Why Your Job Search Isn’t Yielding Positive Results

man thinking atop a question mark

I have a degree! I have skills!!!

So why am I having so much trouble finding a job?

Why does my resume keep getting passed over?

Why do I never get the job offer after an interview?

Are these or similar questions prowling about in your mind? If so, read on.

Without a doubt, there are myriad reasons why a person’s search for a decent job remains fruitless month after month, perhaps even year after year. But with that in mind, we hope that you will find some insight here that will shed light on your situation, enable you to make some adjustments and move on with success.

Insight #1

You cannot control others’ decisions, but you do control yours.

2018 with determined woman

This blog will focus on you and changes which may be wise to make regarding your job search, resume, experience, skills, presentation and interview.

Determine now to do whatever you must to move your career forward this year.

Insight #2

It is important to ask yourself where the problem is.

Is your resume eliciting a response from companies and hiring managers? If so, then the resume is probably not the problem. However, if your resume is not resulting in screening phone calls and/or interview opportunities, you must take a new approach and begin again in order to breathe new life into your resume.

The Resume

Your resume is the first glimpse that a company has of you, and the power of this glimpse must not be underestimated. You must present yourself as professional, motivated, and skilled at something which the employer needs. Everything on your resume must point to these goals.

experience - woman working on laptop

While it is true that some candidates have more experience than others, remember this: You are not just your resume. You are a person with real world experiences who has learned much in life. More than likely, you possess any number of admirable, transferable skills well beyond those currently stated on your resume.

IF you can effectively add a few of those relevant qualities, character traits, and skills to your resume, it will increase your value as a prospective candidate. You goal is to make it difficult for a potential employer to place your resume in their large stack of "NO" resumes. 

Several types of resumes stand out as those which tend to get cast aside most often:

  • Resumes reflecting little to no experience
  • Those which lack focus and fail to clearly convey the candidate's actual interest and experience
  • Resumes containing spelling and grammatical errors
  • Resumes lacking current job information, objectives or explanations for employment lapses, such as the last date employed being 5 to 10 years ago, leave the employer wondering what the person has been doing and what they want now
  • Any resumes which go on and on (about anything) or ones which reveal way too many jobs - there is often a better way to list part-time, seasonal, or temp jobs under a single heading - and permanent, full-time jobs should generally reflect the last decade only, though there are a few exceptions to this rule

These are basic resume issues which can be addressed successfully, so do your homework and rework those resumes to your advantage.

CLICK HERE for additional tips on updating your resume.

The Professional Aspect

Are you a professional? If so, then convey that by including words on your resume which prove the point. Words having to do with your work ethic, a respected reputation, proven people or problem-solving skills and strong communication skills would be quite appropriate. Just don’t go overboard with the listing of anything on a resume – using 1 to 3 descriptive terms on any point would be sufficient. Even the bullet points detailing a job description should be kept brief and focus on the primary responsibilities of the job.

professional employees in office meeting

If you would not label yourself as a professional, there are ways of correcting that problem. Many people associate professionalism with one’s dress. However, there is much more to professional behavior and presentation than what one wears.

CLICK HERE to read more about professionalism.

The Application

To ever have a chance of landing a job interview, you must learn the BEST WAY to present yourself and your experience to a potential employer on paper. This means perfecting not only the resume but also the application: neat and legible handwriting, true information regarding past employers, honest and within-range salary requests, and correct phone numbers for at least 3 solid professional references.

employment application

Regarding situations in which you were fired, it is best to state the truth of the matter on the application although it is recommended to use terminology such as "involuntary separation" over more blatant language like "fired" or "terminated". The goal is simply to get an interview. Then, you can more fully disclose the reason behind your dismissal at that time.

However, if you feel strongly compelled to address the firing in writing, attach a separate piece of paper with a typed statement. Too much direct information may eliminate you without the employer actually hearing your voice and witnessing your sincerity, so be careful. It may be best to give a simple summary of the situation, statement of regret, lessons learned, and/or to request the opportunity to discuss the matter further during an interview as you feel that you have much to offer. You may need to try different things until what you do results in an actual interview.

In the case of long-term unemployment or delayed re-employment, a cover letter briefly stating your situation, hopeful outlook, and continued strong desire to return to work along with the other information typically included would be appropriate to attach to the application and/or resume submission.

To learn more about writing a cover letter, CLICK HERE.

App and Resume Lingo

Conduct online research to find the most updated language utilized by hiring managers to describe and recruit for those jobs in which you are interested. This will give your resume increased relevancy because the language on your resume and application will have a greater chance of matching that which is on a similar open job description. This is more important than you might imagine.

Insight #3

Reflect on any phone screening opportunities you’ve had that did not result in a follow up interview.

Phone Interview Opportunities

When you are given a chance to speak on the phone with a recruiter or hiring manager about an open position, what happens? Do you hear interest on the other end? Does the conversation flow smoothly? Do you convey your energy, work ethic and professionalism with your tone of voice and words - thus conveying your serious interest in the job?

lady making phone call


Is the conversation awkward? Do you have the feeling that the person calling wants to get off the phone way too quickly? Does the phone screening end without interest being expressed?

Potential Reasons for Unsuccessful Phone Interviews

Try to discern why these types of calls do not result in sincere interest. Does your cell phone voice sound unclear? Did you sound too casual and unprofessional? Did you get caught off-guard and find yourself unable to give good answers to the screener? Then try to be more prepared next time and intentional about how you answer ALL your calls during your job hunt.

