume deserves a closer look.

Formatting is irrelevant at best. Often it is harmful. Most companies today put resumes into an Applicant Tracking System which strips them down to "plain text." Your resume must be formatted to be maximally effective as plain text. Most expensive resume writing services charge you a lot money to create formatting which will actually make your resume less effective than it was to start with. Also, you should eliminate the "Objective" section at the top of your resume. Refer to the five second rule above.

Resumes should begin with a section of five to seven bullets with the heading: "ACHIEVEMENTS." Create ten to twelve bullets which can be moved in and out of this "ACHIEVEMENTS" section depending on which job you are pursuing.

Achievement bullets should be as quantifiable as possible. "Consistent top producer" should be rewritten as "Ranked 2nd of 17 Account Managers in 2019." "Excellent organizational skills" should be rewritten as "Reorganization of workflow processes contributed to savings of 16% on materials in 2018." "Team player" should be rewritten as "According to Jane Abrams, VP of Finance at XYZ Company, ‘Bill Johnson is one of the three people most dedicated to team success of the more than seventy people I have hired in my career."

Each job entry should consist of only a very brief description of the role, followed by a series of four or five bullets. Those bullets should be as quantifiable as possible. As with the ACHIEVEMENTS section, this quantification is very important, but most people find it difficult, so get help with it. For most people, this takes time and effort and multiple revisions but it makes all the difference in the world so do not skip it.

Move bullets into and out of your resume depending on the job you are pursuing. Keep job entries that are less relevant very brief. Add more bullets for job entries that are more relevant. Let's make that very clear: use fewer bullets for jobs that are less relevant and more bullets for jobs that are more relevant.

Create three resume templates that can used "as is" or slightly modified depending up which type of job you are applying for. Remember, according to the lists you made earlier, there are a number of different types of jobs you should be not only considering, but actively pursuing.
Step 4 - Help And Advice Netowrking
This is most powerful tool in the arsenal. We are not the only ones who know about this approach, but most people far under-utilize it. We want to help you benefit to the maximum possible degree from what may be the single most powerful tool in business — help and advice networking.

Most people are nervous about trying this. That's okay. Being nervous is fine. But it won't hurt you one bit to try this, and it won't take much time, or any money, and the impact on your career and your life will be immeasurable.

Start, as we said before, by making a list of fifty people you could potentially call and ask for "help and advice" in this job search process. These are people whom you respect and admire, whose phone numbers you have or can get, and who are or might be willing to talk to you for a couple of minutes. After listing fifty, take a break, and then narrow the list down to twenty five. List them with the ones you will find easiest to call at the top.

Your pitch to these people is simply this, "I respect you a lot and I would be very grateful if you could take just a minute or two of your time to share your help and advice with me."

Now, depending upon whether you're looking to change to a different field or stay in the same field, say one of the following. 1) "What I've been most successful at is (fill in the blank)", or, 2) "What I'm most interested in doing is (fill in the blank)". Either way, keep it VERY brief.

Then say, "I'm looking to make a career change and I would be very grateful for any suggestions you might have to steer me in the right direction."

It may surprise you, but the number of very successful people who will answer this question is close to a hundred percent. Most answers will be brief, but that's good. The information you need from them only takes a minute to share.

Four things happen from this approach. 1) You get great leads. 2) You enhance your relationship with this successful, inspiring person. 3) You develop the humility that makes you very good at providing help and advice for others. 4) Most importantly of all, after making a bunch of these calls, you will find that your whole perspective on your career and its possibilities and possibly your perspective on life as well has opened up in a dynamic way.

At the end of the call, ask for permission to send this person your resume. Send your resume along with a BRIEF thank you.

Follow up a few days after sending your resume and thanks by sending another BRIEF email simply thanking them for taking the time to share their ideas with you and tell them, BRIEFLY, how much it meant to you and how it has been helpful.

These calls will go so well that you will find yourself becoming more and more comfortable making them. Still, most people procrastinate on things like this. You will probably need an accountability partner for this. Make a schedule to make five calls a day for five days until you have completed your twenty-five calls. Be accountable to your accountability partner for this. If you are using one of our coaches then that coach will be your accountability partner.
Step 5 - Get The Interview
The person doing the hiring for the job you want needs your help. That person is busy doing their job, which is something other than interviewing and hiring. Still, that person now needs to hire someone, and the chances are that the process is not going well, and most of the candidates are far off the mark. Remind yourself every step of the way — the hiring authority needs your help! This step is how you provide that help.

