Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The other day, I had a candidate unleash into a 30 minute tirade about how when she called my office, my colleague told her the reason I didn't call her back IMMEDIATELY was because I had a lot on my plate and promised that I would get in touch with her before her scheduled interview (she had called me Thursday night for a Monday interview). She felt that saying, "I had a lot on my plate" was unprofessional and rude.

Ok...what he should've said was that over the course of 10 days, I spent 48 hours in a fetal position, in too much pain to walk from bad Thai food; 10 hours in the ER due to related issues to the bad Thai food; approximately 3 hours at the pediatrician's office taking BOTH of my children in for a high fever, sore throat and ear infection; 2 hours on the phone with my temp division because 9 of my temps didn't receive their checks; 24 hours prepping for a colonoscopy as a result of my weekend stomach issues; at least 5 hours worrying that it wasn't bad Thai food and that I was dying; 90 minutes under anesthesia as my gastroenterologist put a tube up my tush to see if it really was bad Thai food or something else (it was something else); and the rest of the week trying to fill the 12 jobs I'm currently working on. Would that have been a more appropriate answer? 

Even with unemployment at 15%, it's harder and harder to find great candidates. Everyone out there has shtick...for those of you without Yiddish grandmas; shtick is a nice Jewish word for BULLSHIT. No matter what you do (or don't do); someone always has something to say about it. Here's a candidate who's been out of work for quite some time, with high salary expectations and I was able to get an interview for her. She has the audacity to bitch about my efforts and the fact that I didn't drop everything in my life to take her phone call when it was convenient for her?

These candidates that come to my office thinking they are the best of the best and act like THEY'RE doing ME a favor are ridiculous. The only thing they are doing is wasting my time. I understand you're frustrated and probably scared that you haven't worked and need to find employment before Uncle Sam comes knocking...but I'm here to help you...not bow down to you. For every unemployed sob story, there's a phenomenal candidate who's been with their current employer for 5 years and decides they are ready for the next step or someone who lost their job and is ready, willing and excited that I'm willing to help them with their search...that's who you're up against.

So perhaps you should see the coin from the other side. Realize that I'm working my colonoscopied ass off for you in every way possible. I want you to get a job because THAT'S HOW I MAKE MY MONEY...but if you give me attitude, a hard time, or think you come before everyone else; chances are you'll never hear from me again. I'd rather work with those that are not as qualified but appreciative then with someone who thinks they deserve a job for one reason or another…

So in the words of Colonel Nathan Jessep (aka Jack Nicholson) in A Few Good Men...

"You don't want the truth.  Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall.  You need me on that wall...I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I'd prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post.  Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to.”

Good Night and Happy Job Hunting,
The Job Yenta

Sunday, August 14, 2011


It's been awhile since I've posted, but the summer has presented me with some amazing triumphs, and some devastating tragedies. It's been tough to focus on my blog, but I've been inspired to write again with the promise of being more diligent about my posts come the fall.

So what inspired me you ask...well a good friend of mine owns a sleepaway camp in PA, and as the last night of camp approached, she wrote a letter to her campers and staff thanking them for making her job as amazing as it is. It instantly made me cry as I was transported back to my days at Camp White Oaks. A place where I spent 10 years of my life and managed to grow up and stay young at the same time. A place that set the groundwork for all that I've become. It taught me how to share and live communally. It taught me that life is not over when the cute boy in the other bunk likes your best friend instead of you. It taught me that stopping the winning goal is not so fabulous when you send the girl who was about to kick it to the hospital (true story...sorry Robbie wherever you are). It taught me that frozen Snickers, freeze pops and Charleston Chew are GREAT substitutes for any meal of the day. And it taught me that the relationships that you make as you navigate life may help you one day so you should always be kind, compassionate and caring. I spent 530 days of my life at that place and I've thought about it every day since it closed on August 1, 1992. And up until my father passed away 4 1/2 years later, that was the most tragic day of my life.

