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Get the LEAD Out! #IntentionalPositivity

Sep 22, 2017 01:56PM ● Published by Laurie James

Fall is near, and the familiar smell of #2 lead pencils is in the air – a clear indication that our munchkins are back in full swing of their educational pursuits. The long list of school supplies has been carefully checked twice. With this important “to do” item scratched off your list, it’s time to get refocused on furthering your career. In carefully preparing your portfolio, you’ll need to practice answering those important job interview questions. Remember to get the LEAD out!!

L – Leave out unimportant details:  The first question most employers will ask on an interview is “Tell me about yourself.” They want to see how you express yourself, but they don’t want a 10-minute dissertation of your life. They only want to know about where you grew up, your education, experience and 5-year plan … and this should be wrapped up in less than 60 seconds.

E – Emphasize unique accomplishments or experience: Streamline your information to let an employer know your distinctive thumbprint. What makes you stand out from everyone else? What accomplishments have you rightfully earned? How much money have you saved the company? How about any special projects you’ve created or championed? Have you been a masterful time manager? Do you hold a specific certification that makes you uniquely qualified for that particular job? Own your honors and awards … remember, this is YOUR story and you’ve earned the right to tell it!!

A – Articulate your message with a story: The best messages are conveyed by telling a story. This is an art, so practice it. Use lots of action when telling your story. You can start with, “So there I was in the middle of ______.” Fill in the blank with “… a board meeting where everything was going south, so I quickly brought up a great solution to save the day,” or “witnessing a quarrel between two managers, when I stepped in to diffuse the situation,” or “a tight deadline, when I was inspired by a great idea that ultimately saved the company time and money!” When activity is used in a story, the listener becomes that much more interested in the message.

D – Diligently work on remaining positive in the process: There is no room for negativity in any part of the job search. If you bad mouth a former client, employer or co-worker, it will send a strong message to your potential employer that you will likely say the same thing about them. Even under the worst of situations, it’s key to remain positive in every word you write and every answer you give on any part of the interview process!! Period!!

Reflection: Many years ago, I went out with a Chemical Engineer. I asked him to tell me about his work. Two hours later, he was still telling me everything he knew about lead (the chemical element), as that was his specialty!! Needless to say, I was bored to death!! Moral: When someone asks what time it is, they don’t need to know how a watch is made!! 😊


Laurie J. James is one of the only 16 Master Career Directors globally. She co-founded and presided over the Professional Resume Writing and Research Association from 2000-2004. PRWRA rebranded to Career Directors in 2005. Laurie has created 10,000+ job-winning resumes in her career. She is a credentialed resume & LinkedIn profile writer, seasoned public speaker and award-winning career image coach -

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