Career E-News: May 2011 

Monthly Newsletter for Executives, Managers, and Professionals in Career Transition / Written and Published by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach

In this issue:
Jobs Outlook Takes A Jump (Associated Press)
How To Build Your Reference List
Is It Time to Partner with a Career Coach?
About "The Career Success Coach"
Quote of the Month: On "Change"
Client Landings
Applause - Clapping

Congratulations to Kyle Ginter who is now working in the Equipment Controls Department of Inch Cape, a New Jersey-based  imports line company.

Quick Links...

Greetings!                              Joellyn Headshot 2009 

Welcome to May! It's been a rainy month here in Worcester -- and unseasonably chilly. Even so, I'm really enjoying the colorful array of flowers blooming in our garden -- daffodils, hyacinths, lilacs, and tulips -- which seem unaffected by temperature changes.     


The U.S. economy and labor market is continuing to make a comeback. The best article I've seen on this subject is from the Associated Press: Jobs Outlook Takes A Jump. This article reports that the U.S. added 244,00 private sector jobs in April -- the 3rd consecutive month of job gains of at least 200,000. The unemployment rate is up slightly; but economists say that this is because people who have been working part-time or stopped searching during the recession, have  resumed their campaigns, with a renewed sense of optimism.      


With this encouraging news, you may see an increase in responses to job applications and opportunities to interview. Remember to line up a good list of references, who will speak favorably on your behalf. Often times, references can make a difference in whether or not you will get the job.  My brand new article: "How to Build Your Reference List" will give you some ideas on which references to choose, how to approach them, and a worksheet to organize their contact information.


Is your job search stuck? Is your career stalled? Are you frustrated because your career transition isn't happening as quickly as you would like? If so, a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session may be just what you need to get a fresh perspective on your situation as well as new strategies to help you move forward.

Dedicated to your career success, always...
:) Joellyn
P.S. A warm welcome to my new subscribers!
JobsJobs Outlook Takes a Jump: US Companies Open Their Doors to 244,000 Workers  (Associated Press Article, May 7, 2011) 

 Associated Press Logo

WASHINGTON -  American companies are on a hiring spree. Businesses delivered a jolt of strength to the economy by creating 244,000 jobs in April, the biggest monthly total in more than five years. The gains were solid across an array of industries, even construction.

It was the third month in a row of at least 200,000 new jobs. The private sector has added jobs for 14 consecutive months. Even a slight rise in the unemployment rate to 9 percent appears to be a quirk.

The job growth was better than economists expected and perhaps the strongest sign yet that what they call a "virtuous cycle" has taken hold: When people spend more, corporate earnings rise, leading to more hiring and then more spending.

Companies have added more than 200,000 jobs for three months in a row.

"This was really a good report because ultimately it is all about jobs," said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. "More and more, it is looking as if the recovery is on track despite the headwinds it is facing." 

Read the entire article here:  

ReferenceHow To Build Your Reference List      

People shaking hands  

If you are starting a job search, you probably haven't given much thought to your references. Most likely, you've focused on your resume, networking, interview skills, and what to wear to the interview.


But regardless of how good your resume is or how skillfully you interview, your references can make or break your chances of landing a new job. So, it pays to stay on the radar of former supervisors, coworkers and customers who can provide glowing recommendations about you to prospective employers. 


To do that, you must regularly re-evaluate and reconnect with your references to ask permission to list or continue to list them, express your appreciation, offer to reciprocate by being a reference for them, and get their updated contact information. In today's turbulent economy, it's more challenging to keep track of people who might have relocated due to mergers or downsizings.  


Who makes the best references? People who have worked with you and will speak favorably on your behalf: besides former supervisors, clients and coworkers, you can include former subordinates and vendors who frequently interacted with you. A broad mix of professionals on your reference list will give hiring managers a perspective on how you deal with various levels of personnel. 


When reaching out to current and potential references, be sure to communicate the following: 

  • Acknowledge their importance / value to you. (i.e., why you respect them; why you value their opinion of you and your work)
  • Explain that you intend to begin a job search soon.
  • Ask their permission to be used as a reference.
  • Clarify that no action is required at this time.
  • Inform them that you'll contact them when officially begin your search.

Here's a suggested script (for phone or email) which you can customize according to each reference situation:  


"[Name of Reference] I'm [calling/writing] because we've known each other for a while, I respect you [add details] and I think you would be a good reference for me in my job search. There is nothing you need to do for now. I just wanted to tell you about it and find out if it's okay with you to be a reference in the very near future. I'll contact you again when I'm ready to start interviewing and will provide you with a copy of my resume. I really appreciate your help."


After your reference agrees to help you,ask how he/she wishes to be contacted; then get his/her appropriate telephone numbers, mailing address, email, etc. Download this form to help organize this information. 


One caveat: if you are currently employed, I recommend using only outside references, meaning no one from your present employer. When filling out applications, explain that your supervisor would give you a great reference (as long as this is true) but you wish to keep your job search confidential. In most states, employers use "at will" hiring practices; this means they could terminate you, without warning, if they suspect you are job searching.


Good references are crucial during a job search and throughout your entire career. These strategies will help you build and maintain a network of people who can advocate for your candidacy, whenever you find yourself in a career transition.


2011 Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach. All Rights Reserved. 

CAPIs It Time to Partner with a Career Coach?
  • HourglassDo you work hard on your job search but seem to get nowhere fast?
  • Are you burned out with your job, but don't know what other career(s) might satisfy you?  
  • Do you have trouble understanding how your transferable skills can be used in other professions?
  • Do you apply for jobs online, only to get "thanks but no thanks" responses?
  • Does it seem like your network can't help you with your job search the way you'd like?
  • Do you have difficulty "sealing the deal" at interviews?  

Is it time to take a risk -- a giant step forward -- to end the pain once and for all? You may surprised: the problem might not be what you think and simpler to overcome than you thought possible.


Regardless of the issues you face or what you may be frustrated or confused about, I can provide the clarity, creative thinking, objectivity, and perspective you need to get your career and job search moving in the right direction.  


Let's get started with a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session, to help you figure out what's working, what needs attention and what the next steps are to landing your ideal career position in record time. 


 Go to my website to learn more: 

About "The Career Success Coach" 


Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin is a career coach in private practice. She works with executives, managers, and professionals who are ready to make a change in their employment situation, but don't know what that change looks like or what their next steps should be. She uses a proven, 8-module career coaching program to help her clients identify and land ideal career positions much faster than they ever could on their own. Her program starts with a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session to first determine where clients are getting stuck, stalled or confused in the process of making their desired job and career transition. 


Joellyn will be happy to discuss your situation on a free call. Contact her at 508-459-2854, 

or visit

Quote of the Month: On "Change"
New Q  

 "Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."  -- George Bernard Shaw

 2011 The Career Success Coach

 All rights reserved.