ResumesResumes
InterviewsInterviews
Cover LettersCover Letters
Beginner BasicsBeginner Basics
In the WorkplaceIn the Workplace
Work/LifeWork/Life
Try Our Quick &
Easy Resume
Builder
Have Your
Resume
Professionally
Written
Attention-
Grabbing
Professional
Cover Letters
Home > Blog: Job Seeker Tips

Stepping Up Your Job Search

Back-to-School Time

We’re moving into autumn, and a new season in which we leave the lazy, carefree days of summer and get back to reality.  More »

Summertime Job Hunting

It’s summer, a time when many job seekers (or workers planning a job move) ponder whether they should put their searches on hold.  More »

Everyone Counts in Job Search Mode

While in job search mode, everyone you come in contact with has the potential to land you that job. You must perfect your pitch. This is your advertisement and you must make it work.  More »

4 Simple Rules to Make Your Resume Standout

In order to be successful in your job search, people say you need to make your resume stand out from the rest of the people applying to the same position. This is really not as difficult as one might think. The hiring managers at Pongo can tell you many stories about the resumes we've received over the years for a variety of the positions we've posted. From our experience, just by practicing these four simple rules, your resume will easily stand out from your competition:  More »

Poll: Are You Using Social Media in Your Job Search?

When people mention social media, many people think of it as a place to reconnect with their high school friends, follow their favorite celebrities, or play games. Social media should also be used in your Job Search. Back in March of 2009, we ran a poll on our site and 11% of the respondents answered what the heck is social networking. We hope that percentage has decreased two years later.  More »

The Reality of Hiring a Career Professional

You might have looked into hiring a career coach, a resume writer, a career consultant, an interview coach – basically someone who has specific knowledge about the job hunt. The professional you are thinking of hiring is only as good as what you give him/her. You need to be prepared to do a great deal of work to uncover and flesh out your career story.  More »

Enhance Your Marketability by Volunteering

Being active in social media, building your own web site, and attending networking events are all great ways to enhance your personal brand. But there's one weapon many people leave out of their branding arsenal: volunteering! Believe it or not, volunteering can be more than a way to give back; it can help you increase your marketability no matter where you are in your career. Here's how.  More »

What Online Learning Can Do For Your Career

After you've been in a certain industry or position for awhile and you know your job inside and out, it's easy to get comfortable. But with the popularity of online classes spreading like wildfire, you've got no excuses. It's time to go back to school to advance your career, and here's why.  More »

10 Tips for Staying Positive in a Long Job Search

We all know that being mentally strong and emotionally fit is crucial , whether it's for business, sports, or your career. But how do you stay positive during a long, challenging job search? Here are 10 tips that may help.  More »

5 Skills to Help You Succeed in a Sales Job

It's National Salesperson's Day. If you've ever considered a sales job, here are five skills that can help land one. When you think about it, the art of selling is similar to the art of job searching.  More »

Valentine's Poem: Finding The Work You Love

This poem by Sital Ruparelia offers you much-needed encouragement to step out of your comfort zone and keep trying until you find the work you truly love to do.  More »

Poll: Would You Take a Salary Cut with a New Job?

Would you take a salary cut with a new job? For many, the thought of accepting a job that pays less money than they made before is repulsive, especially if their lifestyle is, shall we say, a bit on the extravagant side. Vote in our poll and comment on the topic.  More »

5 Tax Deduction Tips for Job Seekers

Want to know which job search expenses you can deduct on your federal income tax return? Here are five things you need to know before you begin.  More »

Non-College Grads Need Better Job Advice

People who attended college but didn't graduate often have trouble proving their potential to prospective employers. But their numbers are growing and they could use better advice on landing good jobs and following career tracks.  More »

Convince the Employer You're the One to Hire

Do you want the job? Here's advice from some of Fortune magazine's best companies to work for in the U.S.: Know the company and show how they can benefit from your skills and experience.  More »

Are Your Finances Any Business of Your Employer?

What if your boss pulled your credit? Do you think your boss has the right to know whether you're awesome at it or not? If you have bad credit, chances are you're not that well organized. Or even worse, you just don't care. Both of which are not prime attributes of a good work ethic and probably get you to the bottom of the resume pile.  More »

Job Searching is Not Fair, Dammit!

We always ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, but we never mention how hard it can be to get that dream job (whatever it turns out to be) when they eventually do grow up. But as you know, it can be really, really hard. And really unfair. Here are 10 examples. Got more?  More »

Poll: What Tops Your Job Search To-Do List for 2011?

Two-thirds of respondents to a recent online poll said their top priority for this year is finding a job with a new employer. Are you one of them? If so, what's the most important part of your job search strategy? Take our latest poll and comment.  More »

Why You Really Shouldn't Job Hunt at Work

Did you ever hear the expression, Just because you can, doesn't mean you should? I usually say it to my teenage son as he heads off with his friends to the all-you-can-eat buffet. But it also applies to today's blog topic: Searching for a new job using your current employer's resources. You can. But you shouldn't.  More »

10 Reasons Volunteering Is Great for Job Seekers

Volunteering your time and talents has obvious benefits to the people you serve, but if you're unemployed, it provides some pretty major benefits for you, too. In honor of MLK Day, here are 10 good reasons every job seeker should be volunteering.  More »

3 'Must Do' Tasks Before You Change Careers

Are you looking to change careers? No matter if you're unemployed, thriving at your current job, or somewhere in between, it's a good time to act. Here are three bases you must cover well in your search for a new career.  More »

How You Can Overcome the 'Overqualified' Label

Many of you, especially those who found yourselves unemployed over the last three years, struggle to overcome the dreaded overqualified tag during job interviews, if you're lucky enough to make it that far in the process. But some employers slap on that tag too quickly without knowing your true intentions.  More »

Changing Jobs: Think It Through Before You Switch

Each job seeker has a set of reasons for wanting to change jobs. But what's a good reason? That can be a difficult question to answer. What's important, though, is whether you're changing jobs based on a gut reaction or a logical thought process. Read my guest post on CareerRocketeer.com.  More »

5 Job Market Predictions for 2011

As your job search enters a new year, you're probably itching to know how it will all turn out and whether you'll land the kind of job you want. So, here are five job market predictions for 2011. Good luck and happy hunting in the new year!  More »

Notable Blog Comments of 2010

During the last week each December, media organizations take a glance over their shoulders at the top stories of the soon-to-be-finished year. We came up with a better idea: seven reader comments that stood out in 2010. Enjoy!  More »

Why Temping Might Be a Good Option for You

If you're a typical job seeker, you're looking for a job where you can stay for a few years. You like stability, structure, a daily routine, a steady paycheck, and good benefits. But there's an upside to landing a temporary job.  More »

Double Dose of Humor for the Job Seeker

Since it's Wednesday and it may seem like an eternity until the weekend, or if you're unemployed and your job search is bumming you out, I'll bet you could use a double shot of humor right now. So read this post to learn about weird jobs and resume bloopers.  More »

What Do Required, Preferred, and Desired Skills Mean?

Most job postings designate required, preferred, and desired skills from the people employers will consider. How much does a job seeker need from each of these three groups to apply, and land an interview? This post can help you answer that.  More »

Step Up Your Job Search During the Holidays

We're a week into the traditional start of the holiday season. If you're among the millions of Americans who are out of work, the coming weeks will test your mood amid the joy and anticipation that come with the season. But it's also a good time to boost your job search efforts.  More »

Which Phone Number Should I Put on My Resume?

The first phone call you receive from a potential employer will likely be a phone screen or a brief phone interview. The point of contact you provide them will dictate how prepared you are to answer their calls and talk to them on the spot. Here's how to decide which phone number is the best to put on your resume.  More »

Hate Your Job? Stay Positive While You Look for Another

Stuck in a job you can't wait to leave? In this guest post written for Work Coach Café, read about five ways to stay positive while you look for something else.  More »

What Veterans Need to Know When Moving to Civilian Work

A veteran of the Air Force -- Pongo's IT manager -- offers the wisdom of his experience on how military personnel can make an effective transition into civilian work. And, on this Veterans Day, we extend a special thank you to all veterans who have worked and sacrificed in service to the United States.  More »

Super Busy? You Can Still Make Time to Job Search

You hate your job, you're underpaid, and you want nothing more than to find a new job, but you're so busy with work and life that you swear you can't find time to actively job search. But oh, you do have time! You can be an active job seeker while still dedicating most of your time to your current job and your non-work life. Here are four quick and easy suggestions.  More »

Poll: How Did You Get Your Last Job?