This step doesn't take a lot of time, but it does take a lot of commitment, consistent commitment. You should have an accountability partner or coach for this step or there is a good chance that it just won't get done. But, if you do it get it done, you will almost certainly transform you career.

On the basis of the lists you made previously, and the calls you have had with your help and advice mentors, make a list of twenty five jobs that you will pursue. You are NOT committing to accepting or doing these jobs. You are simply seeking an interview. Do not yet seek to apply for these jobs.

Use your bullets to create resumes that match each of these jobs. But do not submit resumes or apply for any jobs at this stage.

Use Google, company websites, your personal network, Facebook, and every other tool at your disposal, especially LinkedIn, to find the names of the people doing the hiring for each role in which you are interested. You may want to pay LinkedIn for an upgraded account so that you can get more information and, when the time is right, contact more people.

Do not apply for any jobs until after you have done your absolute best to find names and contact information for all of the hiring authorities for your twenty-five target jobs.

Pick up the phone when necessary and call the companies doing the hiring and ask anyone you can get in touch with to give you names and contact information for the people doing the hiring. Sometimes this won't work. If you are persistent, and keep calling and asking more people, it will usually work. It takes a certain level of commitment and drive to do this. You may need an accountability partner to help motivate you and keep you on target as you find the names and contact information of the people you want to go to work for.

Now, it's time to prepare your elevator pitch.

Your elevator pitch is three or four sentences that explain two things: 1) Why you will be great at the job. 2) Why you want the job.

What job you get, how much money you make, how happy you are in your career, where your family lives, where your kids go to school, how many people you can help financially, all of this depends more than anything else on making that elevator pitch to as many as possible of the twenty-five people on your list of target hiring authorities. Do it by phone or in person as often as possible. Fall back on email only when phone and in person have failed.

Be bold and show up in person wherever possible, asking for permission to just say hello and drop off your resume in person with the hiring authority. And then be bold and show up in person three or four days later and ask for an interview.

Yes, this is out of your comfort zone. It's like asking the person you think you want to marry to go on that first date. Your stomach is queasy. You are tempted to skip it. Don't skip it. There is too much at stake.

Do this and you will get interviews. If you can't make yourself do this, then get someone to be your accountability partner and help you do it. If you can't find a good accountability partner, then you may need to hire one of our coaches. That's okay. We're not talking about a ton of money here. We have this figured out and we can help you get it done for a very small investment.
Step 6 - Solid Gold Interview Preparation
This is the in-the-trenches interview prep material used by top recruiters who only get paid if the candidate they are prepping gets hired. This is the stuff that really works.

Before we go any further, you need to know what your goal is here. Your goal is to get the job offer. You must not waste energy right now trying to figure out if you want the job. You have not been offered the job! You do not have to make that decision now. Take that pressure off of your shoulders. Your goal is simply to get the offer. The interview process can, and often does, result in both the job description and the compensation changing and improving. So don't distract yourself now wondering whether you want the job. Stay laser-focused on getting the offer. If you do this, you will likely not only get the offer, but you will improve the offer — it will be better than anyone expected it to be, regarding both job description and compensation. Make no mistake — your job here is to get the offer. If you don't get the offer, you will never know what the offer might have been, and therefore you will never know whether it might have been the right job for you.

Now that that has been said, you may be wondering how you will know whether you really want the job. That's easy. The method described below for handling the interview process, and the questions you will ask, will not only result in you getting the best possible offer, it will also result in you having all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

Research and Preparation

Go into the interview knowing everything that you possibly can about the company you are interviewing with and the person you are interviewing with. Know the history of both, as well as any news about both which has been recently released. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and Twitter at a minimum. Be prepared to reference something very recent. You do not need a lot of this background information. Interviews do not allow time for a lot of information. You have to be focused and brief. The key pieces of information you want to mention about the person interviewing you can be written in three or four bullets on the top page of the notepad in the folio you bring with you to the interview. You absolutely should have a notepad like this, in a black leather folio, open on your lap during the interview. It will help you relax if you know that the information you need is written there in front of you. This information must be brief and bulleted and fit on the top sheet.

