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EMPLOYMENT - page 2

Job application

This is an actual job application a 17 year old boy submitted at a McDonald's fast-food establishment in Florida...and they hired him because he was so honest and funny!

NAME: Greg Bulmash
SEX: Not yet. Still waiting for the right person.
DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.
DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.
EDUCATION: Yes.
LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.
SALARY: Less than I'm worth.
MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.
REASON FOR LEAVING: It sucked.
HOURS AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any.
PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.
MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?
DO YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM LIFTING UP TO 50 LBS?: Of what?
DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"
HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing house Sweepstakes.
DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job no, on my breaks yes.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.
DO YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE?: Yes. Absolutely.
SIGN HERE: Aries.
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Four Common Job Interview Mistakes -- And How to Fix Them

By Kevin Donlin

"Many's the slip twixt cup and lip," said Shakespeare (if I remember my high school English correctly).

Translated to your job search, that phrase means: "Even the best resume in the world is worthless if you fluff the interview." Unfortunately, it happens every day. Job seekers send out excellent resumes, get called for the interview ... and blow it.

So, to help you avoid the most common interview blunders, I consulted a nationally renowned expert on the subject, Carole Martin.

The following tips are from my conversation with Carole, the Job Interview Coach for Monster.com and the most capable interview expert I know, with 15 years of human resources management experience.

Blunder #1: Poor Non-Verbal Communication

"Interviewing effectively is about demonstrating confidence. Things like standing straight, making eye contact, and connecting with a good, firm handshake are all vitally important," says Martin.

Think of it like this: we humans have only been using words for the past 10,000 years or so, right? Before that, we communicated by grunting, posturing and clubbing each other over the head.

We humans have been paying attention to non-verbal cues for many thousands of years longer than we have verbal ones. It's in our genes.

The person who interviews you is no different. That's why your body language plays such a vital role in shaping the first impression you make. It can be a great beginning to your interview. Or a quick ending.

Practice accordingly.

Blunder #2: Failure to Listen Actively

"From the moment you start talking, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not listening actively, you're missing out on a major opportunity," says Martin.

Make sure you take copious notes, jotting down every key phrase and idea your interviewer uses. Doing so will demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job, your attention to detail ... and it will help you recall what is said. So you won't ask a question that's already been answered, for example.

Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what they said. Observe your interviewer and match their style and pace.

Blunder #3: Talking Too Much

"Telling the interviewer more than they need to know can be a fatal mistake. Candidates who don't prepare ahead of time tend to ramble, sometimes talking themselves right out of the job," says Martin.

Remember that you're at the job interview to get information as much as you are to give it.

"Prepare for the interview by reading the job posting thoroughly. Try to focus on the skills you have that match the requirements of the position, and relate only that information," says Martin.

Blunder #4: Appearing Desperate

This can be tough to avoid in the current job market. After all, you need a job! But you must rein in your emotions.

"As a rule, if you interview with a'Please, please, hire me,' mind-set, you will appear less confident. Maintain the three Cs during your next interview: Cool, Calm, and Confident! You know you can do the job. Make sure the interviewer knows you can, too," says Martin.

-- Kevin Donlin is the author of "Resume and Cover Letter Secrets Revealed," a do-it-yourself manual that will help you find a job in 30 days ... or your money back. For more information, please visit


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Job Search Lessons from the School of Hard Knocks

By Kevin Donlin

Have you been hit hard by the slow economy?

If you're 30 or younger, you've probably never experienced a recession as a member of the work force. And when compared to the go-go economy of the late 1990s, the current rash of job cuts and hiring freezes must seem especially frightening.

So I tracked down and interviewed James Adams, a 70-year-old former Minneapolis resident who's seen it all.

He's has held -- count 'em -- 107 jobs in his life. In fact, Adams became so skilled at getting jobs that the U.S. government hired him to teach his job search secrets to others!

Without further ado, here are three job hunting tactics for hard times, from the school of hard knocks.

1) Don't take every help-want ad at face value

Some employment ads are written to prevent all but the most gung-ho job seekers from applying.

Reason? To prevent a flood of resumes that would take days to read, some employers purposely place ads that ask for unrealistic qualifications.

"I recall a help-wanted ad for a shipping clerk that read like a laundry list. They wanted someone with a college degree (master's preferred), able to lift 300 lbs., type 50+ words a minute -- it went on and on," says Adams.

So, how did Adams overcome this obstacle?

"I took the direct approach. I went down to the company and said, 'Here I am!' I told them that God himself couldn't meet all their qualifications, but if they wanted a top-notch shipping clerk, I was their man."

He got the job.

2) You may be more qualified than you think

Adams once advised an applicant to talk about her hobby as a private pilot when interviewing for a position at a utility.

Why?

The job required a manager to oversee a plant delivering electricity to consumers across California. Making the wrong decision -- or no decision -- would put thousands of people in the dark.

As a private pilot, this woman had safely landed a crippled aircraft not once, but twice. Had she not made the right decisions fast, while focusing on a solution, she wouldn't have survived.

By proving her decision-making ability, which transferred easily from piloting to power plant management, she aced out dozens of other applicants -- and got the job.

3) Rejection letters can be a good thing

Your response to a letter of rejection may, incredibly, get you the job.

Because, when a hiring panel interviews several applicants but still can't decide on one candidate, they may send out rejection letters to test the mettle of those job seekers.

"I was consulted by a woman who interviewed very well for a position, but still got a letter of rejection. Most people would have torn up the letter and gone on to other things," says Adams.

Instead, Adams told her to write a gracious reply, thanking the company for their time and reaffirming her strong desire to work for them.

Did it work?

"The top contender for the position had to relocate on short notice. The hiring panel remembered the letter they got from the really eager and pleasant woman who replied to their rejection letter. She got the job," says Adams.

So, take it from a job search pro who's been there and done that. You can do great things in your career if you exercise persistence, politeness and a little street smarts.

-- Kevin Donlin is the author of "Resume and Cover Letter Secrets Revealed," a do-it-yourself manual that will help you find a job in 30 days ... or your money back. For more information, please visit


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