Last year, we took a poll that asked how people got their most recent jobs. We're curious to see if the answers have changed in a year's time, so we thought it would be a good idea to ask again.  More »

A Little Slow in Getting Hired? Get Inspired!

Is your job search weighing a bit heavily on you as you begin another week? If so, read any or all of these three articles I recently found on the web to help you regain some mojo.  More »

Get Hands-On Job Search Help at a CareerOneStop Center

Job seekers who are computer savvy have an abundance of resources on the web. Sometimes, though, human contact can complement what you can find online. You can get that from any one of the thousands of CareerOneStop offices throughout the U.S.  More »

Why Do Employers Want to Know Your Salary History?

Salary can be a touchy subject when it comes to negotiating a job offer. It's an issue that can cause candidates to walk away, force employers to spurn one candidate in favor of another who will work for less, and make for tense dialogue between employer and would-be employee. Yet it helps to know why employers want to know your salary history.  More »

Poll: Will You Need a Second Job?

Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner? Me neither, especially when I think about the dollars I'll soon be spending on holiday gifts. It could possibly be the most expensive time of the year, and sometimes the thought makes me uneasy. Do you feel the same? Tell us in this poll.  More »

3 Questions to Guide You Toward a Good Internship

If you're in college, recently graduated, or looking to do an internship as part of a midlife career change, here are three things you need to ask yourself about an internship opportunity.  More »

Are Your Skills on Employers' Most-Wanted List?

If you've ever wondered what skills employers value the most, a blog post last week on the job search engine Indeed.com will help. Indeed analyzed millions of job postings in its index from January through June, and extracted the top 15 professional attributes. Here are the top five, along with my take on why each is important today.  More »

Older Workers: This is Your Week to Nail That Job

It's National Employ Older Workers Week, which can serve as a rallying point for workers in their 50s and 60s who feel the squeeze of joblessness, a changing economic landscape, and employers' tendency -- real or perceived -- to opt for youth when it's time to hire. But if you're over 55 and looking for work, here are three things to focus on.  More »

How Important Is Salary When You Decide to Switch Jobs?

One of my recent posts highlighted the similarities and differences between employers and job seekers on the top reasons people want to work for a company. The one thing both sides agree on: A competitive base pay is most important. How important is salary to you?  More »

Jolts of Inspiration for Your Job Search

There are times in a job search when we need to give ourselves a kick in the butt -- or receive one from someone else -- to motivate us to polish that resume or respond to a job posting. That's when you can draw inspiration from short sayings that can lift you and help you see that something good can happen. Here are five.  More »

Obey the 10 Commandments of Networking

Networking doesn't come easily to everyone, and it can be downright scary if you're suddenly thrust into the ranks of the unemployed. In today's shaky job market, it can be petrifying. Scary, petrifying, or neither, networking must be a cornerstone of your job search strategy. If it doesn't come easily to you, follow these 10 commandments of networking.  More »

Returning to Work After Raising the Kids: 10 Tips

If you're a mom or dad who took an extended leave from the workforce, you're probably wondering how you'll explain those years at home on your next resume. This post should help.  More »

General Consensus: Job Market's Still Tough

If you're looking for a job today, don't expect one to magically fall into your lap tomorrow. The government pretty much confirmed that on Friday when it said the U.S. economy grew at a lackluster 1.6 percent annual rate from April through June, less than each of the previous two calendar quarters. Here's what this means for you.  More »

A Teacher's Accidental Lesson in How to Hurt a Career

If you're in the middle of a job search, or if you just landed a job, you've likely heard and read all sorts of advice about having a strong social media presence because it may help you get the job. And you also may have heard how you could scuttle your shot at a job if an employer were to find something on a social media site that put you in a not-so-flattering light. Here's a real-life lesson.  More »

So Which Is It: Web site or website?

Have you ever wondered what the correct spelling of Web site really is? Those of us who specialize in the field of Internet Communications and Web Development have often pondered that question, especially when writing a resume. Is it one word or two? Should the W be uppercase? How about a hyphen between the two words? Oh, what a tangled Web we've woven.  More »

What's Your Job Search Strategy?

Are you unemployed and actively looking for a job? Or maybe you're employed but desperately looking for a way out of the job you hate. How about employed and casually keeping an eye open for new opportunities? Whatever your reason for job searching, I want to know how you do it.  More »

Your Job Search Doesn't Always Have to Be Serious

Job searching is serious stuff, especially when you're unemployed. OK, now that I've stated the obvious, I should add that there are times in a job search when people need to loosen up a bit and laugh. Case in point: A recent post on The Onion.  More »

The Investment Approach to Your Job Search

Like a good financial investment, a successful job search takes effort, time, and money. But in a job search, you're investing in yourself, your most important asset. Here are a few suggestions for spending your effort, time, and money wisely, in order to reap the greatest dividends for your career.  More »

Tell Us Your Biggest Job Search Gripe

A job search can be frustrating, especially if you've been searching for months and coming up empty. And sometimes -- rightly or wrongly -- job seekers direct their frustration at employers over their hiring practices. But for every gripe from a job seeker, an employer has one as well about what they read and don't read on resumes and cover letters, and what they hear and don't hear in interviews.  More »

Pongo Resume's Customer Support Team Now on Twitter!

For all you social media-loving job seekers out there, Ask_Pongo is a Twitter handle specifically created for our super-helpful Customer Support Team. Their goal is to help your job search be as successful as can be, whether you're a Pongo member or not. Read on for more details.  More »

5 Reasons Why Athletes Make Great Employees

If you were an athlete in high school or college, you have several skills and attributes that would make a recruiter jump at the chance to hire you. But even if you weren't an athlete, you may have some of those traits and qualities that can help you in your job search and excel in the workforce. Here are five that can help set you apart.  More »

Is It Safe to Switch Jobs? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

Has it become safer to quit a secure-but-unsatisfying job in favor of something potentially better? If you're wondering if the time is right for a job change, here are three questions you must ask yourself.  More »

Job Search Need Some GAS? Try Personal Branding

Is your job search puttering along like a beat up old car? Inject some personal branding strategies into the mix to give it some GAS--Generosity, Authenticity, and Synergy!  More »

Resume Writing, Interviewing, and Networking Advice

Last Friday afternoon, I stumbled upon a post called 50 Timeless Blogging Tips. There, I spotted three quotations that are perfect for job seekers. So here's some great advice from highly accomplished people on resume writing, interviewing, and networking.  More »

3-Step Plan to Beat the Competition as Jobs Return

The economy is rebounding. Unemployment is leveling off. Companies are hiring again. All of these are recent headlines that point to a light at the end of the tunnel. But if you're out of a job and looking for work, this upbeat chatter is just that. Here are three things you can do to help land a job.  More »

Once You've Got the Job, Start Managing Your Career

If you just graduated from college, you've probably been focusing your energy on your job search, and not on where you'd like to be in your career in 5, 10, 20, or even 40 years. But after you land that first job is a good time to start managing your career.  More »

Insider Job Search Tips from HR Professionals

As a job seeker, you've probably wondered what goes on in the minds of HR people (the gatekeepers who determine whether your resume and cover letter make it to the hiring manager). Sometimes, eavesdropping is the best way to get the truth, and it's something you can do while you search for a job. To get an insider's view of what it's like on the other side of the fence, read what HR people and recruiters are saying online.  More »

7 Ways a New Grad Can Stand Out in the Job Market

Everyone knows the job market is very competitive today. Employers are flooded with resumes, and many college graduates aren't doing all they can to make themselves stand out. So, here are seven ways you, the college graduate, can stand out and get called in for an interview.  More »

A Lesson in Perseverance from an '09 Graduate

You may be doing all the right things in your first post-graduate job search: customizing your resume for each job ad you answer, networking every day, refining and rehearsing your answers to interview questions. But if you're discouraged and still looking, look at this 5-minute video from CNNMoney.com that profiles a 2009 college graduate who's underemployed.  More »

How Far Would You Go to Land a Job?