   Whatever you can do to correct a perceived problem, it’s worth trying, especially if you’ve been without work for many months.

Whatever you can do to correct a perceived problem, it’s worth trying, especially if you’ve been without work for many months.

Did the lack of some skill or experience cause interest in you to waver or be lost? Is it a legitimate loss? That is, were you not actually qualified to do the work required? Or could you take a class and learn a needed skill which would increase your job search success? If so, do it without delay!

If the problem is always a lack of experience and taking a class or two isn’t an option, it is probably best to change the type of job you are seeking. This will also mean completely editing your resume and cover letter. Anytime you go for a lesser job or a position quite different from what you’ve done in the past, you should offer a brief but reasonable explanation in the body of your cover letter and in the summary of your resume.

Other Explanations

1. Perhaps a hiring manager calls your home number, and s/he leaves a message (or not) after having been forced to listen to your goofy or sultry voice on the answering machine. Two extremes, I know, but do you really think this highlights the professional, responsible behavior that you want an employer to believe you possess? When you are job hunting, remember to edit the voice mail greeting on your phones. Another tip: Check to be sure your voice mail box is both set up and empty. You would not believe how many times recruiters are unable to leave a message.

2. There may be edits needed on your social media pages as well. Employers are looking, so be sure to clean up those posts BEFORE beginning your job search.

salary requirement - cash in hand

3. If you are asked about salary requirements, you should be honest about what you have made in the past and what you would consider now - whether it is a lower or higher amount. Just know that your answer could potentially eliminate you as a candidate. You should understand that hiring managers need some sense of assurance that the person they hire will be content with the salary being offered.

4. When you receive a screening call, you must never assume anything about the person on the other end of the phone. It is so easy to offend someone you’ve never met. A rude word, negativity, a non-conversational tone of voice, short or abrupt answers, casting blame, yelling to others around you, distraction, and many other things can cause the caller to simply say “no” to you and your resume.

5. Be mindful that interview rules apply whether it is a face to face interview or simply a phone interview. Be prepared, respectful, focused, professional, and responsive. If you receive a screening phone call, go into interview mode immediately.

woman looks at self confidence written on board

6. Being too arrogant about your skills can be a turn off, so share wisely and find a way to speak professionally about your level of achievement and skill. On the other hand, some individuals tend to be too humble. If this is you, do not risk being labeled as an “unskilled” or “weak” candidate, but speak up for yourself. Be confident enough to tell the person what you have done and are truly capable of doing.

Give your best effort to discerning the real reasons why your phone interviews are not resulting in interview offers. Then make any necessary adjustments.

Insight #4

If you are receiving interview opportunities but are failing to be offered any jobs, know that there is a reason for this continued disappointment. To the best of your ability, you must discern what that is and do/say something different.

Pondering failure or rejection can be quite depressing, so it is something you should think through once or twice then lay aside. Why? Because it can become this burdensome "thing" that keeps you awake at night wondering what in the world you could have possibly done wrong. It is also true that someone will always be “better” in some way than you. We are not perfect human beings or workers, so accept the reality, and do not let it get the best of you and your life.

Interview 101

interview 101 on cover of folders

We’ll start with the basics. The interview begins as soon as you arrive on company grounds because you never know who is watching you.

  • Drive, park, walk, sit, greet, stand, shake hands, behave, converse and even make your exit in the most professional manner possible.
  • Do not underestimate the power of friendly conversation and a smile along with the repeat of a person’s name after an introduction.
  • Allow the interviewer to see and experience your personality. They want to know if you will be a good fit for their company and culture. You should want to know the same.
  • And heed this tip: slightly imitating the laid back or matter-of-fact approach that the interviewer chooses is also a good idea.

Beyond the Basics of the Interview Process

Based on personal experience, here are a few thoughts regarding the reasons why many interviewees do not receive the job offer:

handshake between 2 professionals

1. The interviewee shows up on the wrong day, at the incorrect time, late, or not at all.

2. The hiring manager’s first impression – made in fewer than 8 seconds - is less than professional.

3. The person talks way too much, often preventing the interviewer from asking important questions. Most of the time, the candidate doesn’t even realize what a negative characteristic this is for them in both the interview and the workplace.

4. S/he wears an abundance of perfume or cologne which turns off everyone they meet.

5. Rude, arrogant, unfriendly, insincere, careless, clueless, over-zealous, inappropriately dressed, less than honest candidates are rarely chosen.

6. Many times, I believe, the candidate is too (you fill in the blank) in some way causing the interviewer to wonder if the person would really be a good fit in their office.

7. Sometimes it is an honest lack of people, problem-solving, creative, leadership, or communication skills which will cause a person not to be chosen for an open position.

   The competition for jobs is real, so the effort put into the job search process must increase.

The competition for jobs is real, so the effort put into the job search process must increase.

8. Most job seekers have no earthly idea how real the competition is for jobs. They wrongly believe that they can simply do the basics (type up a quick resume, email it out, and complete a few applications) and have the perfect job. This is rare and highly unlikely.

Job candidates must learn how to market themselves and all their best skills and character traits to the right businesses. Job seekers must network because referrals and recommendations result in more job offers than mere app or resume submissions. They must also seek out and maintain a list of their best professional references for the future.

Job seekers must be diligent, determined and delighted with every type of interview opportunity. Why? Because you never know who you might meet or what potential another person might see in you.

