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Increase Your Chances of Success

Many people who call or email me have been out of work for six months or more. They’re struggling and their confidence is crushed.

Mine would be, too, if I faced rejection after rejection — or, even worse, no response after no response. It’s a common problem among millions of Americans these days, and it’s the WORST position to be in when you’re searching for work.

That’s why you have to muster all the confidence and poise you can find: become an actress, steal it, appropriate it, do whatever it takes to feel and show your very best.

• Rise and shine. Wake up early every day as if you’re reporting to work.

• Readjust your Ps. Focus on connecting with people and having conversations, instead of simply applying blindly for positions. (Talk to us on Facebook too.)

• New do. Get your hair done. Can’t afford it? Ask your hairdresser for a temporary break or contact a beauty school for a complimentary service.

• Tidy up. Clean and rearrange your house. Find fresh flowers for your desk. Get organized: a brightened workspace makes you more focused.

• C-free zone. Don’t complain about ANYTHING for a month — well, start with a day, then a week.

Declare a “no complaining” zone around yourself — not about your kids, current or former spouse, parents, friends, creditors, former employers — anyone who might normally drive you nuts. Promise yourself that nothing is going to make your skin crawl during this time. The idea is to find the blessings, not the curses. To focus on the good, not the maddening.

I could go on and on, but you get the drill. Will a new hairstyle get you hired? No way, and of course a cut or color alone won’t do the trick. But its effect on you, your mood and your attitude will absolutely increase your chances of success. It puts an extra bounce in your step — and that’s a pretty important element when looking for work.

Will 20 minutes on Facebook or LinkedIn every day result in a new job? Maybe, maybe not, but it’ll definitely expand your network of connections, which is key to getting hired. You know someone who knows someone who can connect you to your next employer. It’s the 2011 version of the old boys club; the Internet has leveled the playing field.

Finally, rethink your overall approach. Many times when we’ve tried something over and over with no results, we tend to give up. Instead of doing that, wipe the slate clean and start fresh with a new rosy outlook. This isn’t about the power of positive thinking. It’s really about expecting success instead of automatically resigning yourself to failure. Anyone who has recently been hired after a long–term search will tell you this works.

Our five free Women For Hire career expos this season (dates and locations are on will not only feature great employers, but more career resources than ever before. We’re planning extensive job search and career development support services for you, so mark your calendars.


  1. Geraldine

    Thanks Tory, that’s great advice, I changed my profile on Linked In and I have decided to go back to school this semester. I was laid off work 8mts.ago but tried to find work in my field, went on many interviews, got a job & lost it inside 24hrs.not due to my abilities. I’m in Real Estate development and design the toughest hit market. Today I realize that I need to reinvent myself. In order to do this I need to hone my talents and improve in the areas where I feel weak to be ready to get back what I have put in. It’s not easy being rejected but if I sit back and accept No then I get nowhere, so today my goals are to work on myself worth and skills and take this time as a golden opportunity to grow.

  2. by

    WoW! This article was written for me. The 16th of January 2011 was exactly my 6th month of unemployment! I have a degree, lots of experience but I’m told from insiders that I am over qualified for jobs! Really? Would they not rather have an overqualified, enthusiastic employee thank just someone just wanting a job?
    Regardless … I’m going to get my hair done and make sure that there is a clear No-C zone always!!!

  3. Dee Edwards

    Why don’t you have conferences in the San Francisco Bay Area?

    Also, you keep talking about older workers getting jobs – what are we supposed to do between 55 & 70? We’re not old enough to get SS & not disabled.
    All they hire are ‘fresh out of college grads’ making $25K a year.
    The world is NOT hiring workers over 50, is true! I’ve been unemployed off & on since May 2009!
    And even temporary agency’s are not placing older workers!
    I’m so frustrated & I don’t want to take a Taco Bell job!

  4. CW

    I have to agree with Dee. I’m just over 50, ran a family owned Corporation,lots of experience but no degrees. Been in Real Estate for many years but continue to look for a W-2 job. Taco Bell won’t even hire me, I’m over qualified! I’m out of money and looking at having to sell my house! Any suggestions-please!


    Hi my name is yamirka I been laid off of my job 3 months ago, they transfered the company to Mexico. I have the oportunity to have trade program aproved, but i dont know exacty what direction to take, I was thinking to take some administrative assistant program ot medical assistant. I dont know if im ready for medical assistant I dont want to waiste my time or my oportunity taking the wrong career for my, could you please give me some advice to take the right career for can find a good job.

  6. Dottie

    Hello, I am going to be 58 soon. I have been layed off from my job as a customer service insurance agent since March of 2010. I have been in that field for over 30 years. I do not have a degree of anykind. I have been applying for positions in the field that I have been working for many years as well as other fields of employment with no luck. I am running out of ideas and am depressed over the fact that I am unable to find employment. Interviews are always over the phone with no luck. (Only 3 in the last year). Help! I am single and funds are running out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  7. ShariW

    I’m retired for a year now, but have developed a product for dogs for which there is a potential market of 5 million dog oweners. I have no funds to produce it, how do I go about selling my idea to a company who could produce it?