Be warm, fuzzy and friendly to start the interview. Be happy. People hire happy, positive people. Immediately prior to the interview you should do some things that make you warm, fuzzy, friendly and happy. Listen to some music that makes you want to dance. Go ahead and dance right next to your car in some reasonably private place near the interview. On the way to the interview have a conversation with someone positive who inspires you. Meditate or pray in a way that fills you with positivity. If you can do it without splitting your pants or sweating too much, do a little exercising and stretching. The bottom line is get positive and do what makes you happy — do what makes you smile! Now, walk in to the interview confidently knowing that you have followed the process described below and you are ready to win.

An interview has only two relevant topics. Everything else is off-topic. The relevant topics are:

* Why you will be great at job
* Why you want the job

Any time you are talking about anything else you are off-topic. If you are asked a question on any other topic you should answer forthrightly, in less than thirty seconds, and then transition back to one of the two relevant topics. Here's an example. If you have been out of work for six months or three years or whatever, you should explain that in thirty seconds or less, and then transition back to talking about one of the two relevant topics. Do not spend three minutes, or even two minutes, talking about something off topic.

Prepare a brief story of about a minute which demonstrates something about you that is very positive. It does not have to relate to the job. It should be something that makes you look good and feel good. What is it about you that people like the best, that you like the best, that is most impressive about you, that makes you really happy. Find something and explain it, in less than a minute, near the beginning of the interview, sometime in the first ten minutes, ideally in the first five minutes.Here's why. Relating this story will change you into a happier, more positive, more likable and impressive person. This is an important element of why you will be great at the job and it is not off topic, so long as it is told briefly. Maybe you run marathons, or rescue shelter dogs, or volunteer at a nursing home, or teach English as a second language to immigrants, or love to cook meals for large family gatherings. Whatever it is, get it in there, briefly, because it will change the tone of how you communicate and it will change how the interviewer treats you. Make it relevant. Find a one-sentence way to connect it to the topic of why you want the job or why you will be great at the job. If you have trouble with this, get a friend or accountability partner to help you.

Let's get back to our two topics — why you want the job and why you will be great at the job. Here is your primary interview prep project.

Draw a line down the center of a sheet of paper. On the left side, list six to eight job responsibilities or requirements or qualities you believe the hiring authority will be looking to find in the ideal candidate. On the right side of the line, list six to eight things that you think will make you great at this job. Based upon the resume you have created with our system, you should have strong bullets ready to put here, with quantifiable achievements.

Your job now is to draw lines that connect the items on these two lists together. Your job, almost your only job, is to show how your achievements match what they are looking for. If this job is a good potential fit for you, you should be able to match these up nicely.

Now, on new sheet of paper, list these matching pairs of job requirements and your achievements. Above each pair, write down a question you can ask the hiring authority, a question which you believe will lead them to give an answer which will include the job responsibilities you have listed there. In other words, ask a question that gets them to talk an item from the list on the left side of your page, then be ready to talk about how that connects to one of your achievements from your list on the right side of the page.

Your goal now, which you should practice with a friend or partner or coach, is to ask these questions, listen well to the answers, and then respond by explaining how your achievements line up with the job responsibility just described.

This is very powerful. You have not told the hiring manager what they need. You have asked an insightful question, and they have responded by telling you what they need. Now, you are making the connection between their need and your achievements. Bingo.

Now, in summary form, this is what a successful interview looks like.

  1. Prepare thoroughly, including one page of bullets on a sheet in a folio. That page includes 4-5 bullets up top about the interviewer and the company, including one piece of current news. Next on that page are 4-5 sets of information. Each set includes a question, followed by a job responsibility the hiring authority is looking for, and one of your matching achievements. Keep this bulleted page open on the folio in front of you.
  2. Dress more conservatively than necessary. When in doubt, go with the more conservative choice. Always.
  3. Come in happy and enthusiastic. Do the things necessary to get that way immediately before the meeting.
  4. Make warm, happy, fuzzy small talk for two or three minutes. Take the lead in transitioning into the actual interview by asking the "keys to the kingdom" question.
  5. The keys to the kingdom question sounds something like this: "I've read the job description and I did talk to your internal recruiter, but I would love to hear it from you, in your words; would you tell me what you are looking for in this position?" This question is crucial because it tells you what is MOST important to the person who can hire you. This question should NEVER be skipped. It is hard to ask this question once the interview gets rolling along, because it is no longer as relevant. Do everything in your power to get this question asked EARLY in the interview. The best way is if you lead with it by transitioning into it after a couple of minutes of small talk.
  6. Insert your one-minute personal story near the beginning of the interview to set a friendly and likable tone. People have good reason to like you. Make sure the hiring authority knows that and knows it early. Your story also makes you like yourself more and that helps too.
  7. Prepare a summary of your career, but keep it short. Don't mention anything negative — no matter what. No negatives. Keep it positive. Skip over or be very brief with things that are off topic. For instance, if there is a gap in your resume, address it with something very simple and very brief — one or two sentences only, and then get back on topic, i.e. the story of your career which demonstrates why you will be great at the job and why you want the job.
  8. Answer any questions honestly and directly. If the question is off topic then be very brief, i.e. thirty seconds. Always be prepared to pivot to one of the questions on your list. It is your responsibility to ask those questions and address those topics. Interviews go by quickly. Covering your 4-5 critical topics is not easy to do. Even when you are on topic, keep your answers brief, never more than two or three minutes, and pivot to your questions/topics whenever possible. It is your responsibility to address the 4-5 key topics you have listed on your folio. Get that done.
  9. The Close. We have prepped thousands of candidates for interviews. We always do everything in our power to get them to ask this closing question. When they do, they are always glad they did. But many do not ask it. They get cold feet. They claim that the interview was successful and no closing question was needed. The truth is usually different. As recruiters, we have debriefed thousands of candidates and hiring managers after interviews.