Yes, you have skills. Yes, finding a job is challenging. Yes, your resume will get passed over now and then. But if you will take the time to ponder the rejection you’ve experienced thus far, you may find answers and hope for a brighter future that were almost non-existent before. And that may be the best marketing tip in this blog: have hope and continue the job-seeking process. It can be one of the more challenging journeys we experience in this life, but it can also be a most rewarding one when you are finally offered a job. Even accepting a lesser position can make you feel so useful again that your confidence will simply soar and cause the future to seem much brighter than before.


If you would like to have Brannon Professionals' assistance in your job search, contact us at your convenience: 662-349-9194 or by email – staff@brannonprofessionals.com.



How to Promote Transferable Skills as Your Most Valuable Skills

Understanding Why You Need to Develop and Share Your Transferable Skills with Potential Employers

All job seekers have special skills and abilities – some more than others – but we can all do something well. Yet because of this fact, we are each other’s competition. So, who gets the job?

applicant line - checked one gets the job
  • Is it the one with the best skills?
  • The friendliest one?
  • The best dressed one?
  • The one with the most outstanding resume?
  • The most effective communicator?
  • The one asking for the least pay or the most?
  • The tough, competitive one?
  • Or the easy-going, mild-mannered one?
  • The recent graduate or the non-degreed, experienced pro?

Difficult to project the outcome, isn’t it? That’s because all employers simply want to hire the right fit – the person who can get the job done and get along with everyone else in the process. The right fit will also show up on time, work hard, learn quickly, excel, be content with the job/pay, and stick around long enough to grow with the company.

Yes, there are thousands of scenarios to consider, but overall, employers hire employees they believe will fit in with the team and excel in meeting both the short and long-term goals of the company. So, how does a person go about conveying that they are this type of person to an interviewer? That’s a loaded question, to be sure, but let’s attempt to breakdown an answer to it.

Even more than the resume or the well-dressed image you present at the interview, the real answer may lie in the soft or transferable skills which you have developed and your ability to convey them to a potential employer during the interview process.

Below are a few examples of transferable skills:

   Employers want to know if you will be a good fit with their organization. The ability to accurately convey your transferable skills to potential employers can be an important determining factor in whether or not you receive a job offer.

Employers want to know if you will be a good fit with their organization. The ability to accurately convey your transferable skills to potential employers can be an important determining factor in whether or not you receive a job offer.

  • Being a life-long learner
  • Being known by your co-workers, supervisors and customers as a friendly and approachable person
  • Ability to relate well to others in your proximity and work successfully in a team-oriented environment
  • Possessing leadership capabilities such as initiative and the willingness to delegate without micromanaging; being assertive as needed yet perceived as gracious and kind
  • Having strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Self-awareness leading to self-improvement
  • The ability to organize projects and daily tasks to the point of reaching one’s goals
  • Number skills – basic math skills plus an ability to read charts, graphs and other statistics
  • Practical experience and skill as an active listener; having a healthy curiosity about others, their work and life experiences; knowing how to ask questions which result in on-going conversation
  • Analytical skills of logical reasoning and interpretation, especially concerning complex subject matters but not being dismissive of more simplistic tasks either
  • Professionalism
  • A level of confidence that doesn’t cause you to operate out of fear
  • Being sincerely and habitually polite, tactful, and diplomatic
  • The ability to inspire and motivate others when sharing your goals
  • Having a proven strategy in place for managing one’s stress
  • Personal accountability that breeds peer respect

Life-Long Learning

Why is being a life-long learner so important? Well, it’s impressive - shows your initiative and interest in the world at large and demonstrates your interest in being the best you can be.

I want to learn more about ....

How do you convey this? Say it and then explain what habits or strategies you utilize in developing your knowledge and skills. I met a lady recently who is a member of lynda.com, and she is always learning new software or familiarizing herself with updated technology. Perhaps you read certain types of blogs just to keep up with the latest trends. Whatever you do, try to work it into your interview conversation or find an appropriate way to include it on your resume.


Having a friendly demeanor and being able to express that friendly manner in both your words and actions is a positive thing.

What types of words and actions portray friendliness?

friendly figure waving one hand
  • Smiles
  • Humor
  • Humility
  • Sincere words of greeting, interest and appreciation
  • Taking time to briefly converse with someone on a personal level
  • Encouraging words
  • Going the extra mile to help a customer or co-worker
  • Relating and understanding words
  • A listening ear
  • Being curious about another person and asking appropriate questions
  • Treating or inviting a co-worker to lunch once you’ve established a basis for friendship
  • Opting to be a part of the larger social group occasionally rather than choosing to be alone every opportunity you have

Whether an extrovert or an introvert, I realize that most people will struggle to ever be friendly in all these ways. However, to be found approachable, you must find your way of being friendly and perfect it as an art form. 

Relating Well to Others

How well do you mesh with others in your office or on the team? Are you the loner or the talker or the whiner? Are you an asset or a liability? The rude one or the tactful, diplomatic one? Do you realize that you will be labeled by most people in one way or the other? That said, you simply must strive to relate to others as well as possible from day one of your employment. Learning to relate to and enjoy your co-workers is of the utmost importance – maybe just as important as the job itself.

coworkers share a cup of coffee and information

How do you build relationships? Introduce yourself, be friendly and ask good questions.