There's something to be said for creativity when you're looking for a job. Whether it will actually get you a job is an entirely different issue. But an advertising executive's creativity proved successful. Can it work for everyone?  More »

New Grads: How to Prepare for Your First Interview

As a new college grad, do you know what to expect from your first job interview in the 9-5 working world? You're smart enough to know that it'll be a lot different than any job interviews you've had before, but just how different will it be? Find out in this post.  More »

How Do You Define a Job Hopper?

Job hopping is an issue that doesn't go away in the careers blogosphere, but no one seems to agree on an exact definition for job hopper. Slapping that label on someone depends on your interpretation of the phrase. How would you define a job hopper?  More »

How to Find Out If Your Future Boss is a Jerk

A bad hire costs a company big bucks, so they'd be foolish not to use all the information available. The same logic applies to you as a job candidate. Due diligence about your potential employers can reduce the chance that you'll unwittingly sign on with a first-class ass of a boss.  More »

6 Job Networking Tips for New Grads

Job networking events are often intimidating for college students and graduates. But they don't have to be! The key to succeeding at a networking event is to know what to say to company representatives and how to say it. Here are six networking tips for new or recent grads.  More »

Hey Grads! No Experience? No Problem! (Sort of) Rerun

This post originally aired on March 26, 2008. The message still holds true today, so here it is again in case you missed it the first time around: I graduated from college two years ago (four now!) with the notion that having a college degree would serve in place of experience and pretty much guarantee a decent starting salary in a first job. And finding that first job was going to be a piece of cake with a degree to boast. Knowing what I know now, I couldn't have been more foolish.  More »

Encouraging Job Search News for New Grads

For most college seniors, campus life draws to a close this week, giving way to the transition into the next phase of life: usually the work force. If you're graduating soon, congratulations! If you're among the roughly 75% seeking a full-time job, here are four things that might help or inspire you.  More »

A Cheat Sheet for Completing Part-Time Job Applications

You'll be graduating from college this month and beginning the hunt for your first full-time professional job. Guess what? You'll need some money in the meantime. That's a perfect reason to get a part-time job. Here's some helpful info to make your part-time search a little easier.  More »

One More Reason to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search

Fortune magazine recently called LinkedIn the only social site that really matters if you're serious about managing your career. And that was before LinkedIn launched its new Company Follow feature, which can give you an insider's view of what's happening at the companies you'd like to work for.  More »

College Grads: 3 Beliefs That'll Keep You Unemployed

Many college students will discover a harsh transition from campus life to the current job market, especially the ones who falsely believe these things: 1) That their degree entitles them to a job; 2) That they'll easily land their ideal job; and 3) That they're all set if they have friends in high places. If you believe these things, then the sooner you lose these cocky assumptions, the better your chance at conducting a successful job search.  More »

You'll Get the Job Faster if You Know Someone

Lots of companies have employee referral programs. What is the program about? Basically, it's when an employee refers a friend or old colleague for a position within his own company. If that referral gets hired, then the employee gets a reward, most often in the form of a cash bonus. But did you know that these programs are really beneficial to job seekers, too?  More »

Happy Earth Day! Here's How to Find a Green Job

Much of the world marks the 41st annual Earth Day today. Amid increased warnings about climate change and long-standing calls to make our air and water cleaner, many employers have embraced efforts to improve the environment. If you're looking for a green job, here are five sites you'll want to look at.  More »

4 Ways to Boost Your Attitude for Job Search Success

Eighty-five percent of the reason people get jobs and get ahead in those jobs is because of attitude, reads a stunning statement by a world-famous motivational speaker and author. Yet, most people who are at a crossroads in their careers walk around with a mixed attitude, more of it negative. Here are four ways you can turn it around.  More »

Overqualified? Turn it into an Advantage

It's an oft-read or oft-heard story over the past two years: A very experienced, highly skilled person has worked their way up to a mid- or high-level job, then loses it because of the recession. The person struggles for months, maybe more than a year, to find another suitable job while trying to stay positive about career and life. If you're overqualified, here are three selling statements you can use to get an employer to consider you.  More »

First Impressions Mean Everything in Your Job Search

You have at least five places to make a memorable first impression during your job search. That's good, because if you blow the first impression, you can add that potential job to your Not Gonna Happen list. So follow this list of things you can do to avoid leaving a bad first impression.  More »

3 Job Seeker Tips for Protecting Your Online Reputation

It's common today for savvy employers and recruiters to do a web search on a prospective employee as part of a background check. So, your reputation on the web must be clean of any negative stuff that can deny you the job. Here are three tips to help you monitor and manage your online reputation.  More »

3 Ways to Line Up Reliable Job References

You may be effective at selling yourself to an employer, but have you lined up former bosses and ex-colleagues who can back up what you have to sell? That's why you need references. Employers want to be sure they're hiring the right person before they make a big investment that will cost thousands of dollars in pay and benefits.  More »

Should You Disclose a Chronic Illness in an Interview?

If you have a chronic illness, should you disclose it when you're interviewing for a job? This guest post, written by a career coach for people with chronic illnesses, addresses a guideline you should follow.  More »

Over 40? Under 30? How to Fight Age Stereotypes

No hiring manager would dare admit it, but if they were asked to envision the ideal job candidate, they'd probably picture someone in their 30s (old enough to understand the ways of the workplace, but not so old that they're set in their ways). If you're a job seeker under 30 or over 40, here's how you can recognize and overcome age-related stereotypes.  More »

Summer Jobs Aren't Just for Students: Start Looking Now

We usually think of high school kids or college students when we think of summer jobs. But if you're unemployed or need some extra income, the summer job market may be for you. You might end up working side-by-side with teenagers, but these jobs are open to people of all ages and career levels.  More »

Do You Need a Job Search Coach?

The value of having a seasoned set of eyes looking at what you're doing cannot be overstated. That's especially true when your job search requires different skills: resume writing, web searching, personal networking, and interviewing.  More »

2009 Tax Tip: Job Search Expenses Are Deductible

Good news for U.S. income tax filers: The money you've spent on your job search may be deductible on your federal taxes (For Pongo members, that includes the cost of your Pongo membership!). Of course, nothing is simple when it comes to the tax code. With the April 15 tax deadline just weeks away, here's what you need to know about the tax deductibility of job search expenses.  More »

Class of 2010: 3 Golden Keys to Job Hunting

So, you're just a few months from graduating college and you're looking for your first real entry-level job. How should you go about your job hunt? Don't just send your resume to every employer you can think of. There are three golden keys to job hunting for recent or soon-to-be college graduates: focus, consistency, and change.  More »

Meet a Formerly Self-Employed Guy Who Just Got a Job

Mike (age 44) had been self-employed as a painter and handyman for the past few years, but was ready to return to the world of steady paychecks and benefits. About six weeks ago, he applied for a job as a facilities maintenance manager, as he'd done dozens of times before. But this time was different. He got the job! Here are a few of the things he learned during the job search process.  More »

How to Get Hired after You've Been Fired (or Worse)

Over the past few weeks, we've received questions from job seekers who've spent time in prison, been convicted for driving under the influence, or been fired because of a wrongful behavior on the job. How, they each wondered, can I overcome the bad deeds of my past and convince an employer to hire me? Here are some tips to give yourself you a better chance of success.  More »

Looking for Temporary Work? Try These Tips

With the nation's unemployment rate still around 10%, many out-of-work job seekers are facing, or already experiencing, many weeks or even months without a steady paycheck. If you're in the middle of a long layoff, consider a temporary a contract assignment. Here are tips on how you can land one.  More »

Is College Still the Surest Path to Success?

Who says you need a college degree to live the American Dream? Over the last 25 to 50 years, many parents have stressed an agenda that included going to college, earning a degree, and moving on to make beaucoup bucks in the workforce. But there will always be a need for skilled tradespeople who don't need to go to college.  More »

Why and How to Find a Summer Internship

If you're on the fence about summer internships, here are seven really good reasons you should do one while you're still in school. And while I'm at it, here are a handful of ways you can find one today.  More »

People Are Lazy (Which is Good for Your Job Search)

If you're a fan of the TV show House, you know Dr. House lives by one theory: Everybody lies. For job seekers, there's a different theory you should live by: People are lazy. If you let this theory guide all your job search efforts, you'll be way ahead of the game.  More »

Make the Lessons of 2009 Pay Off in 2010

You've gone through one of the toughest years ever for finding employment and you hope 2010 will be better. When the calendar changes each January, everyone reflects on how far they went and where they want to go. Here are a dozen areas to look at to make sure your job search is successful this year.  More »

Does Your Job Search Take More than 18 Minutes a Day?

