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Between the Trapezes Driving Your Career Starts *Now*
September 2012


Welcome to Between the Trapezes, showing you how you can make your way from one career certainty to the next!

- Joanne Meehl, aka The Job Search Queen

What's here:
  • Why the past tense can sabotage your search
  • Your LinkedIn profile should be about you, not your company
  • There's A Guide for That!

  • Why the past tense can sabotage your search
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    You know I'm big on job candidates telling success stories. These are evidence, PROOF of your ability to do the next job.

    But talking only of what you "used to do" won't advance your career OR your job search. Your next employer wants to know: What can you do for us, NOW?

    Here's a typical mistake that a job hunter makes when asked, for example, "Why do you think you're a fit for this position?"

    Poor answer: "It's a lot like what I used to do but with more responsibility. Back then I was the manager of three people, and enjoyed team building."

    Notice phrases like "used to do", "back then", and "enjoyed" -- all in past tense or in the past.. Are you stuck there?

    Better answer: "This job would let me build on earlier successes as a manager -- I would bring my skills in team building to you. My plan if I were selected is to hold weekly meetings where those who've had a breakthrough week would be recognized, which is motivating to team members."

    Notice phrases like "lets me build", "bring my skills", "my plan is" and "is motivating". These are not only present tense, the answers are expansive and tie the candidate to the job at hand.

    So beware of past tense. YES, of course, you need to prove you can do the job by mentioning past successes. But talk of them like you can still do them -- you still can, right? -- not like they are lost in your past.

    Your LinkedIn profile should be about you, not your company

    Many job hunters ask me to take a look at their LinkedIn profiles so they get better at attracting recruiters and hiring managers to it. Typical fixes they need to make are in using the Summary section more to their advantage, moving sections around for smoother flow, getting more recommendations, and so on.

    But it often dismays me when someone spends whole sections of their profile on their company! They insert the company's marketing-ese, like this: "TransCo is a $2B global company that provides digital solutions for industries such as medical devices, energy extraction, agriculture and transportation". That's 133 characters, and 20 spaces that the person just spent not on herself, but on her company. Given that many people today change jobs every 3 years or so, why use your space for "them" and not for you?

    First, information about your company is easily found elsewhere on LinkedIn: Most companies' profiles are on LinkedIn via a separate link; just click on their name. Or if yours isn't there, you can add in that link into your profile.

    But more importantly, YOU need this space, in both the Summary and in the position listing itself in the Experience section, to talk about what you have done for the company. Describe your accomplishments, mention excellent quotes about you from current and former managers, give your favorite (work-related) quote: "I train sales teams to qualify, qualify, qualify", said one of my clients in his Summary.

    So don't use YOUR precious limited space to advertise for them. Your LinkedIn profile is yours, so it should advocate for YOU.

    See a new article from my blog about dropping the use of the word "we" from most of your job search language.

    There's A Guide for That!
    QR Code to Store - smaller

    Joanne Meehl makes available materials that will give you some coaching, right off the page, at the Ignite Your Job Search Store!
    Want to know how to create a target list of employers? There's now a guide for that. Are you a college senior looking for a road map to a great job when you graduate? There's a guide for that, too.
    All are at minimal prices, with a secure connection when you use a credit card to purchase.

    You can even get live coaching time with Joanne here -- at introductory rates that will more than pay you back when you use what you learn!

    To get to the Ignite store, just snap the QR code here with your phone to get right there. Or use this link. And while you're at the site, see what else you can read that will help you (the blog, the Trapezes newsletter), or is free to download.
    See you there!


    Joanne Meehl

    Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.

    -- Vernon Howard, Writer and Psychologist


    Tip of the Month:
    Not every job search idea you read on the web is up to date or pertinent to you. If the author cites good results, then it's real.


    One Meeting That Can Speed Up Your Search!!
    A Career Consult with the Queen is a 1-to-2-hour session with Joanne Meehl that helps the candidate get unstuck, unstalled, or unconfused -- or all three. You get feedback, possibilities, ideas, and a plan of action, as well as useful materials. It zeroes in on what's working in your search and on what needs fixing. In-person or via Skype, it's $175 and applicable to additional services if you want to do more work with Joanne. For more info, just contact Joanne at


    Wait, there's more!

    Thurs, Oct 4th, Face2Face: Creating a Winning Presence, featuring Dean Hyers

    5+ Years of Between the Trapezes, free here

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    phone: 612-807-0258 and 978-355-4200