But know that there are 2 types of people in this world: extroverts and introverts. Figure out who is which and go from there. Extroverts tend to love talking and sharing their opinions as well as interesting things about their lives, so give them opportunities to shine and tell their stories. Introverts tend to enjoy their quiet and alone time, working and thinking, so when they are on break is the probably the right time to approach them. You will be more successful at establishing these relationships a little at a time. They are the ones you will come to know best during one-on-one time.

Be mindful and intuitive about what the different personalities need from you: a chance, appreciation for any help they offer or questions they answer, and respect for who they are and the work they do.

Leadership Capabilities

   Being a leader does not always mean that you want to be in a management position, but it does showcase you as someone interested in doing things right and making a positive difference in your work and relations – always a plus!

Being a leader does not always mean that you want to be in a management position, but it does showcase you as someone interested in doing things right and making a positive difference in your work and relations – always a plus!

What have you done in previous jobs to establish yourself as a leader? Are you such a natural leader that you must be mindful about overstepping your bounds? Or are you one who enjoys working in the background so much that any leadership skills you possess are usually overlooked?

A few aspects of leadership that you should consider and understand about yourself are abilities like those listed below:

  • Initiative
  • Honed personal skills
  • Maturity
  • Ability to speak well and motivate a team
  • Integrity
  • How well you manage anything
  • Ability to focus and listen well
  • How you go about solving problems
  • Ability to adapt to changes in procedures, personnel or management
  • Confidence in speaking up and speaking out; willingness to engage in healthy debate
  • Assertive enough to teach; humble enough to say, “teach me”

So, how do you measure up? Even if you have been out of the workforce for a while or if you are a recent graduate, you should consider ways in which you have developed as a leader. Be ready to share those experiences with your interviewer as well as ways in which you would still like to grow and establish yourself as a leader.

Communication Skills

funny pic depicts communication efforts

First, what are good communication skills? I can tell you straight out – it means different things to people! But for the most part, a job description asking for strong written and verbal communication skills means just that. A person should be able to write well – in complete sentences, using mostly correct grammar, and able to convey a point persuasively yet professionally. Having strong verbal skills infers an ability to speak well, in the same manner as you write – able to communicate clear and concise thoughts, use correct grammar, persuade and motivate.

The grammar aspect can be tricky, however. Some companies insist on hiring someone with near perfect grammar, especially when the employee will be dealing with professional level customers and clients on a routine basis. Other companies are not as particular about grammar usage as their desire is for people who can listen and relate well to a broad spectrum of people. It's two different types of communication skills which may be needed.

   When a job requires "strong communication skills," that can be interpreted in a variety of ways by companies, usually depending on the type of job it is. 

When a job requires "strong communication skills," that can be interpreted in a variety of ways by companies, usually depending on the type of job it is. 

As a job seeker, you would do well to ask others for insight regarding your speech and grammar so that you know where you are on this spectrum. Your friends and family might say you sound too soft-spoken, too loud, too raspy, or even that you talk too fast. Maybe you have poor subject-verb agreement. I realize this isn’t middle school grammar class, but I’ve had more than one professional client tell me “no” about a candidate for just those sorts of reasons. Know your level of communication skills. Ask for constructive criticism and then work hard to break speaking or writing habits that may be a deterrent to potential employers.


This is a well-explored topic and one that should be developed over a lifetime. Being self-aware is only a plus if you learn to manage yourself, your habits, and your emotional tendencies in appropriate ways. Otherwise, we can become depressed just by thinking about all the ways we fall short among our competition. Here are a few examples of self-awareness labels and strategies for self-improvement:

   Don't let self-awareness get you down! Reality is less than perfect for everyone. Instead, use your awareness to correct those bad habits while capitalizing on your best traits.

Don't let self-awareness get you down! Reality is less than perfect for everyone. Instead, use your awareness to correct those bad habits while capitalizing on your best traits.

  • If you tend to be late, work hard to break that habit and establish yourself as always prompt, even early.
  • If you tend to get mad easily, learn what your most common triggers are, and then work to establish strategies for managing and redirecting that anger; find methods for reacting and responding in a more professionally appropriate manner.
  • If your natural expression is a frown, work on smiling as you work, but especially as you walk and speak with others.

As human beings, we are all less than perfect, but that is not to say that we can’t strive to grow personally and work to improve our shortcomings.

Organizing and Accomplishing Goals

Are you messy or a neat freak with a serious case of OCD? Whatever label you must claim, it is imperative that you learn to organize the days of your life in such a way as to accomplish your daily tasks, be on time and where you’re supposed to be on any given day, and reach your long-term goals.

   A true professional will be able to confirm his or her strategy for meeting established goals and deadlines, so have a proven method in place.

A true professional will be able to confirm his or her strategy for meeting established goals and deadlines, so have a proven method in place.

How to get organized:

  • Invest in a planner, paper or digital.
  • Write down your goals, daily tasks, special days, holidays, appointments, and long-term goals for each day, week, month, quarter, and year as needed.
  • Check off your accomplished goals and pat yourself on the back each time one is met.
  • Look ahead and plan well.
  • Use MS Outlook’s calendar. Sync it with the app you use on your mobile phone. Don’t have 3 or more separate calendars (home, office, personal) unless they are synced together. 

