Thank You For Brilliant Advice

By Carole Martin

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
― Steve Jobs

Announcing the new HIRE Vets Medallion Program

By Carole Martin

Since we know you’re interested in hearing about news and events at the U.S. Department of Labor, we wanted to share this announcement about the launch of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program.


Get involved with the HIRE Vets Medallion Program

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the Final Rule implementing the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing (HIRE) American Military Veterans Act (HIRE Vets Act), signed by President Trump in May. The rule establishes a new HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which will recognize qualifying companies with a HIRE Vets Medallion Award, for their commitment to recruit, employ, and retain America’s military service veterans.

In 2018, the Department will conduct a limited HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration—more details will be available soon so be sure to visit for updates.

The HIRE Vets Medallion Program is an opportunity for companies, of any size, to signal their commitment to employing veterans. Throughout the coming year, the ongoing investments companies make in our veterans will count when they apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award in 2019.

Here’s how you can get involved and prepare to apply:

  1. Contact us to get the latest news about the program and the demonstration,
  2. Bookmark, and check back frequently for updates on how and when to apply,
  3. Help spread the word by forwarding this email within your networks or sharing our tools on social media to demonstrate your support for the HIRE Vets Medallion Program.

The Follow up Letter

By Carole Martin

To send or not to send – will it really make a difference?

The follow-up, thank you, letter is more than a nice “thank you for the interview.”

It is one more chance for you to sell yourself, and to tell them what you can do for them. Don’t assume the interviewer remembers everything you said.

When multiple candidates are interviewed and compared, some of the highlights you hoped would be considered, may have been lost or forgotten.

Remind them of what you can do for them – not what they can do for you.

Your letter could be the tiebreaker between you and two, or even more candidates, so put some thought and effort behind what you say.
Even if it doesn’t get you the job, what do you have to lose? A few minutes to write a thoughtful email? Or, if you take the “mail route” – the cost of a postage stamp?

Hedge your bet – it could land you a job!

What is an Illegal Question?

By Carole Martin


  • How old are you?
  • Do you have children?
  • How is your health?
  • Are you a U.S. citizen?
  • Have you ever been arrested?

Illegal or improper? That is the question.
Technically, it is illegal for an interviewer to ask anything personal that is not directly job-related. Off-limit questions include, but are not limited to: information regarding your age, marital status, country of origin, religion, sexual orientation, and health status. Almost any legal information about you is illegal in the job interview.

The female candidate was asked, “Do you plan to have children?” She was taken aback by the question and wasn’t sure how to answer.

She had three choices:

  • A. To answer the question honestly even though she did not want to.
  • B. To tell the interviewer it is none of his business and the question is illegal.
  • C. To deal with the concern behind the question, ignoring the illegal question itself.

How would you answer the question if you were the female candidate?

The best answer is “C.”

An appropriate answer from the candidate might have been,
“Whether or not I plan to have children in the future is not real-
ly relevant to my career. I plan to work and have a career no
matter what happens in my personal life.”

Why is this type of question asked in an interview? Why are interviewers concerned about your plans to reproduce, your marital status and your retirement plans? It’s simple; they want to make sure you are the solution to a problem, not the source of more headaches.

When the female candidate was asked her plans regarding future motherhood, the interviewer may have been trying
to determine whether she was in for the long-term or just until the company could pay for the birth of her firstborn. It is clearly a discriminatory question, one that would probably never be asked of a male candidate, and it is illegal!

  1. When you are asked this type of question, consider that you have options as to how you will answer.
  2. You can answer the question and move on. (This may not feel good, but how important is the question to you?)
  3. Don’t answer the questions when asked. (This may feel good, but they may take offense and consider that you may be a “trouble maker.”)
  4. Think about the reason behind the question itself. (Best option if you can think the question through).
  5. Consider the source and the nature of the question. (Do you want to work for a company that asks this type
    of question in an interview?)
  6. There are some exceptions to some personal questions asked, which might be confusing.

    Thank You For Brilliant Advice

    By Carole Martin

    “I just wanted to let you know that your advice was brilliant and I was able to obtain a very good job offer last week, which I accepted.

    I saw on LinkedIn about 27 people applied for the job, and I’m not sure how many they interviewed.

    I had an interview which turned out to be with the entire team (I wasn’t informed of that ahead of time). So, it was me and 12 people in a conference room.
    But I did those exercises you sent me and read your book and everything you said and sent helped prepare me really well for the interviews.

    It was one of the best interviews I ever had, and even though I was in a room with all of those people I felt so prepared and was able to answer all of the questions with confidence.

    All of your advice paid off and certainly helped. I’m not sure I would have gotten the job without your help.

    Thank you so much.

    Cut to the Front of the Interview Line

    By Carole Martin


    The question is, “How can you make yourself stand out when there are so many other candidates looking at the same job?”

    The answer is to “focus” – focus on what makes you unique.

    Let’s assume that you have an outstanding resume and that you make it to the top of the stack of resumes of people to be called for an interview. You, and maybe nine or ten other equally qualified people for the position, that is.

    Because companies have so many candidates to choose from, they are interviewing more people so that they can select the “best.” When you are lucky enough to be invited to an interview, it is essential that you be ready to sell yourself, to let the interviewers know what makes you unique, what added value you can bring to the position—in other words, why you are the best person for the job.

    Step 1.

    • List the skills and experiences you have that would be required in the type of job you are seeking. For instance, a technical job would focus on programs, languages, and platforms, etc.

    Step 2.

    • Give some thought to those skills in which you excel, those that are referred to as the “soft skills.” These skills can be viewed as transferable– you can take them with you to any job you hold.

    Step 3.

    • Next , think of the personal traits that make you unique. Maybe you never miss deadlines, or perhaps you are willing to do above and beyond what is asked, or perhaps you have a great attitude. (Don’t dismiss these traits–many people have been fired for negative personal traits rather than for lack of knowledge).

    Step 4.

    • Make a list of those strengths and some examples of when those strengths have helped you achieve results on the job. It will be essential that you can not only identify your strengths, but that you also have examples and stories of times when you demonstrated those strengths in the past.

    Step 5.

    • The next step is to make a list of 5 points you want the interviewer to remember about you – the ones that combined – make you unique.

    When you walk out of that interview room, your interviewers may not remember all five of your points; but if they remember even two of the points that make you unique, you will be ahead of the game!

    Coaches at will assist you with the writing, or write your 5 points for you.

    If you want to put together your five points and do it with the help of a new, quick, software tool – check out .