« Surviving Manic Monday | Main | When is it okay to text at the table? »

Job Search Makeover: Find out where job seekers go wrong

Last week, I met Kimberly Bishop at Starbucks in Fort Lauderdale. Kim is one of the country's top executive recruiters and is based in New York. Her visit to Florida came at the ideal time. I had just completed a column on Buster Castiglia and his wife Esther. Their marriage has been put to the test over the last year as Buster, 67, searches for a new job after 37 years as a banking executive.

Kim and I were talking about her new book and about all the mistakes candidates make in their search. For example, not sending a thank you email the same day is a big no-no, she says. As we talked, I found myself asking her questions about Buster and how someone older might want to approach their job search. I asked Kim if she would work with Buster and allow me to write about it. 

How do you do impress potential employers regardless of your age? Read On.... 



Posted on Wed, Feb. 23, 2011

Job-search makeover for Miami-Dade man

By Cindy Krischer Goodman


A top recruitment expert gives advice on impressing potential employers

Most of us know that job seekers should approach their hunt like they would a job: Set specific hours and allow themselves time off to stay balanced. Buster Castiglia does that. But a year into the search, he needs some expert guidance and I asked Bishop to help.

Because Bishop works from New York and Buster lives in Coral Gables, Castiglia e-mailed his résumé and the two spoke by phone.

Bishop opened the conversation with Castiglia by asking about his ideal job. Castiglia had an answer but it wasn’t succinct. Bishop believes every job seeker should have a crisp answer to this question. “It should flow off your tongue,” she says.

Bishop suggested Castiglia always address salary expectations on an interview. This is a huge area of trepidation for unemployed executives. “I made a six-figure salary for years, but I’m downsizing, selling my home and willing to be flexible,” Castiglia says. Bishop advises Castiglia to reveal his most recent compensation, and follow it with this: “Based on the economy, here would be the range of what I’m looking for now.”

Not addressing compensation or coming across as too flexible is a mistake, she says. “People need a range to figure out if you are in the ballpark.”

Also, address the issue of being overqualified for a position. “Indicate that you are really interested in this position and explain why you want the job and why you would be a great fit.” Bring it up even if they don’t, she says. “Being proactive shows confidence and enthusiasm.”

Bishop also suggests addressing it in a cover letter: “As you see from the résumé, my experience is vast and I could be viewed as overqualified, but I want to tell you why I am interested.”  Read more:

By the way, I highly recommend Kim's Book, Get Down to Business and You'll Get the Job! Here are some more of her job-search tips:Kimberlyb :

  • Be focused and clear about what you are looking for, your goal. Recognize when you may have to take a low-level job and move up to your goal.
  • Establish a job hunting routine and stop at the hour you’ve planned.
  • Create a resume that contains all the information that is necessary to present a complete picture of what you have to offer. Don’t leave out jobs just to condense.
  • Prepare a job search pitch that conveys what skills you possess.
  • Register on LinkedIn. Use a tutorial if necessary.
  • Target recruiters in your area of expertise
  • Do your research before the interview and don’t be vague about your goals.
  • Be straightforward in explaining resume gaps.
  • Make sure you aren’t doing more of the same thing instead of figuring out what you might do better