Posted (admin) in Job Search Assistance, Perfect Job Seeker on April-29-2014

Having worked in college athletics, minor-league baseball, and radio/television organizations, I ask young people three questions that they must answer “YES” to before pursuing their dream job in the sports industry.

1.       Are you willing to network and stay in touch with everyone you meet in the industry?

Like most industries in high demand (music, entertainment, fashion, etc.) having a contact in the industry is very important in separating yourself from the masses. Conducting information interviews with people in positions you aspire to become and then staying in touch with them is critical in the process to identify the “hidden” job market.

Are you willing to work and live anywhere, and I mean anywhere, like North Dakota?

A willingness to relocate is essential because usually there are limited opportunities in the industry of your current geographic location. Moving to less desirable cities shows your commitment to the industry and provides valuable experience that will prepare you for the next position.

3.       Are you willing to work long hours, nights, weekend, holidays for low or sometimes no pay?  

It’s simple supply and demand. There will always be someone willing to work longer and cheaper than you will. Why? Because of the demand of people wanting to break into the business and no specific skill sets needing to enter the industry, there are many substitutes for talent. Also, once the novelty of working in the industry wears off and the reality of bills, mortgages, marriage, and kids arrives, one must question if the return on investment is worth the excitement of being in the industry.

No one wants to dampen a career aspiration, but a dose of reality from people who have gone before is helpful in determining if one wants to make the leap into a highly-competitive industry. Saying yes to networking, relocating and average compensation is critical in moving forward in this career.


In my book the Perfect Job Seeker, I use an acronym MAJOR LIC to develop your job search mission. Determine your MAJOR, Location, Industry and Company of preference before moving forward.

1.       Selecting a Major

At this time of year, when sophomores have to determine a major of study because of fall semester class registration, they make rushed, pressured and uninformed decisions on a career path. There are many ways to research the market for majors. We provide historical data from the annual post-graduation report. Coming soon the Commonwealth of Virginia will make available a database of every major from every higher-ed school in Virginia with pertinent job-related information. LinkedIn Career Explorer also shows the demand for majors as well by your alma mater.

Identify your Location of Preference

If you are uncertain on your major of study, then do you know where you want to live? If this decision is based off of family, following a spouse, climate or other lifestyle, then this information can help you select a major for you. There are 360+ Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States. MSA data can be helpful in making a decision.  A person having Location as their top priority must be willing to work in any industry for any company. Therefore, knowing the supply of jobs in a desired MSA is important. For instance, if you want to be close to your family in Blacksburg, VA, and location is your top priority, you must be willing to sacrifice what you do and for whom you do it.

3.       Industry

If you are unable to select a major, and are indifferent toward your geographical location, then maybe you have a desired industry you want to work. Is it banking, automotive, software development, publishing? Industry preference can direct not only what major to study, but what location is best for jobs in the field. A person having Industry as their top priority must be willing to live anywhere and work for anyone – as long as it is in that industry. Therefore, industry knowledge is important. For instance, if you want to be a college football coach, industry must be your top priority because you must move and work for many programs.

4.       Company

If you cannot answer the other three questions, but you know what company you want to work for, then company identification is your key. Many job seekers have a dream company they want to work. However, selecting the wrong major or having a different location of preference can hinder those plans. A person having Company as their top priority must be willing to live anywhere and do anything as long as it is working for that company. Therefore, company knowledge is vitally important. For instance, if you want to work for Google, then you must live in California, be in the software development industry and computer science is the major for you.

So, what is most important to you in selecting a major or career – location, industry or company? By rank ordering these three attributes in your career search, you will have a clearer picture of what major to select.


There are a number of proven unwritten and unspoken rules of job searching if mastered can enhance your chances of obtaining a coveted job offer. By practicing these etiquette principles in seven distinct ways may differentiate oneself from others on the market.

1.       Job Fair

Before attending a job fair, obtain a list of companies who are scheduled to be there and research the companies. Find a nugget or two that demonstrates you know something about the firm. Never go up to the employer and say tell me a little something about your company. No employer wants to hear it. It’s the comment that keeps you from moving forward in the process.

Information Interviews

These are designed to learn more about a person, position, function or company. Do not directly ask for a job, it is implied. Respect the interviewee’s time by clearly articulating your 30-second commercial, which gives them a specific, tangible action item to help you at the conclusion of the interview. To encourage interviewee follow up, send a handwritten thank you note for their time.

3.       Job Interview

Again, be prepared, and arrive on time. Research the firm in greater depth and have questions ready to ask throughout the day. At the conclusion of the interview, if you want the job, then ask for it. Also, send thank you notes reinforcing your gratitude and desire for the position.

4.       Job seeker accepting an offer

Once an offer has been extended, show your appreciation and ask for time to consider it. Once you verbally accept the offer, cease all other recruiting and interviewing activities.

5.       Job seeker declining an offer

Start by thanking the employer for the opportunity to interview and express how difficult a decision this was for you, but in the end you decided to decline their offer. Ask to stay in touch over the next couple of months and follow up with the employer 30, 60 or 90 days out. You may need that offer at a later time.

6.       Job seeker is rejected

The natural instinct is to get mad and move on, but there is a better option. If you have interviewed and were not extended an offer, perhaps you are their #2 choice. Start again, by showing grace, humility and gratitude by thanking them for the opportunity to interview. Ask if it would be okay to follow up in the near future, and do it. Perhaps choice number one declines the employer, quits or is not a fit. Follow up and stay in touch.

7.       Practice reciprocity

Help others who helped you. Chances are you will switch jobs or career every three years. During this three-year period there will be numerous people asking you for help in their own job process. Allocate your time and give freely to these individuals in need.

Posted (admin) in Job Search Assistance, Perfect Job Seeker on March-13-2012

Posted (admin) in Job Search Assistance, Perfect Job Seeker on February-19-2012

Come join us for an overview of the Perfect Job Seeker at the Roanoke Main Library on Monday, Feb 27 at 630pm.

If interested in receiving a free hard copy, click the button below to use PayPal to cover the postage amount of $4.95. Or you can send a check in the amount of $4.95 for shipping and handling to me (Stuart Mease) and mail to 105 Wistaria Dr. Christiansburg VA 24073.

You can also get the eBook for your Kindle device or smartphone at http://amzn.to/stuartmease.