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WiserU Tips Blog

The WiserU Tips blog provides career tips and job search advice for job seekers and people in career transition, as well as LinkedIn guidance for businesses and job seekers.

6 biggest mistakes recent grad job seekers make

Kathy Bernard

Recent college graduates: Are you committing these 7 deadly career search sins?

SIN 1) Not responding to email messages. I get it. You prefer text messages, but employers prefer email. The solution: Check and respond to your emails DAILY!

SIN 2) Not answering the phone. I know, I know. Nobody actually talks on their phone, but employers do. The solution: Answer your phone! And if you missed the call, call back immediately.

SIN 3) Not following up on job leads. People stop helping if you don't follow through. The solution: Follow up! If people pass along a job lead, don't wait! APPLY for the jobs, let them know you applied and say thank you. Appreciated people send more leads.

SIN 4) Not proofing your resume. Employers reject people who make typos. The solution: PROOF EVERYTHING!

SIN 5) Not having a strong LinkedIn presence. I get it. LinkedIn isn't fun like Instagram, but mastering it can give you a 40 TIMES greater chance of landing a job. The solution: Establish a strong LinkedIn profile and build your network ASAP! Invite me to connect. I'll accept (Kathy Bernard, St. Louis, MO).

SIN 6) Not knowing what job you want. Companies hire specialists who match their job titles, NOT people who say, "I can do anything." The solution: Figure out what job titles match your skills and interests and then boldly brand yourself for those jobs.

If you don't know what you want to do, access the WiserU Career System now! It's web-based system that I created based on my years of career coaching college students. It helps you learn what you want to do and what jobs match what you want. It then walks you through the 10 major career steps (including rocking LinkedIn) so you'll know EXACTLY how to land a good job. 

Get started with the WiserU Career System today!

Do you agree with these big mistakes that recent grad job seekers make? What mistakes did I leave off? Share your thoughts! -- Kathy

The best answer to "Tell me about a boss you didn't like"

Kathy Bernard

I often get asked how to answer the job interview question, "Tell me about a boss you didn't like." I tell people it's easier to answer  than you think ... simply don't take the bait! 

Instead of telling the interviewer ANYTHING negative about a bad boss, reply POSITIVELY, like this:

INTERVIEWER: "Tell me about a boss you didn't like."

YOU: I've enjoyed working with all kinds of bosses and learned so much from each of them. I particularly like working for bosses that allow me to completely satisfy customers. For example, I had a boss who ..." 

Then drift into a positive story that shows that: 1) You are a class act, 2) You respected your boss, and 3) You took direction well from a superior and used the opportunity to better your company or improve a customer's experience. 

Never bad-mouth a boss! Interviewers are not your therapist and bad-mouthing people will just convince them that you will be a negative force at their company. So hold your tongue and land that job!

Job interview questions can be tricky! 

... But learning to answer well can catapult you into the job. That's why in the proven, web-based WiserU Career System, we can train you exactly what to say and do in interviews to dramatically improve your job chances. 

For example, in Module 8: Interviewing with Confidence, you can learn to answer additional tough questions like ... 

"What's your greatest weakness?"
"Why did you leave your last job?"
"Why are you the best candidate?"
"What would your employer say about your past performance?" 

Plus ... you'll discover how to improve every aspect of your interviews, including ...

Watch the Interviewing with Confidence introductory video!
  • Controlling the job interview
  • Handling phone interviews
  • Excelling in (Skype) video interviews
  • Mastering in-person interviews and panel interviews
  • Dressing for success
  • Making a good first impression
  • Asking smart interview questions
  • Following up after the interview
We'll walk you through the entire job search process to give you the wisdom and confidence to land a meaningful, well-paying job. 

To learn more about the WiserU Career System, click here and then visit to get started! 

40%, 60% or 80%? Guess the percentage of jobs landed through networking

Kathy Bernard

Did you know? According to ABC News*, 80% of jobs are landed through networking.

Since networking plays such a huge role in getting hired, becoming e a strong networker is essential.

The good news is, networking doesn’t have to be hard. The best networkers help the people they meet or connect them to others for their mutual benefit. 
Plus, helping and connecting people makes them MUCH more willing to help you.

*I'm trying to find the original source for this statistic. I can't trace it to ABC News yet. In the meantime, another source states 70% of networking can be supported (sort of). Despite the actual number being tough to pinpoint, networking is critical. -- Kathy

Module 7 of the new, breakthrough WiserU Career System, Networking Your Way into the Job, reveals EXACTLY how to become a master networker to improve your job chances. 