Number Skills

Someone with basic number skills will be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide accurately. Being able to operate a calculator or adding machine correctly is also a valuable skill. Learning how to read and understand various charts, graphs and statistics (such as ratios and percentages) would also be important and could save embarrassment in front of one’s peers.

math and calculator skills

If you did poorly in high school math, it does NOT mean that you should label yourself as someone without basic math skills. Many jobs do not require an algebraic knowledge of math but more of a 5th-8th grade level of understanding, if that. A basic teller position simply requires the ability to count large sums of money and change correctly. So, be careful not to eliminate yourself as a candidate if this subject comes up. Say what you are comfortable with and move on.  

Active Listening Skills

Has anyone ever called you a great listener? It’s surely because you tend to listen and respond well when others come to you with a problem. On the other hand, have your friends and coworkers ever complained that you were a terrible listener? Perhaps you tend to be easily distracted and unable to maintain your focus and attention when others are speaking and you’re not.

But whatever the problem is, you should work to improve your listening skills as much as possible. The ability to listen well during training sessions at the office or even to your spouse at home is a noble and valuable skill in life.

Here are some suggestions on how to become a better listener:

active listening
  • Show the person that you are understanding what they are saying by using words of agreement, nodding your head, or uttering a brief word in response.
  • Make eye contact with the person. Do not show signs of distraction by looking at the clock, your computer or cellphone.
  • Mimic their facial expressions as they share information with you.
  • Avoid interrupting or offering quick answers and responses to what the person is sharing, be it a problem or a bit of good news.

Analytical Skills

business analytics poster verbiage

Can you handle complex issues? Are you able to read difficult material and still have at least a basic understanding of what you read? When faced with a challenge, are you immediately overwhelmed, or does your brain automatically begin thinking through potential solutions? Does your presentation of a solution to a problem or a new idea reflect solid logic and rational thinking?

Consider your honest responses to these questions as you ask yourself whether you truly possess analytical skills or not. At an interview, be prepared to share an example illustrating a time when you responded rationally and wisely to a challenging or complex situation.


5 professionals

Are you the epitome of a professional employee? If not, where are you lacking? Everyone should ponder this question and work to increase their level of professionalism. Checkout this Brannon article for some great tips regarding how to improve one’s professional presentation to employers.


confidence versus negativity poster

Do you convey a noticeable and admirable level of confidence to others?

A firm handshake, direct eye contact, and a smile can convey confidence whereas a weak handshake (or the absence of one), a lack of direct eye contact, and a nervous demeanor will confirm your fears related to both job interviews and people. If either the fear factor or the confidence level is too extreme, you will probably lose your opportunity for the job on the spot as fear breeds more fear, and an overly confident manner exudes arrogance, neither of which are desirable or competitive traits in a valuable candidate.

A self-confident candidate knows that s/he possesses desirable traits and skills and will work hard to get comfortable in conveying that to potential employers. Therefore, practice your handshake. Be sure your overall look conveys confidence . . . or a little humility, as needed. Write down your top skills and traits (even include a few of the most obvious ones on your resume) and ponder the best ways to communicate them. Do the research on what to expect and how to prepare for an interview. Then work on perfecting your interview skills. 

A Polite Manner

polite figures shaking hands

So many people in today’s world do not understand what others interpret as rude behavior. Not having anything to say when someone else speaks to you can be perceived as rude. Moving away too quickly after just meeting someone can be equally offensive. Looking away instead of speaking to the person you are walking past can be construed as rude – even if you are simply distracted thinking of other things. Choosing to sit alone rather than with a group may also be interpreted as rude, arrogant, and unsociable behavior.

Practice being considerate and polite toward all people. Practice your diplomacy skills. Learn how to keep your foot out of your mouth and instead be tactful and respectful. Your interviewer and potential co-workers will appreciate this.

inspire - window signage

Ability to Inspire Others

Do others listen when you start talking? Are others naturally attracted to your voice, personality or knowledge? Do they get excited when they hear your ideas? Is motivating others something you must work at, or does it happen easily?

Great motivators all have one thing in common: they understand WHAT motivates others, and then they use that approach in communicating goals. When speaking, they appeal to all their team members based on what motivates them.

According to TTI Success Insights’ Personal Motivation and Engagement assessment, there are 6 categories in which the primary motivations of people may be ranked: traditional, utilitarian, theoretical, individualistic, aesthetic and social.

   You, too, can inspire and motivate others and make things happen. Simply learn what makes people tick – their motivators – and appeal to them in that manner. 

You, too, can inspire and motivate others and make things happen. Simply learn what makes people tick – their motivators – and appeal to them in that manner. 

  • People with high utilitarian scores are usually motivated by money or by what is truly useful.
  • Traditional people are motivated by having a system for living: rules, regulations, and principles for life.
  • Theoretically-minded individuals are motivated by discovering truth and are interested in reason, logic, empirical evidence, and knowledge.
  • Individualistic people tend to be motivated by the drive for power: influence and renown that are personal in nature, not political.
  • Aesthetically-motivated people are influenced by beauty, form, and harmony: they see life as a procession of events to be enjoyed; not necessarily related to creative or artistic talents.
  • Socially-motivated individuals possess an inherent love of people and believe that helping others is the best human relationship which exists.

Stress Management

Most jobs will involve a little stress, so when an interviewer meets a potential candidate, watching the interviewee work through strategically-asked, somewhat stressful questions can be very enlightening.

stress - written in red

We all need a method for working through stressful situations. What do you do? Can you think clearly under pressure and formulate an effective response? Do you have enough self-awareness to self-correct when faced with a stressful situation and find yourself not dealing with it in an appropriate manner?

