Why You Aren't Being Referred

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“Hello connections, I am seeking a new, full-time opportunity where I can leverage my skills in operations, leadership, and customer satisfaction. I would greatly appreciate any referrals or recommendations you have  (1).png

It’s paraphrased but it’s still very familiar. The problem with this type of message is…

We have absolutely no idea what type of work you’re looking to do. Do you have any idea how many industries have operations leaders? This type of outreach does at least attempt to connect with one’s network (which is a good thing), but it does not give your network the critical information they need to actually help you.

What needs to be included is:

  • Your specific, targeted job title(s) - a clear message. What exactly do you want to do and what is it called in the marketplace?
  • The industry you’re looking for. Are you looking for something in financial services, manufacturing, or government? They’re all very different.
  • What bottom-line impacting skills will you bring to the table? Are you a $100k P&L leader or a $2B P&L leader? There is a difference.
  • Another helpful hint…consider sending these outreach letters to specific people that actually know you well enough to refer you (in a private mail). Because regardless of how well written your appeal is, professionals should never refer you if they don’t know you. You must be able to demonstrate your ability to do the job. Be honest with yourself.

Keep in mind…changing professions/industries is a much more difficult sell. You must put in the time to demonstrate how you’re qualified to perform in the new function or industry. This takes work and your examples of cross-functional success can go a long way with your network audience.

Once you craft your more-focused appeal, and you send it to specific people that can vouch for your actual performance, give them a little grace. You don’t know how busy people are or if they’re dealing with personal matters. Just because they didn’t respond in 24 hours doesn’t mean they hate you.  Sometimes they just have other stuff going on. So allow them time to respond and you take ownership of the appropriate follow up (1-2 weeks).

If you’re still struggling to get your network to help you, you may need someone to tell you the truth. I’m very good at that, especially when it helps you to stop spinning your wheels.

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Written by Brenda M. Cunningham: The one who will tell you like it is and help you get to where you want to be in your career. Click here to schedule your complimentary consultation. pushcareermanagement.com

How to Prepare for Your Resume Update


Next month, September, is National Update Your Resume Month. And in expectation of its magnificent arrival, I want to give you some practical nuggets to get you in position for your resume update.

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you sit down to tackle a project and then you get frustrated because you don’t have everything you need. Then one hour later…you’ve run out of time. Vow that this resume update project will be different, and get busy pulling together these items:

1.     Start thinking about the next step in your career plan. What is it called? What skills are required to achieve it? Does it pay what you thought it would? Start referencing job postings to see what employers are looking for.

2.     Review your past performance appraisals. What were some of your major accomplishments? What was the financial value of the projects you’ve worked on? How many patients did you care for at one time? How much did you save your organization (time or money)? What were the customer retention numbers before and after your arrival in the role?

3.     Pull any letters of recommendation you’ve received and/or ask to be recommended. Using LinkedIn is a great way to get a formal recommendation and let it be known to the world. It’s one thing to think you’re awesome…it’s another thing entirely for someone else to say it.

4.     Document your trainings. How have you stayed sharp within your profession? Did you deliver any classes? What conferences did you attend? Think about lunch-and-learn workshops that exposed you to new skills. Don’t discount online trainings that your employer offered. Not everyone cares enough about their career to keep developing, so make sure you’re giving yourself credit for the amazing things you’ve done to stay relevant.

Update Your Resume Month does not mean you have to hire a professional writer, but if you know that writing and articulating your accomplishments is not your strength…then do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with me to build a strong, effective resume for you.


Written by Brenda M. Cunningham: Career Transition Specialist at Push Career Management, LLC. Whether you are unemployed or ready for more in your career, she builds powerful portfolios that capture attention and coaches professionals to land their ideal positions at their ideal pay. www.pushcareermanagement.com

Company Layoffs: (Employers) Act Like You Know

Heads up employers!!! When you have employees who do a great job for you day-in and day-out, then your company falls on hard times…it is critical that you support these individuals who have given so much of their lives to you.

You know, like I know, that you hired them and paid them based on a 40-hour workweek, and they consistently put in 60-80+ hours for you. Since they were paid a salary, they didn’t even receive overtime pay!

You also know, like I know, that these employer-rating sites like Glassdoor.com are rapidly emerging as one of the first places prospective candidates will go to find out about your company culture. And what’s being said about you matters to your future hiring endeavors.

Finally you know, like I know, that providing quality outplacement support is the right thing to do when you have a sudden need to restructure or reduce your workforce. This is especially true for your long-term staff who haven’t looked for a job in 10+ years.

I remember my own fateful day, just like it was yesterday. I was called into a room and essentially told my services were no longer needed. I think I was surprised because I thought I was doing a great job. Nonetheless, suddenly I had no job, and only a glimpse of the confidence I once knew. But there was one silver lining…my company provided me with something called outplacement services and I was told that this outplacement company could help me with finding a new position.

The big-box outplacement services I received was helpful on some level, but lacking in other areas. For example, they provided resume assistance, but not resume development. They offered job search suggestions, but not a job search plan/strategy. They offered a place to make phone calls, but didn’t advise who to call or what to say. And this is why Push Outplacement Services was born. I knew it was time to offer a more comprehensive and practical solution to these shell-shocked and loyal professionals who had just lost their job.

So employers, act like you know and do things differently from here on in. If you are facing layoffs, be sure to secure a quality, people-and-results focused outplacement services provider.


To learn more about outplacement services, and how Push Outplacement Services are different (as well as how you can partner), complete the form to download your free resource, Outplacement: The Ultimate Win-Win, Reputation-Saving, Risk-Avoiding, Employee Benefit

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FATIGUE, Your Job Search’s Worst Enemy

FATIGUE, Your Job Search’s Worst Enemy

Perhaps you’re just bogged down mentally because you’ve been stuck in the same position and keep getting passed over for promotion. Maybe you’ve been in an unfruitful job search for a long time and you’re wondering if you have the will to keep jumping through all the job search hoops that a modern transition requires.  In short, there is hope. What I’ve found works for me is having a carrot to dangle. You know, a small victory.

Stop Pulling the Race Card!

Stop Pulling the Race Card!

I’ve purposely avoided writing controversial articles because I prefer to be drama-free and to focus on education. But this topic of the “race card” is an important one, especially in light of Black History Month. Black History Month is celebrated for all of the major accomplishments contributed by African Americans, so why are so many from this population still pulling the race card when they don’t get certain, targeted opportunities?