In fact, you'll learn how to:
  • Develop a breakthrough elevator speech
  • Use one-on-one meetings to get leads and build relationships 
  • Network on LinkedIn, the world's largest business network
  • Craft emails and make phone calls that get results
Module 7 builds upon all that you can learn by participating in the WiserU Career System. It's a proven web-based system created by WiserU's Kathy Bernard, that features 10 progressive video tutorials, action guides, templates, resources, and a community forum, to train you exactly what to do and say to improve your job chances. 

WiserU college career system
The WiserU Career System

It will not only reveal to you what you want to do, it will also teach you how to:

  • Articulate why you're the best job candidate
  • Apply for jobs on employer sites, which reject up to 95% of applications 
  • Transform your resume to score high
  • Create cover letters, emails and samples that get results
  • Develop a strong LinkedIn profile 
  • Enlist recruiters to get the inside track on opportunities
  • Network your way into a job
  • Interview with confidence
  • Negotiate salary to get the money you deserve 
  • Excel on the job 

Learn more about the WiserU Career System and get started today at

Prefer individual career coaching and services? Contact Sue Lopez at 847-606-5160 or Susan AT

WiserU Career System

View these videos to learn about each module:

6 ways to follow a company’s guidelines and get hired fast

Kathy Bernard

How can you improve your chances of getting hired? By following the rules—both written and unwritten—of your prospective employer.

When you search for a new job, you probably have a list of "wants" and "needs" that you hope your next employment opportunity will provide. Similarly, your prospective employers have their own sets of "wants" and "needs" for the person they are looking to hire. 

By matching yourself to the "wants" and "needs" of your dream organization—as well as following their written and unwritten company guidelines—you can stand out from the pack. 

But how can you play on a company's expectations and guidelines to get hired fast? Consider these six points:

1. Pay attention to the job requirements
Job descriptions provide a huge amount of the information that you need to know to get hired. A good job description should include information about work responsibilities, company culture, travel obligations, and other factors. Your task is to use the job description to match your wants and needs to the wants and needs of the organization at hand.

Pay extra special attention to the qualifications and pre-requisites demanded in the job description. Normally employers will provide minimum educational and work history requirements that their applicants must meet to be competitive, such as a bachelor's degree in a field related to the job at hand or five years of experience in the industry. The employer might also require technical skills, like knowledge of a certain type of software.

These prerequisites are clear guidelines that the company is going to use to pick its next hire. The "years of experience" category can be negotiable if you have a relevant background and credentials, but the employer may not be willing to hire someone who has no college degree or none of the required software skills. Keep these factors in mind and focus your application efforts on jobs for which you are definitively qualified.

2. Tailor your resume to the job description—but be honest
Every job description includes a list of responsibilities that the career in question will involve. It's a good idea to tailor your work resume to show that your experience matches up with the job. For instance, if the employer is demanding excellent written communication skills, experience working with Internet content management systems, and knowledge social media marketing, highlight where in your work history you have gathered such experience. The catch? Be honest. Don't make up previous job responsibilities or list duties you didn't do on your resume just because they look good.

3. Use your resume to display your accomplishments
While fine-tuning your resume to suit the job description, keep in mind what most hiring managers are looking for -- relevant duties and quantifiable accomplishments. 

No one wants to read a resume that looks like a laundry list of job descriptions. Your resume shouldn't just list the responsibilities you had at a past job, but WHY your duties mattered and what you accomplished while undertaking those responsibilities. 

Don’t just say that you "Oversaw a company's social media pages;" say you "Grew the company's social media following from X to Y number of followers, which resulted in a Z% increase in sales." 

One unwritten hiring guideline is that employers don't just want to know what you did, but how well you did it and why. The resume is a great opportunity to follow that guideline.

4. Be truthful about criminal history
Some companies still require applicants to disclose any previous criminal history on a job application. If you've followed the "ban the box" movement, you know that plenty of politicians and citizens believe that this practice is unfair. However, if a job application includes the "have you ever been convicted of a crime?" question, you must answer it truthfully. 

You might feel that following this guideline will hurt or ruin your chances at getting hired, but try to turn it into something powerful instead. Explain your criminal history and how you have been working to rebuild your life. Your prospective employer will appreciate your honesty and might well be willing to give you a shot as a result.

5. Approve the background check—and prepare for it
At some point in the application or interview process, you will be asked to consent to a pre-employment background check. Companies use background screenings to check applicants' criminal histories, verify education and work history, and more. These checks are company policy and refusing to consent to them will effectively end your hiring chances. 

