It’s 2010! If You Are Looking for a Job, Make Sure You Are Ready.

I am flabbergasted. I have been interviewing, trying to hire a property and leasing manager. The applicants are so unskilled, unprepared, it’s really does amaze me. I wrote several articles last year about resumes and looking for a job, and I am amazed at the crappy resumes I get, but that’s all BEFORE the interview. Why don’t colleges have a course, one semester, on how to look for a job?  I didn’t attend college, so I am a big advocate of being self taught, and if you need information, there is a book out there on the subject. Looking for and taking a new job is a tremendously important, even potentially life changing event, yet few really prepare for it or make any investments in it. Most applicants spend more time learning about cars before they buy one than the time they spend on a job search, preparing. If you are going to interview, GO GET A BOOK on acing the interview. You will be immeasurably smarter after reading that book.

Now, what am I seeing? Applicants that have no idea how to interview, they are like a deer in the headlights. They OBVIOUSLY lie, embellish and are just inept in the interview. In addition, they just don’t have the skills they profess to have or need to compete for a good job in 2010. I am amazed at the applicants that tout their computer skills, but can’t really do much on the computer. They think because they have been looking stuff up on the internet, they have good computer skills.

The position I am hiring for needs to be able to use Excel, Word and, of course, the internet. I don’t interview all of the applicants, only the finalists. (More on how efficient owners and managers can make this process in another article). We asked them in an interview to rank their skills 1-10. Many will say 7. We don’t tell them until later that we have a small test to give them, it’s simple, 9 cells and takes a little logic (email me if you would like it, I just threw it together). Out of 10 applicants, MAYBE one can even complete it; many show high level skills on their resume. We also give a little math speed test to them to decide how fast and accurate they can do math (problems like 100 divided by 5), and you would be amazed at the bad results (another test I threw together, ask for it, and the scoring key). The math test isn’t meant to determine who is right for the job, but quickly shows who is wrong. Those that can’t do simple math, in their head, reasonably fast, need to apply elsewhere. (Those of you that know me well or have (gasp) worked for me know what I mean.)

Anyway, the bottom line is this. If you want anything but an administrative low paying job, you MUST have decent skills in Excel, Word and you need to know some PowerPoint. Don’t have these skills? Invest a few days taking courses – call it an investment in the rest of your life.

Remember only you can make business GREAT!

Ron Sturgeon, founder of Mr. Mission Possible small business consulting, combines over 35 years of entrepreneurship with an extensive resume in consulting, speaking, and business writing, with 3 books published and 2 more expected in 2010.

A business owner since age 17, Ron sold his chain of salvage yards to Ford Motor Company in 1999, and his innovations in database-driven direct marketing have been profiled in Inc. Magazine. After the repurchase of Greenleaf Auto Recyclers from Ford and sale to Schnitzer Industries, Ron is now owner of the DFW Elite Auto suite of businesses and a successful real estate investor.

As a consultant and peer benchmarking leader, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plain-spoken style, providing field-proven, high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve.

Ron is a web expert, but he is also an expert in helping all types of small businesses become more successful and more profitable. He has helped owners in industries from restaurants to law firms with a wide variety of business issues, including sales, promotion, production, financial measures, business strategy, and planning for start ups. Whatever your unique challenges, Ron can help.

To inquire about peer benchmarking, consultations, or keynote speaking, contact Ron by calling 817-834-3625, by emailing, by mailing 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, or online at Mr. Mission Possible.