  8. Marcia

    Thank for cheers I surely need it. I was let go for more than two years I have a degree but it just get harder and harder to find a job last year I decided to go back to school instead of sitting home. What I do to keep my mind busy is to read volinteer at the nursing homes with a church group. Right now a have $9.00 in my accounting but I am not going to complain because there is someone out there who is worst than I am. I use to take my unemployment checks and help others who did not have enough to buy food. I know I have to do something rather than wait so I start a e-commerce business in October of last year my check is small but I give thanks. Sure wish if I had a full time job in accounting but I have to be strong better days are coming.

  9. Marie Boccia

    I am 56 years old and i have been laid off for the past year and a half. I do have some college background but I am still having a hard time finding work. I have applied online with no correspondence back. I have gone to interviews with no calls back, when i call them back – the position is filled. I am finding that they are not looking for people who are experienced or have knowledge, they want someone who will work for peanuts! I have even gone to a headhunter looking for work with me and that hasnt panned out either.. my self esteem is down to nil even though i had my hair done! There isnt too many places for jobs where i live…

  10. Celeste

    I’m 54 years old and have been out of work for a year now. My husband was laid off in August 2010 and we’re draining our savings rapidly. I was formerly a project manager for a small, private real estate development company. Before that, an asset manager for a real estate investment trust. I have over 20 years experience in the commercial real estate field and can’t even get an interview. It’s truly depressing applying for jobs online and getting no response whatsoever. I’ve edited my resume to remove titles in hopes of getting lesser jobs and still no luck. I understand employers have a fear that overqualified people may leave upon finding something more suitable, but I think in my age group we’re looking beyond just replacing our former jobs, and looking for something that we truly enjoy doing and or working with a company/people we really like.

  11. CBA

    I got the Pink-Slip today from a small accounting firm because the Tax-Season is slow for them. My major is Accounting and I’m graduating on the 14th of May, 2011 with my MBA. I don’t feel down at all, but I’m looking to reconnect and reinvent my career. Please help!

  12. leigh

    Oh how I can relate to those in the over 50 age group. I have networked, I have volunteered, I got downsized last spring and I have done EVERYTHING I know to do to find a job. I am degreed have experience in many fields, I get the interview, but when they see my “age” they opt for the younger right out of college crowd everytime. I have gone to the workshops on employment, interviewing, networking in my town. We had Lee, Heicht, Harrison work with those of us getting downsized, and yet it takes more than a positive upbeat attitude. 5 of the 63 of us downsized are older, not 1 of the older crowd has gotten an offer anywhere. We have gone through savings, and unemployment, it is FRIGHTENING, and it is true Fast Food won’t look at you, retail won’t look at you, it is AGEISM and you can’t fight it right now with success. I have always been optimistic and employment agencies LOVE my attitude, but even they haven’t been able to place me. I have tried to contact/network with HR or those in management with several places(cold calls or events), but they all tell me gotta go online to apply, and online gets me screened out. Ok, the start your own biz thing, unrealistic as you need CAPITAL, and only 1 in 5 small biz’s make it(talk with SCORE). So unless you are a DYNAMIC entrepreneur chances are you won’t make it in this downturning economy, that is FACT! I have read books, articles, blogs, I have followed all the schemes, suggestions, etc. I don’t seem to be ANY closer to a paycheck now than last spring and it isn’t from doing the same things, I have done ALL kinds of stuff and still NOTHING. And talking to my peers, they are all out of ideas as well.

  13. I’ve been a stay home mom for a while and now that 2 kids are older, I’d like to get back to work but where and how do I start? I’m thinking about taking classes but I’m not sure what.

  14. Angel

    I have been unemployed for nearly two years now. My credit is ruined, savings depleted, confidence shattered. I have applied for hundreds of jobs and only four interviews. I use facebook and linkedin but had to stop using linkedin because debt collectors located me there and began harassing me. I’m am attractive 50 year old woman with loads of experience. I’m not pricing myself out of a job either. One office I went to for an interview…I was told that the manager was in a meeting but to fill out an application and she would call me the next day. I completed the application (while I was there people were walking by with clipboards checking me out) at one time I heard someone say “Is she pretty?” and the reply was “Yeah, she’s pretty but she’s OLD!” I was never called back and I called to reschedule and interview and left several messages and was never called back. That is one of the more plesant experiences. Usually I hear nothing or I just receive a rejection letter via email. I am now on food stamps and my unemployment has run out. I mowed lawns to pay my cell phone bill. I am at the end of my rope. Any suggestions?

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