So what does camp have to do with recruiting and the workforce? Well one of my favorite parts of camp was Color War (many camps have changed the name or now call it Olympics because they feel it's not politically correct to use War, but it will always be War to me). Anyway, when Color War broke, and the camp was divided, 8 individuals were chosen to "lead" their team into battle. After 6 1/2 weeks of living with 15-20 campers, days filled with activities and nights caring for the homesick, the heart broken and the unhappy, these eight people committed everything they had to win. For seven days, they did not sleep, barely ate, and encouraged, cheered and supported their teams through the thrill of victory...and the agony of defeat (always loved ABC sports). There was also a laundry list of "things" that needed to be created based on the theme of your team:
  1. banner
  2. scoreboard
  3. team flag
  4. team t-shirts, all spray painted with a custom designed stencil based on the theme
  5. and a 6-8 foot totem pole (see picture)

And regardless of how organized or anal you were (and I was both hence my propensity for being a great EA), you always had 15 people standing around with blow dryers making sure the paint was dry 5 minutes before the judges came around. At the end, as each team sat across from one another, singing about the amazing time we had, and the friends that we would miss, we cried. And regardless of who won (as my record was 2 and 7, it was never me), you always ended up loving everyone in the room...ok, I've digressed. The point was regardless of how tired, overworked or underpaid we were; or how meaningless, or meaningful it was, we were all committed to making each summer the best it could be.  It's what still resonates in camps today. It was exactly what my friend wrote about...

And yet when I present a candidate who can barely get arrested, the opportunity for a salary, benefits and the prospect of not sucking on the government unemployment teet anymore, they no show without so much as a call, email, text or tweet. So I ask myself, "Where's the commitment?" Where's the sense of self worth that we all look for as we navigate through life? And where's the common decency to the friend who put their reputation on the line to get you the interview? Obviously he NEVER went to camp OR wrote an alma mater at 3am!!!

When I meet a candidate I always gauge their conviction and their commitment. Looking for a job IS a full time job so it's important to be 100% on both counts. And what I've found as I've gotten older is that commitment is the first thing that goes. Sad to think that while I'm trying to help, others are holding up their middle finger and thinking they're getting the last laugh. But in reality, this is a war I ALWAYS win...So here's to all the people who went to White little white elephants stuffed with hay...thank you for teaching me so much as it truly shaped who I am today. I am forever committed to you...

Good Night and Happy Job Hunting,

The JobYenta

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


It's been awhile since I've posted as my life has been all over the place and I've had to focus on personal things. However, one thing I've realized is how truly appreciative I am of the profession I've chosen. It's given me the flexibility to be there for my children when they've needed me and remained lucrative enough so I can continue to fund their Barbie/Mickey Mouse habits.

As someone who's been in sales for the past ten years, I've learned the true meaning of "Persistence BEATS resistance." I'm a pro at picking myself up, dusting myself off and giving it my all time and time again. And recently this has been tested more than ever. As a recruiter, I pride myself on the reputations I've made both with my clients and my candidates. "It's NEVER the first sale, but rather the SECOND that's impressive," my husband always says...and he couldn't be more correct. Over the past few months, I've relaunched my business, The Corporate Ladder, to the warmest, most enthusiastic response. New clients are calling in almost daily, and candidates whom I haven't heard from in years are getting back in touch...either looking for new positions or referring their amazing friends who are in search of their own "golden ticket." These events allow me to forge ahead and make looking my teary eyed daughter in the face to say, "Mommy has to go to work today," a little easier.

The amazing part of my career is that not one of my dreams or ambitions included recruiting. It was something I tried on the suggestion of a great friend who thought I'd be good at it. Orthopedic Surgeon; Veterinarian; Copywriter...those were all the things I aspired to be. But never a recruiter. The only thing I knew about recruiters was that I hated them. Why you might ask...Well, after completing my masters degree two weeks after my father had died, I was somewhere between coherent and numb. So I picked up the New York Times (how ARCHAIC) and started calling all of the ads that looked appealing. One in particular caught my eye - Conference Coordinator for International Company.This ad was posted by a recruiter, so we set up an appointment to meet. The first thing she told me was that I needed to take my masters degree off my resume because it was going to scare potential employers since I didn't have the experience to back it up. happy I wasted four million dollars and the past 18 months of my life. The next question was -"What do you want to do?" My reply? "Anything, as long as I'm NOT AN ASSISTANT!"  Three interviews and an interrogation later, I landed my first job as a Conference Coordinator (read-glorified assistant). But when I asked her to see if they would give me $24,000 instead of the $23,500 they offered, she said she had already accepted the job on my behalf and I started that Monday. After a few choice words and a big YOU SUCK, I hung up the phone, called my mom, and was officially employed on February 10, 24th birthday. Pretty ironic that now I'm a recruiter AND I place assistants for a living...good thing I got over my issues.

