You vs. The Chump

This article is going to cover the “do’s and don’ts” during your job search through a mix of anecdotes and tips from a badass HR Director/VP I know (HI MOM!).


Never lie on an application or on your resume. It’s in your best interest to stay honest and speak to your actual experiences and accomplishments. When you lie on a resume or a job application your are initiating a relationship of mistrust and that is not going to take you anywhere.


1. List applicable skills and accomplishments at the top of your resume. A hiring manager does not have all day to review your life’s work history. Make this process easy for them.

2. Listing your skills and expertise in a clear manner is only the first hurtle. In turn, you need to provide specific examples. Can you express them quantitatively? Ex: You increased sales by 20% within your first six-months, etc.

3. Less is more! Try to be as concise and clear as possible!

4. Stack your sentences with power/action verbs. The left side of your resume is the most valuable, because when in a crunch employers will simply scan the first few words along the left column. Choose wisely.

-Try to incorporate: manage, direct, initiated, coordinated, developed, etc.


You’ve made it through the application and resume phase and  earned yourself an interview. Yah! Easy killer, it’s far from over. You may be the top candidate for the position but there are simple mistakes that can blow your chances.

1. Dress the part. Appearances matter and employers will instantly make a judgment based on your presentation of yourself. Be sure to dress for the position you want!

2. Confidence is key. If you have no confidence in yourself how is your interviewer supposed to have confidence in you to perform the job? Before the interview, take a deep breath, remind yourself that you are awesome and make sure to let them know as well—but don’t be cocky.

3. NEVER badmouth old employers. This includes divulging proprietary information out of spite or defaming an old boss because you didn’t happen to see eye to eye. It’s fine to say that is wasn’t the right fit but leave it at that. Keep it respectful because if you talk shit about old employers then any potential employer would expect the same if things ever go sour with you.

4. Come interview day, the biggest advice I can give is do as the boy-scouts do– be prepared! This sounds like a no-brainer but you would be surprised how many people miss this vital step.

5. Be prepared to speak toward the company’s history, their mission and why you would be a good fit for their culture. The last thing you want to do here; however, is being too talkative.

6. Have a dialogue: This should be a discussion not a monologue. Allow the conversation to have a healthy back and forth volley. Being overly talkative is bad but responding with one-word answers is equally detrimental.

7. If you don’t have much experience interviewing, review active listening models to grasp how to properly communicate in a formal setting. Who knows, this may also help you in social situations as well. We can’t all be natural born social butterflies.

8. When you don’t understand a question don’t race to answer or try to guess what the interviewer is thinking! It’s fine to ask for clarification or to have the question repeated. This demonstrates active engagement, intelligence and a true interest in the matter at hand. This also will give you a few extra seconds to formulate a proper response.

9. Think before you speak. Fully listen to the question, take a moment to think through a well developed thought and then answer.

10. whenever possible, provide tangible examples that paint a picture of your successes. 

Thank you & follow-up:

1.Whether you are waiting to hear about a job application or hear back from your interview there is one thing that too many people overlook the follow-up!

2. First, be sure to send a thank you after your interview. If you really want to add a personal touch, send a letter however an email will work as well.

3. If you haven’t heard back after the timetable the presented it is perfectly okay to follow up and give your potential employer a shout

-Be persistent but not pushy. Maybe they haven’t had a chance to review your resume. Maybe they’re still reviewing other applicants. Either way, you should demonstrate initiative and persistence without being annoying. Ask the hiring manager when you can expect to hear a decision and/or if they would mind if and when you may follow-up again in the future.

Misc no-no’s:

1. One of the biggest no-no’s is going on a company website and applying to every open position. You may think this show’s initiative and an interest in the company but it actually shows quite the opposite. This displays desperation and laziness. Just don’t do it.

2. This brings me to my last point. Never tell a potential employer that you’re settling during the interview because the real job that you want isn’t available. This tells the employer that you’re taking this for the time being and you’re as good as gone when another job becomes available.

If you take anything away from this post remember to stack your resume, be clear and concise, explain your work experiences quantitively, and put your best foot forward. Now go get them you A-Players!


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.