Several weeks ago, I found a post that focused on an apparent claim that the average job seeker spends 18 minutes a day looking for a job. It led me to ask: How much effort do you put into your job search on an average day?  More »

Got a Question About Job Searching?

If you could ask a hiring manager one question, what would it be? Here's your chance to post your question and we'll reply with helpful answers. It can be anything about the job search, the hiring process, resume submissions, interviews, etc.  More »

Don't Go It Alone in Your Job Search

Recently, I saw the movie Up in the Air, which reveals the shock and emotional hit of being jobless and all alone. But it doesn't have to be that way. You need to cultivate a network to help support you, and guide you to that next opportunity. Here are three rules to help you succeed at networking.  More »

The Interview: It's All Business Until It Gets Personal

True story: A woman interviewed for a job with a pretty great company. She was well qualified, said all the right things, and presented herself with her best foot forward. In the end, she was perfect for the job...but there was just something missing.  More »

Seeking Job Search Inspiration? Look to Music Lyrics

I was listening to my iPod the other day when this thought crossed my mind: There must be some songs whose lyrics could inspire job seekers. Now, my music tastes go back to the '60s, '70s, and '80s, so they may not be familiar to everyone. But here are four notable songs from that broad era with a key line from each, and the job-search lessons they teach.  More »

There's Only So Much You Can Control in the Job Search

If you've been searching several months for a new job, or if you're unemployed and wondering when and where you'll be working again, you've probably had at least one moment when you questioned your abilities or wondered why you haven't been able to land a new job. Have you ever thought that it just might not be your fault?  More »

5 Steps to Assessing Your Skills for a Career Change

Changing careers has always been an option for people who want to do something different. But today, in an economy that has impacted millions of people, some are finding they need to change careers, even if they would rather not. To do that effectively, you need to match your transferable skills with the ones an employer wants. Here's a 5-step process that can help.  More »

Last Chance! Vote for America's Best Job Search Tools

Hey job seekers! The folks at the US Department of Labor (DOL) want your opinions in the Tools for America's Job Seeker Challenge! They're compiling a list of today's best online job search tools, and need you to vote for the ones that deserve recognition. The challenge ends tomorrow, so don't miss out!  More »

A January To-Do List for the College Class of 2010

It's the start of the homestretch for college seniors, the last break before the final semester and, for most of them, their transition into the workforce. Here's what they need to do today to prepare for it.  More »

Tell Us Your Grammar and Spelling Pet Peeves

It feels like we never shut up about how important it is to have an error-free resume and cover letter, but it's one of those topics that can't be overstated. This time, rather than think up some way to repackage the same old information, I'm asking you, dear Pongo Blog readers, to share your pet peeves in the spelling and grammar categories. And if you can, include a tip to help us all remember the right way vs. the wrong way.  More »

5 Things Job Seekers and Employers Should Do in 2010

Many writers like to make predictions around this time of year. I contemplated writing a list of job market predictions for 2010, but came to realize that a list of five things employers and job seekers should do would be a more nourishing helping of food for thought.  More »

Networking Plays a Critical Role in Your Job Search

If your job search consists of just sending out your resume, your success rate will probably be about the same as putting a note in a bottle and throwing it out to sea. To land that next job, you must network every day, whether you're facing unemployment or not. Here are four ways you can accomplish that.  More »

Job Seeker Q&A: Finding Comfort in Networking

A 58-year-old technical writer talks about the obstacles to finding work 15 months after being laid off and what he does to keep his spirits up.  More »

The 3 Best Industries for Career Changers

If you're looking for a job, you've probably come to realize that it's a jungle out there with a lot of job seekers chasing too few job openings. People who have worked in stressed industries, such as finance or newspaper publishing, have found it especially rough, with some considering a change in careers. If you're one of them, think about opportunities in three growing industries.  More »

Your Guide to Job References

Let's talk about references. Do you even need them anymore? If so, who should they be? And when do you hand over your reference list to the employer? This post will answer those questions, and give you the long and short of what you need to know about employment references in today's job market.  More »

3 Reasons to Keep Job Searching Through the Holidays

True or false: It makes no sense to look for a job during the holidays because every company slows down or stops hiring until the new year. What's the answer?  More »

Job Seeker Q&A: Mom Looks for a Part-Time Career

A 32-year-old mother was laid off a year ago from her job as a senior administrative assistant. In this post, she talks about some of the ups and downs of her job search, and what she's been doing while she tries to get back into the workforce.  More »

3 Real Estate Tips That Will Get You Hired

Getting a job is a lot like selling your house. You have to make a powerful first impression (curb appeal), you have to give off a fairly normal vibe (hide the weird stuff), and you have to make sure the employers knows there's something special about you (the wow factor). But in the end, it may just be gut instinct that matters most.  More »

LinkedIn Meets Twitter: What It Means for You

If you believe in social networking's potential in helping your job search (and you should), then last week's announcement from LinkedIn and Twitter is welcome news.  More »

Veterans Have Help for Transition to Civilian Jobs

Today is Veterans Day, when we stop to remember and honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces, especially the thousands who were wounded or killed. Today's service personnel may find it hard to transition to civilian work, so we offer some help in this post.  More »

Stupidity and Humor in the Job Search

If human beings were perfect, we wouldn't have so many opportunities to learn from our personal gaffes and goofs, as well as those of others. The job search offers more than enough examples, from the resume typo to the visible coffee stain on a crisp, white shirt that a job seeker unknowingly puts on display at an interview.  More »

Smart or Stalker-esque? The Art of Following Up

I can't think of anything more controversial in job hunting than the question of when and how to follow up. Career advisers tell job seekers to follow up with employers. HR people complain about the flood of phone calls they get every time they place an ad. Conflicting advice is everywhere. What's a candidate to do?  More »

Does Job Search Success Lie in Planning and Attitude?

You've probably heard such phrases as attitude determines altitude or proper preparation prevents poor performance. Motivational reminders like these may be more helpful than you think when you're mired in a job search with seemingly no end in sight. Proper planning and expressing positive emotions during your search can play a big role in landing the job you want, according to researchers at the University of Missouri.  More »

Mini-Resume Can Ease the Strain of Networking

Networking should be a part of every job seeker's strategy. But some may find it uncomfortable to talk about themselves and their abilities. So, here's an idea that can help ease at least a little of that pressure: Create a mini-resume that you can hand out at networking events, job fairs, or to anyone who might be able to make a connection for you.  More »

Follow-Up Calls: Always? Or Never?

On the Pongo Blog, we generally recommend following up on a resume submission or an interview with a phone call. Our view on this approach is that it underscores your interest in the position and the company, which could help land the job if it's brief and respectful of the employer's time.  More »

College Career Centers You Should Follow on Twitter

If you asked me if my college career center was helpful when I was in school, I'd have to say no. And a lot of college graduates would agree, either because their own colleges' career centers were a joke, or they just didn't care enough to use them. But some career centers care enough about this stigma to go after resources they know their students and alumni use, like Twitter.  More »

Would You Resort to a Gimmick to Land a Job?

People can sometimes resort to extreme gimmicks when they're looking for work. The current recession has pushed some jobless Americans to do something a little over the top in their attempts to land new jobs. But are they signs of desperation or creativity?  More »

Why Antonio Got Hired and Dan Didn't

Unless you're an HGTV geek like I am, you don't know that Antonio and Dan were the finalists on HGTV's Design Star competition last weekend. Antonio won, which means he'll be the host of his own design show next season. And Dan, who was arguably the better designer, got the hook. It was yet another reminder that getting hired is not always a matter of having the best qualifications, especially when the judges (hiring managers) have several great candidates to choose from.  More »

What You Need to Know Before You Sign a Job Offer

Get it in writing! You've probably heard the phrase many times. Whether it's an IOU, a business agreement, or a job offer, documenting something in writing helps ensure that it will protect all parties' interests and hold everyone to a commitment they have made or plan to make. That's why it's important for a job seeker to get the specifics of a job offer in writing before taking the job.  More »

What Would YOU Do for a Paycheck?