Businesses need to vet the people they are hiring to do their due diligence, to protect themselves and their employees or customers, and to prevent legal liability or PR problems down the line. So approve the background check, but prepare for it the same way you would for any aspect of the interview process. Run a background check on yourself and see what you find. 

Filing mix-ups or identity theft are both factors that can result in a background check report coming back with inaccuracies. Finding these inaccuracies yourself will give you a chance to get everything sorted out before your prospective employer finds them and jumps to the wrong conclusions. 

6. Present yourself as a team player
Sure, great credentials are impressive, but almost every employer is looking for team players. Businesses want to hire someone who will get along with other employees, be amenable to customers and help the company achieve its goals. Loner geniuses, in other words, don't typically mesh well with a company's hiring guidelines. 

Present yourself as the team player. Be friendly, conversational, and fun in your interview, and ask questions about company culture, organizational goals, and team collaboration. By making yourself seem like someone who both works well with others and wants to be a part of a larger whole, you will almost always make yourself more hirable.

There is no exact science to landing a job, and no two companies are looking for the exact same thing in an employee. However, by keeping these guidelines in mind, you can improve your hiring chances. Even in the toughest economy, there's always a job for a team player who is honest, qualified, and personable.

Michael Klazema has been developing products for pre-employment screening and improving online customer experiences in the background screening industry since 2009. 
He is the lead author and editor for

Michael lives in Dallas, TX with his family and enjoys the rich culinary histories of various old and new world countries.


Unemployed, underemployed or miserably employed? 

Check out the WiserU Career System -- our proven, web-based system that can dramatically improve your chances of landing a higher-paying career position that you'll love. 

Watch intro videos now to learn how the WiserU Career System can train you to land and excel at great jobs. 

Don't wait! Get started on your better career today!

A huge reason why recent college grads aren't getting hired

Kathy Bernard

Despite the improving economy, an alarming 44% of college graduates under age 27 are underemployed, working in jobs that don't require their degree, often making less than $25,000 a year.

A huge reason why they aren't getting hired into career jobs is because they stink at LinkedIn. While 97% of recruiters use LinkedIn to either find or vet candidates, only 13% of Millennials are on it, most badly so they simply aren't being found.

So what's a recent grad to do? Maximize LinkedIn of course! According to LinkedIn's own statistics, people with a strong LinkedIn presence have a 40 times greater chance of landing a job. 40 times! 

LinkedIn is so essential to successful career search; we've dedicated an entire module of the breakthrough 10-module WiserU Career System to train you PRECISELY how to use it to land a higher-paying career position.  

You'll learn:
  • EXACTLY how to build your LinkedIn profile to attract employers
  • How to reach and impress recruiters who specialize in your field
  • How to join the best groups and follow the right companies to interact with hiring companies
  • PRECISELY how to invite people to connect in such a way as to get results

 WiserU Career System
Watch introductory videos about each module now.

The WiserU Career System not only improves your chances using LinkedIn, it exponentially improves your career chances every step of the way through your job search. View these videos to learn how you will ...


Get started with the WiserU Career System today!
The groundbreaking WiserU Career System is a web-based system created by WiserU's CEO Kathy Bernard that features 10 progressive video tutorials, action guides, templates, and a community forum, that train you exactly what to do and say to improve your job chances. 

The guidance is based on Kathy's experience in helping more than 1,000 job seekers directly and from training hundreds of thousands of college students and seasoned workers through workshops, JobTransition TV webinars and the popular WiserUTips blog. To learn more, visit the WiserU Career System

WiserU college career system
The WiserU Career System

WiserU Career System

Modules include an intro video, comprehensive video tutorial and action guide so you can take immediate action on what you learn. The system also includes templates to craft your materials and a community forum.

If you are a recent college graduate or a miserably employed young adult (or know someone who is), the WiserU Career System is for you. Proceed through the system at your own pace -- watch the videos ... study the action guides ... complete the resume and LinkedIn profile templates ... and get expert help through the community forum. Get started today and transform your career! 

Are you a seasoned job seeker? While the WiserU Career System is targeted to recent graduates, the guidance provided is rock solid whether you're just getting started or are already well-established. The WiserU Career System can help you land a better, higher paying position because it trains you EXACTLY what to do every step of the way.

Want individual career coaching and an expertly created resume and LinkedIn profile PLUS the WiserU Career System? Opt for one of combination packages. WiserU provides individual coaching and services tailored for your needs. 

Questions? Contact Sue Lopez at 847-606-5160 or