Here are a few basic suggestions for managing and working through your stress during an interview:

  • Consider the problem or the question aloud. Take a minute to consider your reaction or answer.
  • Ponder a wise response based on previous similar experiences from work, home, or any life event.
  • In your mind, label the main, positively-expressed point that you wish to convey, then open your mouth and make the point.


While it is true that self-respect should never stem strictly from what others think or say about you, it is true that earning the respect of others goes a long way toward establishing your reputation as a human being and as an employee. Consider the questions below:

  • Do other people ever compliment you for a job well done?
  • Do people have reason to thank you for your hard work and efforts very often?
  • Do your supervisors ever point out ways in which you are effective and productive as an employee?

If so, you have earned some level of respect from the world at large. Congratulations!

handshakes - words of respect

Being well-respected by others is key to so much of a person’s success. But I believe it is in maintaining one's self-respect and personal accountability which breeds even greater respect. The well-respected employee will always be aware of what they are doing well or not so well and will often be generously supported in their self-improvement efforts leading to yet more success.

Think for a moment how you have been treated by hiring managers as well as current and past employers. Try to see things from their perspective as you consider this subject of "respect":

  • Do hiring managers and employers want to converse with you?
  • Do they consider you a valuable candidate or employee?
  • Are you receiving interview or leadership opportunities?
  • Are you getting job offers, even if you are turning them down as you look for that ideal job?
  • Do people ever tell you that you interviewed well?
  • Can you hear the tone of respect and admiration in your interviewer’s, manager's, coworker's or client's voice?
Suggestion: Always take note when an interviewer’s tone begins to take a downward spiral. You will need to find a way to correct what went wrong which sometimes means asking a probing question or two. Occasionally, clarification is needed for the interview to progress in a hopeful manner or end early because you honestly fail to meet a specific requirement for the job. Either way, strive to maintain the respect of the interviewer by the way you conduct yourself and answer questions with integrity.
ambition quote - Reach for the stars

As a job seeker, strive to perfect the transferable skills we have covered in this article. Employers value these characteristics in their employees and will more than likely hire you if you convey them effectively during an interview. 

For assistance in finding professional employment, send your resume to Brannon Professionals today or checkout the available jobs on our website.

How to Break Free from Stress: 9 Habits That Hinder Your Joy

stress relief this way - billboard signage

Life is a journey of ups and downs, good days and better days, bad days and the worst of days. 

Each of our lives is a work in progress. Just as few college graduates advance from student to CEO in their first few years of post-grad employment, few broken people become whole without a great investment of time and effort. It is the same with stress; it can be relieved but does require some effort on our part to do life differently. Even minor changes can bring about real relief. Yet there is a process one must follow - even through all the twists and turns and fates and failures which may land at your feet.

red flag atop mountain at end of curvy path upwards

Consider your own journey for a moment: Birth, childhood, sports, music lessons, tween and teen years, school issues, friends and enemies, growing into adulthood, health, family and money issues, college, getting started on a career path, marriage, hobbies, church life and ministry, job advancement opportunities or losing a job after many years of loyalty, frustrations of trying to balance work and home life, sleep issues, managing kids, sitters, and pets, years of accumulated debt, car, health and insurance problems, marital counseling, new homes and aging parents, dealing with divorce, traveling the world, experiencing loss and grief, retirement, and perhaps enjoying grandchildren . . .

Look at all these phases of life and consider other aspects of life that are unique to you. It is easy to see how and why stress can quickly become a part of all our lives. 

question of the day - 4 question marks

The question of the day is this: 

Have you yet learned to love, appreciate, and find joy doing this thing called life?  

If not, resolve today to make some changes in your life. How? By breaking habits which tend to hinder the joy of living. The insights below can help you live a less stressed life, especially when responsibilities, troubles and tough decisions seem overwhelming.

We live and we die, but what about the in-between years? It’s worth taking some time to ponder the quality of life in which we live. And I’m not referring to the size of our homes, the types of cars we own, one's annual income and net worth, or the mere attractiveness of all that we call ours.

stop stress - enjoy the little things

I’m talking about the minutes between morning and evening, the time spent with family, friends, coworkers, bosses, clients, and new acquaintances. I'm referring to the hours we spend shopping, dining out and driving, and even the brief moments we spend with cashiers and other customer service people who serve us well or sometimes not so well.

Life, your life, is always saying something to those around you. It’s either something positive or something negative. If you leave no impression at all, that’s still a negative. Whether intentionally or merely out of habit, what are you conveying to others each day?

  • with your attitude, often unspoken but loud nonetheless
  • with the words that actually come out of your mouth
  • regarding your priorities and the choices you make as a result

HABIT #1: Misplaced priorities

stress less - life is beautiful

When you wake in the morning, is it with dread? What if you were to awaken with whispered appreciation for the good things in life and for another day in which to live, breathe, help, and inspire others? What if you could change your perspective regarding your purpose in life and your reason for getting out of bed each morning? Might it change your mood and stress level too – even when the workload and tasks ahead remain the same?

HABIT #2: Grouchy disposition

lower stress - 3 family members holding hands

Once you’re up and moving, how do you treat those with whom you live? Are you cranky and irritable? What if you determined to begin each day with a smile and a good morning - no matter what? What if you hugged each of your family members before leaving for the office? What if you turned on some music? It’s a mood changer! What in the world would your tribe think?

