where the writers are
Areas of expertise

Thanks to everyone who's read and commented on my recent batch of job-search related posts. 

My most recent post on the topic is also my last one, at least for the time being, for several reasons.

  1. My experience (writing for a company that advertises jobs) doesn't make me an expert.
  2. As the wise Laurie Ruettimann notes in her blog, there's already a lot of fat to trim in the career advice field.
  3. I can only speak from personal experience and observation. Everything else is me talking out of my ass.  

I've sent my resume to over 300 employers and hiring managers, and the most consistent response I've had is radio silence. I've been told I am far too overqualified to work for Target or be a sandwich artist. I've had one company's HR software send me messages that say "DISQUALIFIED" and "UNFIT" in big red letters. (Smooches right back atcha, folks.)

I got a phone call last week from a very thoughtful woman at one company I applied for. She was apologetic that they couldn't hire me. In her very raspy voice (she's sixtysomething going on eighty) she told me I should focus more on telling people about my "areas of expertise." I was amused. My resume already has a summary that outlines those areas of specialization.  But perhaps employers aren't biting because I'm not listing my "true" areas of expertise? That list would look like this: 

  1. Writing caustic letters to the editor
  2. Complaining about my lack of hair
  3. Lounging around
  4. Listening to my iPod
  5. Finding excuses to go to Trader Joe's
  6. Watching television, especially boring news shows, classic TV, and "Match Game" reruns
  7. Excessive Internet surfing, particularly *ahem* blogging

I would go on, but I'm going to try to preserve at least some of my dignity.  

Here's hoping we all have good sense and find the right advice for our careers. And here's hoping that all of us who are looking for jobs find good ones! 


2 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip


Dude, anyone who speaks with sincerity and authenticity (you) should be heart. You have a voice and a gift. You can communicate ideas and concepts in a clear way. You can cut through the nonsense. That's your area of expertise.

You are a professional communicator, and you can make CEOs and leaders sound better... and sell more products and services through a savvy use of traditional media tools and new & emerging social media tools.

You also cut a nice jib, if I do say so myself.

Comment Bubble Tip


RedRoomers - this is why I've mentioned Laurie several times. She's awesome, AND she knows what she's talking about.

If you have not already, run (don't walk) to her blog. It will make you smarter.

Thanks, Laurie, for your encouragement.