Funeral Services: It's a business nobody wants to talk about, but according to an article on Yahoo! News, it's one that's attracting job seekers, thanks to the poor job market conditions.  More »

Want More Money? It May Be the Right Time to Get It

The economy may be emerging from recession, and it could mean bigger paychecks. At least that's what a recent survey revealed. If you're looking for a raise, here are some things you need to know before you start pushing for it.  More »

Social Networking Can Get You Hired or Fired

Social networking, that is, posting your profile and participating on sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn, has had a significant impact on work and job searching. This impact has been the focus of many recent studies that yielded two interesting findings.  More »

Got Math? In-Demand Jobs Call for Number Crunchers

When I graduated from high school, I vowed to never take a math course in college. I grew tired and frustrated with the subject and got totally lost amid the numbers, barely squeaking by each year. If your experience was similar, don't let it prevent you from entering a field that requires a lot of math knowledge: You still have time to get it.  More »

Brag Your Way to a New Job or Pay Raise

It's a jungle out there in the working world. Employers aren't as loyal to their workers as they were a few decades ago. And many, if not most, employees are more likely to just jump ship and look for new jobs if they don't feel they're getting what they want out of their current ones. That's why it's important to keep a brag sheet that can summarize your accomplishments.  More »

Build Your Network and Uncover the Hidden Job Market

Chances are you've heard or seen the phrase hidden job market, which refers to the unadvertised job openings you don't find on major job boards or in print. To tap that market, networking can pay off big. Here are three ways to build your network and land that next job.  More »

They Want a Resume AND a Job Application? Seriously?!

Hiedi from Springfield, MO asks: When we hand in a resume to a company, why do we need to also fill out an application? Don't they have exactly the same information? After all, a resume seems to be just a more detailed application. Read more to find out why employers do this.  More »

From Pongo's CEO: Your Needs Are Our Focus

As Pongo Resume marks its fifth anniversary this summer, the company's CEO reflects on the reasons behind the company's founding, about how it has stayed true to its mission, and what it can accomplish over the next five years.  More »

Tips for Business Owners Returning to the Workforce

Being your own boss is an almost-universal fantasy, and owning a small business can indeed be exhilarating. But many business owners (myself included) eventually decide to get the hell out and run back to those long-lost friends: a steady paycheck and employer-paid benefits. So how do you apply for a non-executive position when your last job title was Owner, Operator, President, and CEO. Here are some tips.  More »

Why Won't They Tell Me Why I Didn't Get the Job?

You have a stellar resume that highlights your skills and major career accomplishments, and grabbed the attention of employer. That led you to an interview, which went very well, but the hiring manager delivers the bad news a week later: You didn't get the job. Yet you'd like some feedback from the employer. Well, you might get it.  More »

Is it Age Discrimination, or Are You an Angry Old Fart?

Age discrimination is a very real phenomenon that can mean longer periods of unemployment for older workers, along with the frustration and depression that so often follow. An organization that routinely avoids hiring people older than 40, 50, 60 (or any arbitrary cutoff point) is probably breaking the law. Still, it's a huge mistake to assume that, just because you've reached a certain birthday, age discrimination is the one and only reason you're not getting hired. Might it possibly be that you've become an angry old fart?  More »

When Does It Make Sense to Take a Job with Less Pay?

Have you ever taken a salary cut with a new job? For many, the thought of accepting less money to move on to something better is repulsive, especially if their lifestyle is, shall we say, a bit on the extravagant side. But there are times in your job search when you might have to swallow your pride and take a hit in the wallet.  More »

Job Searching with an Imperfect Past or Criminal Record

If companies you interview with don't use Google to dig up dirt about you, they're stupid. Case in point: The FBI stormed into a Massachusetts business recently to arrest an employee who was apparently wrapped up in a drug distribution scheme. No one in the office saw it coming, especially the employer. Learn how to get the job and stay employed if you have a less than perfect past.  More »

Two Harsh Truths about Your Job Search

Ever wonder how many resumes you'll have to send out before you get at least one interview? Or how many interviews you'll need to suffer through before someone extends a job offer? Nobody likes to hear bad news, but here are two harsh truths that every job seeker needs to hear and understand.  More »

Get What You Want Out of Part-Time Work

Anyone looking for a part-time job needs to figure out exactly what they want and need out of it, whether it be certain days of the week, specific hours, a particular hourly wage or wage range; whatever. Use this checklist of priorities to figure out what you need most out of your part-time job, and whether your potential employer will meet those needs.  More »

The Blue-Collar Job Makes a Comeback

Would you trade a career in a cubicle for a job with a hammer and screwdriver? In the current economic downturn, some may consider making such a switch, if just to bring in money while they're unemployed. But others are rediscovering the value of blue collar jobs, such as skilled tradespeople, laborers, and machine operators.  More »

Finding the Right Fit: Would You Last in This Job?

Some people work to live, and others live to work. What does that mean? If you work so you can afford the things you want to have or do in life, then you work to live. If you're addicted to your Blackberry, check in on your days off, and arrive early and leave late every day, then you live to work. Good cultural fit is one of the deciding factors that hiring managers and potential employees use to figure out whether the working relationship will succeed in the long run.  More »

The 3 Pillars of a Solid Job Search Strategy

Need a new job but don't know how or where to begin? Before you start networking or surfing the web for job postings, recognize these three pillars that can help you refine and perfect how you present yourself and your skills to potential employers: your resume, your web presence, and your interview skills.  More »

The Job Search Followup Guide You Can't Live Without

Job searching is time-consuming and tricky, but what can be even more complex is figuring out when the right time is to follow up on each action you take toward landing that next job. That's where a schedule comes in handy. Use these guidelines to take the guesswork out of finding the right time to contact employers after each step in your job search.  More »

5 'Best Companies' List Their Most-Wanted Skills

When someone decides that it's time to change careers, their first step is usually to figure out which skills they have already developed that they can transfer to the new field. But what if you know what you want to do, but don't know what transferable skills you have to offer?  More »

What Employers Really Mean by 'You're Overqualified'

Teenage boys aren't the only ones who like to sugarcoat their rejections in ways that sound almost complimentary. Unskilled hiring managers sometimes do, too. You're overqualified is often just another version of the all-purpose you're too good for me breakup line. The real reason they're not offering you the job is probably something (or someone) else altogether.  More »

Class of '08: If We'd Known Then What We Know Now

One year ago this month, Randi's entire life changed. She suddenly found herself without money, without her own apartment, without her friends, and, worst of all (in her opinion), without a stream of cheap alcohol at her constant disposal. The horrific event that changed her oh-so-sweet way of life? College graduation. In this post, she talks about the expectations she and her friends had prior to graduation, and how the reality has measured up in their first year post-college.  More »

Jobless? Don't Let Desperation Expose You to ID Theft

If you're among the millions out of work and are responding to several job openings or posting your resume to job boards, beware of identity thieves who are just waiting to add to your misery by committing fraud in your name.  More »

Hey Employer, Your Online Application Sucks!

A friend of mine recently applied for a job. He uploaded his resume and cover letter online, but this company won't let job candidates hit the Submit button until they repeat the details of their most recent jobs, former supervisors, specify salary requirements, and more. From the redundant, intrusive application process to their insulting rejection letter, this company sends a clear message of disrespect.  More »

20 Twitter Tweeple Who Can Help Your Career

A lot of people use Twitter for fun, whether to spy on celebrities or keep tabs on friends and family on one simple site. Hopefully you're already following the Pongo Resume tweets, but you can also get a ton of great career advice from other sources on Twitter. If you're searching for a new job or trying to navigate the one you have, there are hundreds of career professionals tweeting every day with one purpose: To help you manage and advance your career! Here's a list of 20 of our favorite Tweeple.  More »

The Liberation of a Structured Job Search Strategy

The apply online only world we live in makes it convenient to search and apply for jobs from the comfort of your home. But it's a huge adjustment to spend your days job searching in coffee-stained pajamas and call that meaningful. The remedy? Create a structured job search approach - and stick to it.  More »

The Job Security Glass Is Still Half Empty - for Now

We're just coming off a month in which the stock market actually posted healthy gains while the federal economic stimulus money is beginning to flow to its intended targets. But does that mean it's time for optimism to start flowing back into the half-empty glass of job security?  More »

Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter!

