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Is Your Job-Seeking Behavior Proactive or Just Plain Desperate?

Is Your Job-Seeking Behavior Proactive or Just Plain Desperate?

Margot Carmichael Lester, Monster Contributing Writer

Crazy Talk at the Interview

When you do meet potential employers, be mindful of how you present yourself, cautions Richard Laermer, CEO of New York City-based RLM PR. “Language is everything,” he says. “People act as though they are being cute, and so they say what they think we want to hear instead of what distinguishes them from the crowd. It’s all the adorable ways folks say ‘I’m so perfect for you.’ I can’t take them seriously.”

Here are some lines Laermer has heard over the years:

• “If you hire me, I’ll do anything — and I mean anything — to make this work!” • “It’s true that every journey starts with a cute pair of shoes — and I have that pair!” • “My whole life has been leading to this job. Let’s do it.” • “I’m a future star — why shouldn’t you have the advantage first?”

What he does take seriously, though, is straight talk. “If you know why you’re good, show me, don’t tell me,” he says. Provide quantifiable examples of how you could help the business meet goals. “Those who explain themselves in a cool and deliberate way get my attention,” he says.

Toeing the fine line between being proactive and seeming desperate can be tough, but staying on the proactive side is crucial to job search success.

“It’s a fact that assertive rules the day, and especially in hard times,” Laermer says. “But, man, some of the things people [do] to get attention are shocking. And I wonder who taught them that. You can already see how much training they’re going to need to get into shape. Why would we call them in?”

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