I may bitch and complain about the candidates who fall off the face of the earth or the clients who take forever to make a decision only to hire an internal referral at the last minute, but at the end of the day, I'm truly blessed to do what I do. I get to help people, foster some amazing relationships and make really good money...all while balancing a life in the suburbs with two kids, a great husband and a bounce house in the backyard.

Thank you to all those who have joined me on my journey. My new chapter has begun...and I'm so happy to have all of you along for the ride!

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I've recently started watching "The Voice" on NBC and have to say what a phenomenal show it is. Judging someone on their TALENT rather than their APPEARANCE seems so obvious and yet so intangible. In a society where everything is based on the superficial, often amazing people are overlooked because they don't fit into a certain "mold."In essence...judging a book by its cover. (See Susan Boyle).

Recently I went to visit a client that I had been working with for quite a while. As I made my way to the appointment, I envisioned what I might encounter when I walked through their glass doors...Pin drop quiet offices, with SUPER cerebral individuals discussing Quantum Physics and what Apple would do now that Steve Jobs was taking another leave of absence. I expected a lot of mahogany and forest green and stockings (and maybe even a pocket protector or two). And I pictured fashionably challenged executives with little to say to my effervescent, tabloid reading, reality show watching self.

To say I could not have been further from the truth would be an understatement! The minute I set foot inside their office, I was greeted by the warmest receptionist I have met in a long time. Well spoken and enthusiastic, it was obvious she was thrilled to be in their employ. And it only got better from there. To say this company is a well oiled machine is an understatement. Each person I met, regardless of title or tenure, was more intelligent, put together and congenial then the last. As I moved from meeting to meeting, I realized how far off my perception was from their reality. Together, these employees bred success. They were all part of the greater good and their company's success was proof. It was a wake up call for me and truly defined the age old problem of PERCEPTION vs. REALITY.

It reminded me that it's important to give things a chance and not judge based on rumor, gossip or someone else's perception. Here was a company that is the BEST at what they do...and they are in an industry that has TOUGH competition. And yet the candidates that I was presenting were completely off base. Not to say I wasn't presenting excellent candidates...but I was basing it on MY perception of the company rather than THEIR reality. Seeing the "man behind the curtain" opened my eyes and completely changed the way I source candidates for them.

My past experiences have afforded me tremendous opportunities at companies my candidates would die to work for. But the reality of these "sexy" places were that at the end of the day they were all jobs. And even with all the perks and fun things they offered, I'm not at those jobs anymore for a reason.

I really learned a valuable lesson that day and it's one that I will remember and in turn instill in my candidates moving forward. In the end, it's so important to pick a job that's right for you. Sometimes your perception is so far from their reality that you need to remember to choose a job based on it's voice...not it's appearance.

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Monday, May 2, 2011


Today I experienced something I have never experienced in the ten years I've been recruiting. A candidate lied. Now, of course, MANY candidates have lied before...but not to this magnitude. This wasn't a small, "the dog ate my homework" lie. This was "my stepbrother has been killed and I can't accept the offer from your client" lie. Now how do I know she was lying...because she had another offer on the table and instead of telling me she was going to take that position over the one my client offered, she told me that her stepbrother had been killed and she needed time to be with her family.

Now you're all asking...but how do you know she lied? Because on a hunch, I called the other company where she had the offer and when I asked the receptionist to connect me to her, she connected me right to her! BUSTED. (I totally should've worked for Scotland Yards). I'm still in shock. I don't know if you all know what the word KINE-AHORA means, but it's one of The Job Yenta's FAVORITES...It's the reason I don't bring baby stuff into the house before the baby is born; why I don't say, "WOW...we haven't hit ANY traffic yet!"; and why I never say the words, "The kids haven't been sick all winter." In essence, it's a curse or unwanted karma...and baby it's a BITCH.

There was no reason for this girl to lie. And the worst part is that after she told this tragic, albeit made up, story, my client sent her an email telling her how sorry they were and that they would love to have her in their employ...whenever she was ready to resume her search, the offer would still be on the table.

What candidates cease to realize is I understand they have to do what's best for them. I'm not a used car salesman who NEEDS you to take the job I offer...nor am I going to be angry if you go a different route. Sure, I'll be letdown, but I know it's not personal. The worst part for me is having to tell the client you're not interested and then having to start over, but ultimately, I sell people so I know that there's always the possibility for disappointment. But to make up a lie of that magnitude is just astonishing. And this was such a lovely candidate whom I thought I had developed a great rapport with. Joke's on me huh?