Pongo continues to claim space in the social networking sphere. We are now active on two of the most popular social networking sites on the web! View the full post to find out more.  More »

Translating Job Ad Jargon into Plain English

Job ads have their own jargon, and it can be helpful when writing your resume and cover letter to understand what it means when an employer says you should be a self-starter or xxx skills would be a plus. The job ad pictured here is a real posting pulled from Monster.com (with identifying details removed). Using actual phrases from this ad, what follows are some translations to help job seekers understand what the employer is REALLY looking for.  More »

Collecting Unemployment? Track Your Job Search Efforts

If you're considering collecting unemployment benefits from your state, it's important to note that it's not a free ride to get there. Your state may have different rules and regulations, but here in Massachusetts you have to provide proof of all your job search efforts in order to collect your checks. Here are some suggestions to help you keep track of your efforts.  More »

You Know the Job Outlook Is Bad When...

Being jobless is nothing to laugh about, especially today when the outlook is so gloomy. But take a break from the seriousness of today's job market with these slices of modern life.  More »

Shhh! The Library is a Great Place for Job Seekers

Being out of work can be stressful, frustrating, and worst of all, utterly boring. Once you've contacted all your contacts, applied to all the jobs on all the job boards, and exhausted every other avenue you can think of, what do you do with yourself? Go to the good ol' public library! It's an island of peace and tranquility that can soothe your embattled soul. And it might even open up some new ideas for the job hunt!  More »

A Dose of Hollywood Humor for the Frustrated Job Seeker

I don't know about you, but I'm fed up with all the bad news about unemployment and the wobbly job market. There's got to be something to be happy about, even if the economy is discouraging. So how about we take a break and have a laugh, courtesy of Hollywood's big-screen writers? It's all for fun, but there's an obvious lesson to be learned from each one.  More »

Newsworthy Lessons about Work and Job Searching

With a career rooted in the newspaper industry and as a daily consumer of news, I sometimes tag every story as either food for thought or food with little or no thought value. So, allow me to dispense some recent food for thought items from the world of work and the lessons you can learn from them.  More »

Hey, Boston Women! We'll be at the Career Expo on 3/19

Members of the Pongo Blog team will be taking part in the Women for Hire Career Expo in Boston on Thursday, March 19th, 2009. Come meet us and get a free 5-minute resume critique!  More »

Ditch the Gloom: Keeping Your Head Up in Bad Times

The job market news of late is enough to make you stay in bed with the covers pulled over you – especially if you don't have a job. It can challenge even the most optimistic of people. Here are three things you can do to adjust your demeanor and help you bounce out of bed in the morning.  More »

Does the Stimulus Package Include a Job for You?

Could the federal economic stimulus help you get a job? If you're looking for work in construction, alternative energy research and development, information technology, special education, or transportation engineering, there could be something for you in the $787 billion package.  More »

A 5-Step Plan for Landing a Summer Internship

Internships serve a dual purpose: They provide college students with practical experience and offer employers a way to find talent to hire in the future. If you're a college student and want to land an internship for the summer, start today by following these five steps.  More »

Changing Careers: 5 Famous Flip-Floppers

Change is not necessarily easy, especially when you start a new job or move into a different career. If you're thinking about changing careers, here's hoping you can draw a dose of inspiration from these famous career changers.  More »

Can't Get Hired? Consider Temp or Contract Work

If you're out of work and anticipate a long layoff (e.g., more than six months), you may have quite a bit to gain by taking on a temporary or contract job to generate cash to pay the bills while you hunt for full-time work. Here are some tips on how to find one.  More »

New Job? Craft an Action Plan for Your First 100 Days

Barack Obama finds himself and his performance under the media microscope for his first 100 days in the White House. Similarly, the first 100 days at a new job will give your boss and colleagues an introductory picture of who you are and what you can accomplish, and they will affect the perception your colleagues have of you.  More »

Good Job Seeker, Bad Credit. Are You Screwed?

I can't get a job because I have bad credit, and I can't improve my credit because I can't get a job! It feels like a classic Catch-22. Fortunately, the reality is not quite that harsh. In most cases, an imperfect credit record will not automatically prevent you from getting the job or promotion you want. Here are answers to some typical questions regarding the good job seeker-bad credit conundrum.  More »

8 Job Search Sites You Probably Haven't Tried Yet

When you're looking for a job, which web site do you turn to first? I'm guessing it's either CareerBuilder or Monster...probably even both. But while they may be the most widely used by job seekers, not all employers use these big names to search for new hires. Here are a handful of other job boards and job search engines to try.  More »

Laid Off? Try These Short-Term Jobs to Bridge the Gap

Have you noticed how we're all enacting cost-cutting measures that might have seemed unnecessary a few years ago? We've shifted from bookstore to library; organic to generic; premium to basic; convenience to economy. And for many people on the burgeoning unemployment rolls, the list of must-have job criteria has dwindled to just one item: a paycheck.  More »

Is Now the Right Time to Change Careers?

You want to try your hand at working in another field. You know your skills and background can be a good match for something different, but you don't have everything an employer is looking for in the new field. Here's what you need to do.  More »

Job Seekers Tweeting about Jobs on Twitter

Thanks to Twitter's growing popularity, I found out, in real time updates, what everyday people are saying about their current jobs, past jobs, unemployment, job searching, and more. Here's a list of job-related tweets from 1/16 and 1/19. Does any of this sound familiar?  More »

What College Seniors Should Do over Break (But Won't)

With the fall semester now a memory, most college seniors are on winter break -- catching up on sleep, earning money at part-time jobs, or visiting with friends and family. But there' s something that's just as good, if not better: preparing themselves to enter the job market after graduation. If you're a college senior, here's what you need to do.  More »

5 Resolutions to Help You Get Hired in '09

Is your number one goal for the new year to land a new job? Or maybe you want to be prepared in case you're forced into the job market. To improve your chances in either case, set these five New Year's resolutions today -- and stick to them!  More »

Best of The Pongo Blog: 2008

One of the dominant themes of 2008 has been the rising interest in green initiatives, especially recycling. In that spirit, Team Pongo is recycling some of our favorite blog posts of 2008, and reissuing them as a kind of Greatest Hits collection. We hope you enjoy these posts about a variety of job search and work-related topics. As always, we encourage you to leave your comments and feedback!  More »

Facebook Feel-Up Photo Causes Kerfuffle

Too bad Obama's speechwriter Jon Favreau (no, not the actor) doesn't read The Pongo Blog. Heck, just three short weeks ago, our own Brianna Raymond posted about how employers are screening job candidates on Facebook. If Favreau had read it, he might have thought twice before copping a feel on a cardboard image of Hillary Clinton while cameras were flashing.  More »

Stats and Surprises to Help Your Job Search

We all know the economy's troubles have led to the loss of nearly 2 million jobs in the last year. With more and more layoffs occurring each week, how difficult might it be for someone to land a new position? Here are some findings from recent surveys that might surprise you, and that could have an impact on your job search.  More »

Sugar, Spice, and Sarcasm Ease a Tough Job Search

Job seekers, it's time to take a deep, cleansing breath and channel our inner Pollyannas. (You know, the sickeningly sweet girl who found something to be glad about in even the bleakest situations?) I don't usually go for soft and frilly advice, but the overwhelming amount of news about the terrible economy has been pushing people to give up on finding a job. Here are some wise and (I hope) uplifting words from people past and present to help you get your Polly on...  More »

Not Quite Qualified? Apply Anyway

The job posting seems too good to be true. It's the kind of role that can start you on a path to your long-term career goal, at a company that's been on your short list of targets. You just know that this is a job that's screaming out your name. There's just one little problem: You don't meet all of the experience criteria in the posting. What to do? Apply anyway.  More »

What the Heck Is "Networking" and How Do I Do It?

You know how everybody always says networking is the best way to get a job? Well, I have a dirty little secret: For the longest time, I had no idea what networking was. People would say, networking just means relationship-building. OK. But what does that mean, exactly? When I finally grasped the concept, I realized I'd been doing it all along. In fact, the essence of networking is so simple I can summarize it in two words: Being. Friendly.  More »

The Value of Thanks-Giving in Your Job Search

It's a lesson nearly all parents teach their kids but one that's not always sustained throughout life. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, the lesson of giving thanks is certainly one to be reinforced to job seekers, especially the growing ranks of the laid off. Here's where saying thank you can make a difference in the job search.  More »

Have Employers Ruined Facebook?

