Category Archives: Career Advice

6 Key Skills You Need to Get Hired in Today’s Job Market

If you are graduating this spring and don’t yet have that great job you’ve been dreaming of, these 6 skills will help you land a great job. Of course it also helps if you have a good GPA and a few internships under your belt. But while a good GPA helps open doors, getting a job offer takes more than academic accomplishments. (more…)

Posted in Career Advice, Job Search |

Is Your Job Search as Busted as Your March Madness Bracket? 8 tips for getting back in the game.

Luke Maye

Photo by Kevin C. Cox

It’s March Madness when everyone becomes a basketball fan, if only for the office bracket pool. If your job search is feeling as busted as your March Madness bracket, take a few lessons from your favorite team to re-ignite your search. Below are 7  tips to help you get back in the game.


Posted in Career Advice, College Student, Job Search | Tagged , , |

Career-Killing Lessons from the Oscars (and 8 ways to fix them)

2017 Oscars blunder, career coaching

Photo by Al Seib of the Los Angeles Times

The 2017 Oscars ceremony likely will be remembered not for who took home the most Oscars (La La Land) but for the potential career-killing blunder that occurred at the end of the awards show. Fans who watched the nearly four hour presentation were as stunned as the audience was when the wrong film was named Best Picture. How could a Steve Harvey Miss Universe moment happen again at one of the most tightly scripted award shows? (more…)

Posted in Career Advice, College Student, Job Search |

Maine Movers and Makers: Interview with Ed McKersie, founder of

This interview with Ed McKersie, is part of my new blog series, Maine Movers and Makers, featuring career insights from Maine’s leading executives. Ed is the President of Pro Search, a recruiting and placement services company focused on connecting talent with Maine based employers. He is also the creative force and founder of, a website dedicated to making “Vacationland Work for You.”

Ed McKersie Pro Search LiveandWorkinMaine

“Ask good questions.”

This interview has been edited for space and clarity.

Please tell me a bit about your childhood and the influences that helped shape you?


Posted in Career Advice, College Student, Interview Tips, Job Search |

Converting your interview into a job offer

job offer

Converting your interview into a job offer is the goal of all job searches. So how do you do it?

You’ve done the hard work: crafted an outstanding resume, written an engaging cover letters, passed the initial phone screen, aced the interview and then landed the coveted second interview.  You are feeling confident that the interviews went well. You can feel that the offer is coming. When you walk out the door, you are not done. Far from it. Now is the time to finish strong and use this key tip for converting your interview into a job offer.

So what’s my proven key tip?  (more…)

Posted in Career Advice, Interview Tips, Job Search |

How to Keep Your Resume Out of the Application Black Hole

resume application black hole

The application black hole. Where resumes go to die.

The application black hole, where resumes go to die. If you are one of over 1.6 million of college seniors looking for their first “real job”, you know it all too well by now. You’ve applied on line and sent in your resume to so many companies that you’ve lost track. And, you hear nothing, from anyone. If you are lucky, the online application process will send you a computer generated email thanking you for applying for the job. And that’s it. Days, weeks, and sometimes even months go by and nothing. So what should you do? (more…)

Posted in Career Advice, College Student, Job Search, Resumes & Cover Letters |

50 Frank Tips for New Grads Working In The Real World


This post was also published in the Bangor Daily News on 6.13.16

Transitioning from college to career is a major life change and successful navigation is not guaranteed. The cultural shift from campus to corporate is a big one. Understanding office protocol and its unwritten, often unspoken, rules can make a big difference in how easily you assimilate and ultimately, how well you do.

Here are 50 things you need to know about working in the real world. These tips will help you hit the ground running as you launch your career. They also might help you avoid major embarrassment, or worse. (more…)

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5 Critical Interview Tips You Can Use to Find the Right Job for You

job interview

When preparing for an interview, many of my clients initially focus all their energy on preparing their answers for the typical interview questions: “Tell me about yourself?”, “What are your strengths (or weaknesses)” and the money question, “Why should we hire you?”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s critical that you have great responses to these, and a host of other questions. But equally important is making the interview work for you. Below are 5 critical interview tips to help you understand if the job is the right job for you. (more…)

Posted in Career Advice, Interview Tips, Job Search |

Counting on a bit of Irish luck in your job search?

irish luck

It’s St. Patty’s Day and we’ve all heard about the luck ‘o the Irish. The expression actually has its roots in a bit of irony. Rather than necessarily being lucky, the Irish leaned into their positive attitude to get through a history filled with difficulties. If you’re counting on a bit of Irish luck in your job search, a little never hurts but a positive attitude and lot of hard work will work better.

In ‘1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History,’ author Edward T. O’Donell, shares that the origin of the expression started in America and comes from the gold rush years. “A number of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish and Irish American birth . . . Over time this association of the Irish with mining fortunes led to the expression ‘luck of the Irish.’ Of course, it carried with it a certain tone of derision, as if to say, only by sheer luck, as opposed to brains, could these fools succeed.”

All my Irish friends are very smart and I’m sure that you’re no fool if you’re reading up on job search advice. After you’ve finished celebrating St. Patrick, whether it’s with a parade, a green beer, a pub crawl or a hearty Irish stew, here are 3 things you can do that might bring more luck, a preferably results, to your job search.

  1. Narrow your focus. If you’re not sure what you want to do, this can be very hard but an unfocused, overly broad job search will mean more effort and time on your end, fewer results and more disappointment. You can narrow your search a number of ways: by profession, industry, geography or by targeting specific companies. Spend some time early on thinking about what you want in a job and what you are naturally good at, and use that to narrow your focus.
  2. Mine your connections. Irish pride runs deep and so does their loyalty to true friends. Lean into your friends and family for advice and introductions to others who can expand your network. Do the same for your friends too. A broad circle of friends may be your best job search secret weapon.

There are good ships and there are wood ships,

the ships that sail the sea.

But the best ships are friendships

and may they always be.

  1. “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with blarney.” Great advice for a bar conversation, but terrible for an interview. Always prepare for an interview, do your research, know your strengths and how you can put them to work for the company. Even if you might not have the highest GPA, a positive attitude, self-awareness and being likeable will take you a long way.

An old Irish proverb states: “The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.” Wonderful advice for job searchers. Ádh mór to you.


Posted in Career Advice, Networking | Tagged , |

12 Things To Do Today To Find A Job or Internship

job search tips

February – the month when winter doldrums are overtaking your hopes and expectations. If you’re in college and don’t have an internship lined up or are graduating this spring with no job in sight, things might seem even bleaker. Here are 12 things you can do today to find a job or internship.

Employers always are looking for college students/grads with problem solving, decision making and prioritization skills. An organized job search requires all the above, especially when you are balancing your classes, final exams, and the endless senior year social events.

Here are 12 action steps to find a job that you can take to improve your success rate in your  job search and demonstrate to employers that you have what it takes to be successful in the real world. (more…)

Posted in Career Advice, Interview Tips, Job Search, Networking, Resumes & Cover Letters |