Please join me on Midmorning with Kerri Miller, Monday October 5, 10am Central Time, on Minnesota Public Radio.

UPDATE: I’m glad to take overflow questions from the show here on the blog. Just post them in the comments section below… I’ll try to get to them all!

Here’s the audio from today’s Midmorning segment:

I referenced these articles during the segment today:

Put a Free Sample in Your Resume

Too Old to Rock & Roll

Information and statistics about job boards:

Job-board Journalism: Selling out the American Job Hunter (an oldie but goodie)

CareerBuilder is for Dopes

Job Board B.S. Abounds

Why do people pay to use job boards?

Your question might also be answered in one of the many other articles on the web site: Ask The Headhunter.

This is live, call-in talk radio — bring your questions! MNPR streams live online.

Our topic? The Job Hunt! The insider’s edge, how to find a job, how to interview, how to get the job, and if you already have the job, how to keep it and advance in your career.

I’m told that a representative of will be on the show, too…

(If your questions don’t make it on the air, please post them below and I’ll do my best to address them all after the show!)

Tune in here!


  1. Can you please post the study that was cited about the importance of personal contact? I am currently working on a research project that relates to that. Thanks much and great show.

  2. How do I get my name in at headhunting firms?

    Additionally, I don’t have a degree which is highly unusual in my field. I believe it’s been a roadblock for not getting interviews because so many of the positions are asking for a degree. That being said, I’m highly qualified and have an excellent track record. Is there any way for me to get past this (short of getting a degree?- which I would love but would take more time than I have).

    Thanks much and I’m really enjoying the show.

  3. Thanks for listening today.

    Headhunters typically find candidates for their clients through their network of contacts. Your challenge is to enter that network. Talk with people who do the work you want to do. What headhunters have they worked with? As for an introduction, or permission to use their name when you contact the headhunter.

    This may take time to accomplish – and that’s why you should start now. It will pay off in the long run, if not right now. So get to it!

    (I’ll add the same advice about the degree. If it’s that crucial, get started on it now.)

    I discuss many more ways to get close to headhunters in my book. Click the book cover at upper right of this page for more info.

  4. @Sarah Lageson: The best study I’ve seen was done by Forrester Research in Boston a few years ago (it’s just one of many like it), but Forrester’s reports are not published freely – you need a subscription. You may be able to get a copy for your research by requesting it. Title is “Career Networks” by Charlene Li.

    The more current report is from CareerXroads, but Xroads breaks out several “sources of hire” categories that are all “personal contacts:”

  5. What is the best way to answer the “What are your weaknesses?” question, and thus turn the answer into a ‘positive’ response?

  6. @Mike: This is one of the Top 10 Stupid Interview Questions. I covered it on the blog here:

    Check some of the comments from other readers, which are pretty good!

    My take on it is, employers are revealing their weakness when they ask questions like this. The posting discusses some ways to handle this question, which is “no-win,” akin to “Have you ever been caught beating your mother?”

  7. I enjoyed the web cast. My last few positions have all been through trusted contacts, so I understand their value. In my present search I would like to work for smaller companies. Being in IT, I am less interested in the industry, than the challenge of revitalizing their IT department to help the business become more profitable. It is easy to find large companies. How would you suggest going about finding the smaller companies that could use my services?

  8. @Dan: You will find smaller companies through the consultants they use. Identify the most respected CPA’s, bankers, lawyers, real estate brokers and other consultants in your area. (Small businesses tend to be local! You can find these folks at chamber of commerce events.) Ask them which small companies they admire the most and why. Once you get the discussion going, ask for their advice and insight about the folks who run those companies. “If I were interested in working at that company – and I want to do this very quietly – is there someone you suggest I should get in touch with to learn more about their operations?”

    You can do the same with customers and vendors of your target companies – or anyone who does business with them. Working backwards like this can be a lot of fun. You’ll learn the business community inside and out.

    This approach works wonders. can’t touch this with a ten-foot pole ;-) Thanks for listening today!

  9. Does anyone wonder how many jobs on Monster are not real jobs but just someone wanting to collect resumes? Maybe I’ve been reading Nick so long that I’m a bit cynical on this. :)

    Job boards are good for making contacts but I haven’t heard many people actually get jobs directly from sites like

  10. @Sarah: You may also want to see this article of mine “Two important numbers for job seekers: 7.5% and 1:11”