Remember when Facebook used to be fun and lighthearted? A chance to connect with old friends and joke around? Ever since Facebook changed its rules to allow anyone and their 13-year-old brother to sign in, employers can snoop around your profile just to find a reason not to hire you. How's that for fun?  More »

Tips for Veterans Trying to Crack the Job Market

Today is Veterans Day, an often overlooked holiday (since it involves no candy or pumpkins; no turkey or football games). But it's an important holiday, when we stop to remember and honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces, especially the many thousands wounded or killed. Here's some advice for those in uniform who, like any career changers, must show prospective employers how military experience can apply in the civilian world.  More »

5 Job Search Lessons from Obama's Victory

Political pundits and average Americans will be talking about the 2008 presidential election for years to come. The significance of the outcome, the potentially dramatic shift in domestic and foreign policies, and the nationwide clamor for change offer five lessons to job seekers.  More »

What to Do When You Get Laid Off: Tell Everyone

The other day my sister-in-law told me about a mutual friend who's been invited to a meeting with the board of directors at work this Friday, hasn't been told the meeting's agenda, knows there are no new projects in the pipeline, and her industry is in a slump. She's convinced (let's hope wrongly) that she'll be heading home Friday night with a pink slip. Her predicament got me thinking about what I would do if it were me about to be laid off. I decided my first step (after updating my resume, of course) would be to immediately announce the news to all my family and friends...  More »

When Bad HR Happens to Good Job Seekers

Bad HR happens to good job seekers every day. While you have complete control over your end of the hiring process, you have to trust that HR will hold up their end of the bargain, too. Here's an overview of a hiring process gone bad, with many thanks to the HR rep responsible for making this horror story a reality. Can you relate?  More »

Poll: Why Are You Looking for a New Job?

There's no doubt that the current shape of the economy has people worried - about their money, their credit, and even their jobs. Does it have any impact on YOUR job status? Let us know!  More »

Expand Your Job Reach by Going Green or Bilingual

To quote Jerry Lee Lewis, There's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on in the global economy. It's all unnerving, since it might affect your job, your industry, or even your dreams of retiring as the value of your nest egg erodes. But here are two emerging areas you may want to consider in taking charge of your career: the rise of green jobs and foreign-language fluency.  More »

Is Caller ID Sabotaging Your Job Search?

Here's a real-world, this-really-happened lesson for job seekers: If your cell phone or land line is set up to reject calls that don't show up in caller ID, you might be screening yourself right out of an interview. This is exactly what happened when one of PongoResume's hiring directors (we'll call her Mary) tried to call some job candidates earlier this week.  More »

5 Bits of Bad Job Search Advice

We've probably all been recipients of bad advice at one time or another, on everything from what to buy, whom to date, how to conduct a job search, and the best way to write your resume. When it comes to the job search, there's no shortage of bad advice. So, here's a list of five pieces of bad advice, the bad reasoning behind them, and advice on what you should do instead.  More »

Job Ad Says "No Phone Calls, Please"? Call them Anyway

Failing to follow up after submitting a resume is a very common mistake. It's not surprising, given that so many job ads say No Phone Calls, Please. But I've spoken to a lot of hiring authorities in recent years, and they all agree that it's not only OK to follow up after you send your resume, it's critical. Why, then, do employers say No Phone Calls, Please ? Because it's a lot shorter than saying, No Phone Calls From the Tire-Kickers and Arrogant Jerks Who Call and Ask Stupid Questions, Please. But you? You should call.  More »

How to Choose the Best Job Offer, Part III

So you've weighed your options and successfully secured a new job. Now let's take this process a step further and develop an exit strategy to ensure a graceful departure from your current job.  More »

Job Search Virgin's Guide to Finding New Jobs Online

Are you a job search virgin, trying to get hired for the very first time? Or maybe you're a born-again virgin; you've been around the job search block plenty of times ... just not in this decade. Even if you fancy yourself to be quite the skillful job searcher, you might find these shortcuts useful when you search for jobs online.  More »

How to Choose the Best Job Offer, Part II

Last week, I showed you how to decide among multiple job offers, comparing factors like paid time off, length of commute, advancement opportunities, etc. And now that you've figured out what would be the most attractive job for you, it's time to accept one and reject the other. Here's how to do both with class.  More »

Sarah Palin: World's Most Visible Female Job Seeker

Regardless of whether you abhor or adore Sarah Palin's politics, you can learn valuable job-seeking lessons from her. Palin (and by Palin I mean her staff of professional styling and image experts) has crafted a well-defined personal brand, and every aspect of her look is calculated to contribute to it. Job seekers of both genders (and all political proclivities) should take a lesson from the way she and other politicians use a variety of means to convey a focused message to their target audiences.  More »

How to Choose the Best Job Offer, Part I

Wahoo! You got an offer! Your job search and interviewing strategies paid off. But wait ... what's that? You have two offers? Three? Holy cow! If this is the boat you're in, consider yourself lucky. But which one do you take? Here's a handy chart that compares two hypothetical offers that you can use as a guide to help you make your decision.  More »

Who Are You? Answer the Question, Help Your Job Hunt

Who are you? What makes you tick? The double-barreled question seemed simple enough when I heard it in a church sermon two decades ago. But the same question can also be applied to the job search. If you have a strong grasp on who you are, chances are you know what you want from your work life. If you're looking for an answer, here are three ways to find it.  More »

Dude! Where's My Job? 5 Reminders for the Class of '08

September may prove to be a bit strange for our newest college graduates, the Class of 2008. In most cases, they have spent every previous September becoming mentally prepared for yet another year of school after a summer filled with activities, earning money, and/or sleep. This year, they've joined the ranks of the employed - or at least they're trying. If you're newly degreed, still looking for that first job, and wondering why, it could be any one of five things.  More »

Bosses Won't Pan for Gold! Give 'em Big, Shiny Nuggets

When you send your painstakingly prepared resume and cover letter off to your dream employer, it's nice to imagine that the hiring manager will treat it with patience, care, and dignity. In fact, you might picture them like the old '49ers during the Gold Rush, panning for gold. Knowing there's a chance there might be some nuggets hidden in your resume, they'll carefully sift around and push aside the clutter until they locate the little sparkles among the muck. Snap out of it! That's not how it works in the real world.  More »

MVP Slugger's Attitude Provides 3 Career Lessons

I'm a diehard Red Sox fan, a formerly long-suffering devotee of a baseball team that was many times luckless - and sometimes clueless - in its quest for a World Series championship. But, thanks in no small part to slugger Manny Ramirez, the Sox changed their fortunes and won the Series in 2004, and again last year. But last month, the most valuable player in the 2004 Series had worn out his welcome in Boston, and he was traded. The circumstances leading up to and following his trade offer three valuable career lessons.  More »

Seven Lessons from a Long-Ago Layoff

Six years ago this month, I was laid off from a job - a great one with a great company - that I had held for six years. Why remember something bad? Because of the good that came out of it in the months that followed. The lesson here: If you're facing - or if you might face - a layoff, you can turn it into something positive that can rejuvenate you and your career.  More »

How to Negotiate Better Work Hours

High gas prices, family responsibilities, nightmare commute. Whatever the reason, many people are longing for more convenient work hours. And most employers will at least try to be flexible in hopes of retaining good, happy workers. Here are some ways you can try to negotiate a schedule change to benefit yourself and the company.  More »

Breaking News! Fat Workers are NOT Lazy or Crazy

What a shocker. A recent study from Michigan State University proves that overweight and obese employees are NOT lazier, more emotionally unstable, and harder to get along with than their normal-weight peers. Really! I just can't help wondering why they needed a flippin' study to figure out that you can't attribute a single set of characteristics to an entire group of people, just because they share a physical attribute.  More »

3 Phone Blunders that Can Hang Up Your Job Search

On the heels of Rick's post yesterday about phone interviews, I thought we should look at another phone-related topic for job seekers. I actually got this idea from a comment in my post about resume mistakes last week, where astute reader Marilyn pointed out that job seekers often forget about changing their voicemail messages, coaching the other people who might answer their phones, and using personal (not work) numbers in their job search. Here's how to keep these three phone-related blunders from disconnecting your employment opportunities.  More »

Job Search Quiz: Are You Well Informed or Lukewarm?

