Man on trapeze
Between the Trapezes How to Neutralize a Bad Reference
February 2011


Welcome to Between the Trapezes! That space between two career certainties can be unsettling. But taking the leap across is what brings career success. -- Joanne Meehl, aka The Job Search Queen

  • How to Neutralize a Bad Reference
  • Three Tips for Networking at Events
  • Cats Coming Down from the Tree
  • Job Search Tools Boot Camp!

  • How to Neutralize a Bad Reference

    Your interviews are going well at Your #1 Targeted Company, and the prospective employer has told you that they'll be talking to your references AND will be calling your former company. A routine practice.

    You gulp: Former company...that means Former Boss, who was, well, a jerk. You and he never got along, despite your excellent performance. He's certainly not one of your official references, but you just know they will be able to find him and talk with him. And he won't say good things about you.

    How do you head this off? How do you neutralize the situation so that his words don't kill your candidacy there?

    Here are six ways...

    Three Tips for Networking at Events

    When you're at an event and want move around the room meeting people, it's easy to get stalled. Here are some ideas so you can connect with more people in less time.

    First, don't insist on a full meeting at the event. Get their OK to contact them at a time and day they name, and ask if it would help to send them a reminder "via email tomorrow". Chances are they'll readily agree to that. And they'll appreciate your thoughtfulness.

    Another reason this is a good idea is that they will then spend undistracted time with you.

    Second, try to spend only a few minutes with each person. If someone wants to delay you, excuse yourself by telling them about your goal of the evening: meeting as many people as possible, so you have to move on. If they are there to network, they will respect your request.

    Of course, be sure to take everyone's business card and bring plenty of your own. Jot down any notes on cards after talking with each person.

    Last, the way to be a genuine networker, AND to be remembered, is to help the other person -- by asking them who they would like to meet. That could be someone at the event, or someone in your business circle. Then follow up.

    Cats Coming Down from the Tree
    Joyful woman

    Those who've heard me speak to groups know that I have a saying: "There are no cat skeletons in trees...they always come down. And in the same way, you WILL land a good job!"

    Some recent "landees" are Rachel L., Joe I., Kevin S., Pat P., Jeff U. Congratulations and best wishes in your new jobs!

    Job Search Tools Boot Camp!

    Minneapolis area: Job Search Tools Boot Camp -
    Resume and LinkedIn (plus a bonus!)

    Tired of no response to your resume, or not enough response? Getting no response to your LinkedIn profile from recruiters, HR, or hiring managers? Glad others are getting interviews and offers but wondering why you're not?

    Tired of looking for a job, period? Or just starting your search and don't want to waste time using ineffective tools?

    Then stop doing the same old thing. Do something different. Something that gets results.

    For more details...

    To register, email but do so ASAP, as seating is limited and we're bound to fill up fast.


    Joanne Meehl

    Thought of the Day:

    Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.

    -- James F. Byrnes (1879 - 1972)


    One Meeting That Can Impact a Career!
    A Career Consult with the Queen is a 1-to-2-hour session with Joanne Meehl that helps the candidate get unstuck, unstalled, or unconfused -- or all three. The session gives the job hunter possibilities, ideas, and a plan of action. It zeroes in on what's working in their search and on what needs fixing. It's $175 and applicable to any additional services if the candidate wants to do more with us. For more info, just contact us at


    Job search networking: Next meeting February 3rd, Face2Face Job Search Networking for Professionals, Wayzata, Minnesota. Topic: Behind the Oz Curtain of HR, featuring Karen Kodzic.
    Details for all meetings are at the
    Upcoming Meetings/Dates link.
    What will you find, if you attend? An upbeat, lively atmosphere, plenty of new information about the job search in a competitive job market, effective networking, camaraderie with 40-60 of your peers, great speakers on current topics. We guarantee this group will add energy and power to your job search. All info is at


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