Between the Trapezes - On Job Search! | April 2021
Between the Trapezes

Help for when you’re between two career certainties

April 2021

Are you ready for the new "normal"?

The pandemic has changed so many things. Just a few years ago, I asked my doctors, "Why can’t you and I just talk over the internet?" They’d shrug. Couldn’t be done.

It took a pandemic and management telling IT how to make it happen, so that the health plan wouldn’t keep losing money, for "telehealth" to become a reality. And now we’ll never totally go back to what was before.

That’s just one example. Job search has changed in that an "in person" interview now really means "we’ll be using Zoom". Networking means Zoom or similar. And more candidates want remote work only now, and so on.

Want to know some of the latest? Read on.

Joanne Meehl
Resume expert who hopes you never need to actually use your resume. "The Resume Queen"®
LinkedIn profile creator if you want yours to be an employer magnet.
Networking guru who coaches you in elegant (not needy, gimme gimme) networking, finding hidden leads.
Interview prep that puts you at ease matching what they need and describing why they need you.

Photos in this Between the Trapezes courtesy of
unless it's flowers or memes, which are by Joanne

Your Career Is The Treasury of Your Life ©
Are you a NEW or recent college grad, in job search, know what you want, but it’s not happening? 
Contact Joanne (email is at the bottom of this page). She wants to hear from you first (parents, we will talk later!), so that YOU and she can talk about what is working and not working in your job search. It will actually be a fun conversation!
How to answer, "Tell us about yourself"

"Tell us about yourself" is often the first thing an interviewer says to you. What exactly do they want to know?

The person asking, "Tell us about yourself?" doesn't want to know where you were born or what your GPA is or how many kids you have. They want to hear you talk and see how you formulate your thoughts. And they want to hear how you present yourself, especially in relation to the open job.

Your answer? It's not in a book. It should be customized to the job AND to you. And you can prepare for it beforehand so that it feels and sounds as real as you are. First, what are the 3-5 things that are MOST important to them in this job? Then, what are three success factors you have that relate to those desired traits? Success factors are what you've done before that makes you successful over and over again.

That means you won't launch into "I have 18 years of tech leadership experience and I'm seeking a company that will let me grow". That kind of answer says nothing real about you.
One way of answering is to recap the Summary section of your resume, if that's done properly. This touches on 3-4 overarching themes about you and your success over time. And what it could mean to them.

Another way takes a different tack: "When I look at what you have defined as important for this position, I see several points of connection. Three of them are: my technical expertise, my skills in project management, and my people skills. Which of those would you like me to start with?"

This kind of response answers the question and it engages the questioner. And it narrows the question in the way YOU want to answer it.

Give either of these approaches a try and you'll quickly begin welcoming the question "Tell me about yourself", and you'll be making it work for you.


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This month’s Tip from Joanne:

Should I have a "pretty" resume AND an ATS version?

Answer: Not any more. I now do one and only one version for candidates: one that’s ATS "friendly" AND is attractive to the human eye.

That means I do NOT use ATS-unfriendly tables, columns, text boxes, page breaks or any other breaks, right-side justify, templates of any kind. I do use screen-friendly fonts like Arial or Calibri (not Times New Roman, hard to read on the screen), as well as shading and color that does not interfere with the Application Tracking System reading the resume.

It is actually a simple format, easy for humans to read. As they should be!

Thought for the Month

The person who says it cannot be done Should not interrupt the person doing it.

— Chinese proverb

Joanne Meehl Career Services LLC | 612.440.6765 (new) |