HABIT #3: Easily annoyed

stress verbiage - anxiety, pressure, hectic

What if on your way to work, you purposed in your heart and mind to utter kind words instead of derogatory lingo at all the annoying and reckless drivers on the road?  You know what I mean. Try to tame the road rage.

What if you considered each of those drivers as people with needs and frustrations just like yours – such as the need to get to work or to the doctor's office on time or the frustrating inability to drive faster for myriad reasons - and instead sent them a good thought for safe travel and a blessed day? Why? For your own sanity and to avoid a heart attack from too much stress and loud expression of your own opinion to those who can’t even hear you. 

HABIT #4: Careless words and actions

stress relief - relax

What if you remembered to intentionally relax, slow down, look around and breathe deeply? Notice the little things and talk about them. Take in stride the important and worrisome things, and yell less about them. And when you are in the company of a child, focus on the fact that they are constantly learning from your example. If you stress over things, more than likely, they will too as they grow up, and then it will be too late to retrain them. Your corrections regarding their attitude and bad habits will probably go unheeded. Moreover, the bad habits will remain unchecked, possibly for a lifetime.

HABIT #5: Always in a hurry

man running in fading image

What would your co-workers think if you walked into the office with a slow smile and a kind word or even conversation rather than with a “gotta move quick agenda”? Shock, confusion, and delight would take over! And if you made this a new habit, you might just change the culture of your place of employment. Suffice it to say, similar efforts could even lead to a beautiful transformation of one's own home.

HABIT #6: An out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude regarding family

woman hopes for mail while sitting at laptop

What if you emailed or texted your spouse and children at least once a day to tell them you love them and are thinking about them and hoping their day is a good one? Would that change their attitude and outlook in this world? Perhaps bring a little more certainty, encouragement, and beauty into their uncertain world - not to mention your own busy world?

HABIT #7: Too busy

sunflower beauty

What if you found time to shift your focus and look at the trees, sky, and flowers at least once a day? If you are more accustomed to focusing on tasks, learn to look at nature and appreciate the beauty of each season. 

In addition, what if each of your family members was gifted with your direct attention for at least 1 to 5 minutes each evening? Put your cell phone down. Turn the TV off. Then talk to them about their day. Stop by their room for a brief chat before they go to sleep. Ask good questions. Do this daily so that you KNOW the right questions to ask. Try to develop this routine before they are teenagers so that they KNOW the concern is sincere and not a ploy. Reassure them of your love and support.

HABIT #8: Negative Words

be positive with smiley face

Are you a complainer? A critical and judgmental person? Are you your own harshest critic? What if you started monitoring what comes out of your mouth and began eliminating the negative? 

Your spoken words are an overflow of what is in your heart. Does the negative need to be replaced so that you don’t stress your life away (angry, worried, depressed)? So that what you do and say will accurately portray what is in your heart?

Did you know that with every negative word you think or speak that you are unintentionally training your brain to react a certain way? If you tell yourself that you are a loser and truly believe it, your body will react in conjunction with that thought. You will then FEEL like "your own personal definition of a loser" every single time. You may even ACT on those feelings in consistently negatively ways. Imagine for a moment what happens when you exercise this bad habit by labeling your own family members and coworkers in similar negative fashion. Don’t let your years be filled with lies, negativity, judgment and regret!

HABIT #9: Self-Absorbed

Do you take the time to really see and concern yourself with other people? Whatever the race. Whatever the position in life. Whatever the attire. Whatever the disposition or personality. Whatever the age. Whatever the need.

Are you too self-absorbed to even notice all the people around you? If you see them, how do you respond, especially to those who are not like you? Do you avoid, judge, ignore, stare or engage?

Maybe we should all begin to practice the golden rule once again: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Practice kindness, respect and appreciation, in appropriate ways. Speak. When the situation allows for it, engage the people around you in something other than mindless conversation. Get to know your neighbors . . . 

3 characters below globe in a high-five stance

There are many more habits in our lives which need to be challenged, but these will get you started. Stress will so easily take over if we allow it too, so take deep breaths – it’s good for your health. Open your eyes to the world and to others. Watch your words! Pay attention. Ask and listen. Share your life. Think about your family. Show each of them love in word and action.  Take time to share the realities, difficulties and joys of life with others. Be authentic. And be a part of the change that this world needs: less stress, more honest caring, and joy.


This blog was posted by Brannon Professionals, a staffing firm located in the metro Memphis area. To learn more about our placement and consulting services, visit our website today.


The Unique Potential of the Gig Economy Workforce

digital technology devices

As the mobile and Internet revolution continues to evolve and expand to all parts of society, there are diverse ways in which to work and communicate. Mobile workers are becoming more common. Part-time and even on-call daily workers are now available as well. This gives companies much more flexibility in how they structure their labor force, and employees have more lifestyles from which to choose. Certainly, the gig economy has taken off to empower this change and create many unique employment opportunities.

What is a Gig Worker?

cartoon girl writing at desk

The simplest definition of a "gig" is a project or task.  It can be done repeatedly or on a one-off basis. Employees are free to start or stop whenever they choose, as long as they complete the very short-term task at hand.  They are paid for that task and may move-on afterwards. They have no long-term obligation to the company and vice versa. It means maximum flexibility in the employer-employee relationship. If companies do not like the work the employee has done, they do not have to rehire them.