After publishing over 75 blog posts in less than five months, we've thrown a LOT of information at you. You're certainly not short on advice about what to do and what not to do during every aspect of your job hunt. So test your knowledge with this quiz and see how job-search savvy you really are.  More »

Got a Bad Job Reference? Blame Yourself

In the courtroom, you NEVER ask a witness a question unless you already know the answer. Every lawyer from Atticus Finch to Denny Crane has taught us that. And the same principle holds true for your job references: NEVER list anyone as a reference unless you know they'll speak highly of you. How can you be sure? Here are several suggestions.  More »

Sales 101: Be the Solution to the Employer's Problem

Despite its negative stereotypes, selling doesn't always involve a sleazy guy in polyester or an annoying telemarketer mispronouncing your name. When a knowledgeable, honest, and professional salesperson sells you something you need, you appreciate it. It's the same when you persuade a prospective employer that you're the right person for the job. If you can effectively sell yourself as the solution to their problem, they'll jump at the chance to hire you. What makes for an effective sales presentation? Here's a real-world example.  More »

So, Who's Lying Now?

Hiring managers and recruiters often accuse job candidates of lying on their resumes and during interviews. When they make these accusations, they're implying that they don't lie. But after two decades in the recruiting industry from both the company and candidate sides of the desk, I know that the majority of untruths come from the employer side.  More »

5 Tips on Working a Job Fair - Real or Virtual

Career expo ... recruitment event ... jobapalooza ... Whatever you call it, a job fair is a roomful of mutual potential: employers looking for new hires, and job hunters hoping to be hired. Unlike more conventional job-search methods, the job fair - be it real or even online, or virtual - guarantees a receptive audience for your resume and personal sales pitch. But your warm reception won't last long if you aren't professional and well prepared.  More »

Feeling Rejected? 7 Tips to Take Back Your Happy Place

Whether it's dating or job hunting, everyone's bound to get rejected along the way. And surprisingly, getting rejected for the job you thought would be perfect can hurt just as much as being turned down by your potential soul mate. Here are seven tips to help you get back to your happy place.  More »

Take a Leap of Faith in a Job Hopper?

A recent blog post posed a rather simple question: Would you hire a job hopper? Put another way: If you had two finalists for a position, would you go with the one who stayed five years at her last job? Or the job hopper who worked five jobs in the last five years?  More »

The Job Search Advice You Need to Hear Again and Again

One of our newest career-related discoveries is What Would Dad Say?, a blog written by dad and business authority G.L. Hoffman. He had a fantastic post last week, called The Class Everyone Thought You Took, But You Didn't. The class in question was Interviewing 101. Frankly, it's nothing that we haven't all heard (or said) before, but it's so basic, so important, and so simply stated that it really ought to be embroidered on a throw pillow.  More »

Going Up? Building Your Elevator Pitch

You may have heard of the elevator pitch. It's a brief statement - 30 to 45 seconds long, give or take - of your job skills and qualifications and how you could utilize them for your next employer. It acts as an oral professional summary. The reason it's called an elevator pitch (or elevator speech) is that, in theory, you're supposed to imagine you're articulating the entire statement to a busy executive or hiring manager in the time it takes to complete an elevator ride.  More »

Online Social Networks: Driving You to Distraction?

Thirty-seven percent of job seekers find their next positions through professional networking, so the value of networking cannot be overstated when seeking a new job. All online social networking sites are built on the principle of connecting people. Yet, job seekers are being fooled if they believe their efforts on these sites can help in their searches.  More »

I Resemble That Remark: Why You're Not Getting Offers

Not too long ago, a post on the Career Hub blog turned me on to the hilarious web site Not Hired, which gives positive proof that sometimes it's your own damn fault you're not getting hired. All kidding aside, if you're getting interviews but not job offers, maybe it's time to examine your speech patterns. Plenty of words and phrases that we use every day without thinking (and without malice) can be hurtful, hateful, or just plain offensive to others. And dropping an insensitive remark in an interview can cost you the job.  More »

Prepare for Life after College with These Tips

College seniors will wrap up their studies, don their gowns and mortarboards, and pick up their hard-earned degrees this month before many of them, eagerly or not, transition into the workforce. But the rest may face a summer of serious FUD - that's fear, uncertainty, and doubt - to use a rhetorical term. Read these four tips to help push the FUD out of the way and get on with life after college.  More »

Should No Degree Also Mean No Chance?

Hiring managers list educational qualifications for a job opening and almost always require a bachelor's degree. And employers often eliminate a potential top performer because he or she doesn't have one. But these companies harm qualified applicants and themselves by disqualifying applicants based on educational criteria that are unrelated to job performance.  More »

Who's Hiring? Your Hairdresser Knows

You've checked and rechecked the online job postings, perused the papers, and queried your friends, neighbors, and relatives. You've sent out resumes, had an interview or two, but nothing's panned out. Feel like you've exhausted every avenue of job leads? Go see your hairdresser, or other people who might know someone who knows someone who -- you get the picture.  More »

5 Ways to Cover Your Web Tracks

You've heard the warning before: If you want something to be private, don't post it online. In the age of social networking, ignoring that warning could prove disastrous. It's no secret anymore that recruiters and hiring managers use the Internet to filter candidates before they even make initial contact. If you're on the hunt for a new job, follow these five tips to cover your own web tracks.  More »

Your Pongo Membership Could Mean Tax Savings

Good news for last-minute tax filers: The money you've invested in your job search may be deductible on your federal income taxes - and that includes your Pongo membership costs. Of course, nothing is simple when it comes to the tax code. With the April 15 tax deadline mere days away, here's what you need to know about the tax deductibility of job search expenses.  More »

Hey Grads! No Experience? No Problem! (Sort of)

As a recent college grad, I had all these preconceived notions about what it takes to transition into the working world, and they couldn't have been more misleading. When it comes time to look for that first post-grad job, experience matters - a lot. So here's what I learned about experience, from experience, to help ease your own transition.  More »

Irish Wisdom for Job Seekers

St. Patrick's Day got me thinking of all the old Irish sayings I've heard over the years. For some reason, this one has always resonated with me: Don't break your shin on a stool that is not in your way. It makes me think of all the ways we can sabotage our own job search efforts, putting up imaginary barriers and allowing a lack of confidence to hold us back.  More »

How 17 Real People Got Their Jobs

Last fall, I read a post at Secrets of the Job Hunt, discussing best and worst ways to find a job. Citing original research conducted by Weddles, they provided a list of the most- and least-helpful sources for getting hired. The top 6 categories were: Online job boards; Headhunter or staffing firm; Tip from a friend; Networking at work or at a business event; Career fairs; and Newspaper ads. My experience didn't really fit with the results, so I decided to conduct a reality poll of friends and acquaintances...  More »

Career Advice, Brought to You by American Idol

When it comes to landing a dream job, American Idol contestants are just like the rest of us. In fact, they can teach us a thing or two about interviewing. I know it sounds a little crazy, but hear me out. In the career world, it's widely known that just because you're qualified for the job, doesn't mean you'll get it. If another candidate brings the same skills to the table, the interviewers simply determine who they like better. The same goes for American Idol hopefuls.  More »

National Unemployment Rate is Irrelevant

The national unemployment rate for February was announced this week. If you're searching for a new job, should you care? Not as much as you should care about jobless rates in your state or metropolitan area. Even then, your ability to land a new job depends on more important factors that you can control, such as the quality of your resume, your networking skills, and your attitude.  More »

Job Search Lessons I Learned on HGTV

Here's the cold, hard truth: I am an addict, and HGTV is my drug. (That's Home & Garden Television for the uninitiated). And my addiction is only partly attributable to the insanely good-looking Eric Stromer (more on him later). I'm sharing my secret with you because the real estate principles they teach on HGTV are highly relevant to job seekers.  More »

Over 50? Your Time May Have Just Begun

Are you in your 50s or 60s and wondering what lurks around the corner as you head toward retirement? Do you feel you're in the twilight of your career, that every job search might take longer than expected because employers are looking for someone younger and more technologically savvy who won't command as much in salary as you would? The outlook may be sunnier than you might think.  More »
Ready To Jump Start Your Job Search?
Get Started
 
Looking for Help with Your Job Search?
Pongo has been helping Job Seekers for over 10 years. If you think our articles are great, try our Resume Builder, Letter Builder and Exclusive Interview Strategy Videos! Our easy-to-use tools and expert advice have helped over 70% of our Members get the job they want! Learn More »
Like what you see?
Join over 4.6 million Pongo Members — and let us help you land your dream job.
Pongo Raves
How Mark Improved His Life With Pongo
See how Mark's job search went from frustrating and uneventful to productive and fulfilling with Pongo's help.
Learn More About Pongo
More Success Stories