    The candidates who did not ask this closing question usually think they did well. The hiring managers usually say that the candidate is eliminated for one reason or another — and the candidate had no idea what that reason was — because the candidate did not ask. Here is the closing question. Tattoo it on the palm of your hand. First, say something positive about your interest in the job, and then say this: "Do you have any questions about me being the right person for this job?" Practice this a thousand times before the interview. Promise your accountability partner that you WILL ask this question.

    If you ask this question it changes the whole feel of the interview. It demonstrates that you have a higher level of professionalism and confidence than the great majority of candidates who will not ask this question. This question is a game changer. Either you get an out-loud acknowledgement of your status as a lead candidate, or you find out what the problem is and you get to address it right there. This is a thousand times better than for there to be a concern and you not to have a chance to address it. If there is a concern, address it, and then ask the question, "does that adequately address your concern?" This is grown up stuff. This is what you do when you care enough to do your best. This how you stand above the crowd. This is how you win the offer.

    Much or most of the time the interviewer will brush aside your closing question by saying that it's too soon to know how you fit in the ranking with other candidates, that other candidates have to be seen, or that you have to talk to so-and-so before a decision is made. Your response is this: "I appreciate that and I look forward to going to the next step in the process. But you and I just spent almost an hour together and you know a lot about this job. I would really appreciate your thoughts on where I stand. I'm not asking for a commitment or an offer, but based on what you know about me so far, do you think I would be a good fit for this job, or do you have questions that haven't been answered?" In other words, hang in there, and get the answer to your closing question. You will be glad you did.

    The Way to Win the Second Interview

    Second interviews are handled identically to first interviews. But there is something you can do in the first interview to strongly improve your position for the second interview. Let's say that at the end of your interview with Joe he tells you that the next step will be for you to meet with his boss, Sally.

    If you have already asked your closing question and gotten a positive answer, then you're ready to ask Joe for his guidance. That sounds like this, "I'm looking forward to meeting with Sally. Is there anything I should do to prepare for that meeting, something I should research or brush up on, or anything I should be aware of before meeting with Sally?" That question is not presumptuous. It's professional.

    It shows that you want to do your best and that you know how to get the help you need in order to do your best. You will be amazed at the great insider tips you will get to help prepare you for the second interviewer. These are tips the other candidates will not get — because they will not ask.

    Alright, let's move on and negotiate the offer, because this process will almost certainly get you some offers.
Step 7 - Free Personality And Career Assessments
If you haven’t taken a career and/or personality assessment lately, this might be a good time to do one, or more than one. These types of assessments won’t necessarily be able to tell you exactly what you should do with your life, but they can help you to focus your search or open you up to new possibilities for your career and your life. All of these assessments are free.

Three popular career assessments
Human Metrics
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Two popular personality assessments
16 Personalities
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Personality Perfect
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One On One Coaching From Our Experts
Job searching generates a tremendous amount of stress. The actions we take and decisions we make during a job search have an enormously outsized impact upon our life-outcomes for the long term. Many people are overwhelmed by this challenge.

The best way to overcome this challenge is with a combination of encouragement and coaching provided by someone with expert knowledge of the ins and outs of the job search process. It’s even better when that coaching is systematically integrated with the process taught here at We have worked hard to create a model that makes this one-on-one, customized support amazingly affordable.