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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:54 PM

Mish Mailbag: Job Seeking Advice

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Here is a Dear Abby kind of question that I get all the time. A reader asks ..

Hi Mish,

My girlfriend just got her MBA and wants to become an "Executive Coach." Considering we are heading into a depression and many companies/industries will go bye-bye, any ideas on what industries might be good to focus on?

Hello Todd

I do not mean to sound harsh, but her odds of becoming an executive coach are likely close to zero. What real world experiencing does she have in either coaching or executive business?

I suspect the answer is none.

Making matters worse, she might be overqualified for other positions she might take.

My advice to her would be to take ANY job at any company she thinks she might like to work for. Holding out for something close to what she wants to do is a mistake.

Be flexible!

This market is too brutal to be holding out for exactly what you want.

Can miracles happen?
Yes they can.
However, please do not count on it or hold out for it.

General Advice For All Job Seekers

  • Be flexible. Broaden your horizons as to what companies or positions you will accept.
  • Competition for every job is intense, so tailor your resume as close as possible to each opening you seek.
  • Generic resumes will likely not work, nor will trumped up experiences that you do not really have.
  • If you are underqualified to any significant degree, your application will quickly be discarded. Worse yet, the same applies if you are highly overqualified. Tailor your resume with this in mind.
  • Never lie about schooling, degrees, or experience. Even if you land a position, resume lies are grounds for dismissal.
  • Accept any reasonable job opportunity. If you hold out for exactly what you want, you may miss a good opportunity for another job that will be long gone by the time you realize the need to be flexible.

Other than that, all I can say is keep your hopes up and your expectations reasonable. Attitudes play a role. Companies will always give preference to those with a cheerful, can-do attitude.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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