The Innovative Ride-Sharing Industry

The ride sharing industry may be one of the biggest innovators in the gig economy. Led by Uber and Lyft (as well as smaller local competitors), these firms allow individuals to start and stop working whenever they feel like it. They simply jump in their car, turn on the app and start picking up customers. This is much different than the traditional taxi industry which runs on shifts, government licenses and designated cars. 

One-Time Task Hiring

digital tech worker

Task Rabbit is another website that lists thousands of different short-term gigs including dog-walking, dry cleaning, and food delivery or more professional tasks like website building and editing books. This site offers jobs that are more often on a one-time basis than a consistent "job" like taxi driving.

Virtual Gigs

There are also plenty of virtual gigs. Sites like Freelancer.com allow companies to post different tasks or jobs that they need completed. Individuals can build a profile of their background and offer their services in competition with other individuals. However, this often leads to a race to the bottom with many international workers in lower cost locations providing a cheaper price. If the work is unsatisfactory, the company can choose a different provider quickly without losing a huge investment of time or money.

The Potential Benefits of a Blended Workforce

team - hands joined together in unity

A blended team may consist of permanent full-time staff alongside part-time or temporary workers, contractors and freelancers. A major benefit is that this type of workforce promotes diversity and gives employers a multitude of flexible options.  Gig workers may even be responsible for the bulk of the day-to-day tasks and any special projects. It enables companies to hire as needed so that they can resolve problems and meet business demands quickly but without the associated permanent hiring costs.  Another bonus is that short-term hires can bring differing perspectives and specialized skill-sets to the table.

Did you know that, according to Intuit, a little over ¼ of all US workers are contingent employees? Is it time for your company to take advantage of these skilled workers?

The Cons of the Gig Economy

The key drawback for a gig economy worker is uncertainty and lack of benefits. These workers do not have a long-term contract or salary, so they cannot depend on a steady income stream.  They do not get paid for holidays or time-off. Rather, gig workers receive compensation only for the service they provide a company. In addition, they do not get health care benefits which are increasingly important to US workers. 

pros and cons - thumb up and thumb down

Some people claim that gig economy workers don't earn enough; however, it is highly dependent on the job that is being done. Taxi drivers don't make a high income, so it is not surprising that Uber and Lyft drivers also make low revenue. On the other hand, gig workers providing software development, legal services and other high-value skills generally make more on an hourly basis than they would at a larger firm.

Brannon Professionals is a professional staffing and recruiting agency with 20 years’ experience serving the Memphis area. Our firm has helped many people obtain top talent for both short and long-term positions.

If you would be interested in partnering with us to help meet your direct hire and contractual staffing needs, please contact us at 662-349-9194 or 901-759-9622.


How Men Should Dress for An Interview

key to dressing successfully for interviews

One of the keys to being successful during a job interview is that you're prepared in every aspect. For example, you should know what potential questions will be asked of you.

While plenty of businesses do ask the same generic questions, they also expect you to know a bit about the business itself. Do some research on the company and find out about its history.

When preparing, make sure you have a resume and cover letter ready to share as well. The latter should be written in a way that pertains directly to the company and the position for which you are interviewing.

While these tips are important when preparing for a job interview, how you are going to dress for an interview is also a concern. If you're a man, wearing sneakers and blue jeans to an interview isn't going to cut it. Here are some tips on how to properly dress for an interview. 

#1 - Dress Shoes

 Hint: Polish your dress shoes the night before so that they will have time to dry.

Hint: Polish your dress shoes the night before so that they will have time to dry.

Every man should wear dress shoes to a job interview. Make sure they're the right size for your feet, and also be sure that the shoes complement the dress shirt and dress pants you're wearing.

If you wear your dress shoes often, it's sometimes even best to consider buying a pair of new ones before the interview. Lastly, make sure your shoes look as clean as possible.

#2 - Personal Hygiene

personal hygiene for men when preparing for interviews

While personal hygiene isn't necessarily part of dressing up for a job interview, it still plays an essential factor in preparing for it. After all, you can wear the most professional business suit and dress shoes, but if you haven't shaved, showered, or gotten a recent haircut, it'll leave a poor first impression.

When it comes to showering, it's best to do it in the morning or even an hour or so before the interview. If you shower in the evening or the night before, you run the risk of losing that freshness that comes with a recent shower.

Investing in a good shaver is important too as it prevents your beard and mustache from looking unkempt. Lastly, while getting a haircut isn't exactly required, a neat appearance will generally work in your favor.  After all, first impressions do matter, and personal hygiene is just as important as dressing up. 

#3 - Business Suit vs. Dress Pants

 Imagine how much you'll stand out from the rest of the candidates if you're the only one who comes in wearing a business suit.  

Imagine how much you'll stand out from the rest of the candidates if you're the only one who comes in wearing a business suit.  

First of all, depending on the job you're being hired for, a business suit isn't always necessary. However, you should still consider it. The more professional you are, the more of a positive impression you'll leave on the hiring manager. As for dress pants, make sure they're the right size. On top of that, iron and fold them to perfection. Lastly, be sure the coat and pants complement each other. 

For more information on how men should dress for a job interview, feel free to contact us today at Brannon Professionals. We are a recruiting and staffing firm specializing in office professionals - Administrative & Accounting, Clerical & Medical Office, Trucking & Logistics Administration. However, our business also offers hiring and management tools. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you in the best way possible.