The bottom line is, if you work with a recruiter, be honest and informative throughout the process. If you have other interviews, or are close to getting offers, tell the recruiter. This will only add fuel to their fire of getting you hired. And most importantly, don't hedge your bets. In the end it will ALWAYS come back to bite you in the ass. Recruiters are amazing resources who can get you into doors you never thought possible...and help you land jobs that you may not have gotten without their help. I keep in touch with as many candidates that I DIDN'T place as those that I did because even when I don't find them jobs, I helped them with their search. But dishonesty or deceit may get you what you want in the immediate future, but ultimately it will come back to haunt you in the long run.

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta

Monday, April 25, 2011


In today's day, 99% of job application is done through cyberspace..
Google company.
Find website.
Search job board.
Send resume.

I'm often asked, "Should I put a picture of myself on my resume?"To which I usually respond, "Not if you want to get hired!" Photos are really unnecessary and often times inappropriate for your resume. I know it's the "thing to do" in Europe, but more often than not, the pictures are very mug-shotesque and scare me more than entice me to interview you.

Granted, I've had QUITE a few laughs when people do include photos. Like the girl laying on a couch smoking a cigar. Honey, the only job you're going to get hired for pays hourly. Resumes should depend on the written not necessary. Your physical appearance is not going to win brownie points with the potential interviewer. If anything, it could turn them off if you put the wrong picture(cue the candidate who sent a very voluptuous picture of herself...needless to say, BOOM BOOM didn't get too many interviews). Unless you're applying to work at Coyote Ugly, these pictures are better left in your significant other's people still do that?

And on the other side, job postings that require a picture are most likely situations you don't want to explore (unless you're a model or actress and a head shot is required). Potential employers should not place your appearance at the top of their hiring pre-requisites. And while some employers may have other specific requirements besides your resume, a picture of you should not be one of them.

Speaking of specific requirements...many of my clients these days are requesting a NYC address. All of a sudden, they are discriminating against the suburbs. New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester not good enough for you? We have feelings too! As someone who breaks out in hives when she has to take public transportation, I wish I didn't have to commute to NYC either, but to think someone wouldn't t hire me because I was geographically undesirable is ridiculous. Metro North, NJTransit and the LIRR have a 75% accuracy rate...that's better than the weather people! And Al Roker has DOPPLER! Candidates from the suburbs are more relaxed, don't think taxi horns are melodious and actually give directions to foreigners. The burbs soften us to the hardships of the concrete jungle, so feel free to open your doors and let us commute in. Just think...we are on a the MINUTE. Not many New York City residents can say that - subway troubles, rainy day=NO cabs, or the President's in town and they can't get past midtown. Commuters come into the city and stay underground...nothing stops them. There is no such thing as a geographically undesirable candidate...just a misinformed executive. Great candidates live all over the tri-state area so don't be afraid to take a chance on a station wagon and a dream. I won't be sorry you did!

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta   

Thursday, April 14, 2011


One of my favorite things to do is drive my 4 1/2 year old and her two friends to school. The conversations that take place in the car are what made Art Linkletter successful. The other day we (and yes I say "we" because often times I am a participant in said conversations) were talking about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I prompted this question and each of the children had their own answer - one said a firefighter, which of course made me smile thinking back to so many of my grade school friends who aspired to the same profession. The other little boy said, "A basketball player,"  as he waved his brand new Air Jordans for me to see while avoiding oncoming traffic. And my daughter, bless her heart said, "Mom, there are so many...a Ballet Teacher, a Shot Doctor, Princess Tiana and a Gymnastics Teacher." Nice that my daughter wants to ONLY give shots...screw the rest of the job doctors have...don't know where that sadistic behavior comes from.

So as the conversation moved on to other topics - Mario vs. Luigi; why Princesses were cooler than Superheros, I thought back to the first time someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I believe it was first grade (or at least that's as far back as my memory serves me) and we were going around the room. It took less than a second for me to respond. "A Vegetarian!" To which my teacher cocked her head, chuckled slightly and said, "Excuse me?" So I said, a little louder, "A Vegetarian, Mrs. Glogower. You know...the doctor that fixes animals...A Vegetarian!" 

Now I know there are a lot of people out there who would've been DEVASTATED if I didn't become a recruiter (ok, maybe just the person I placed on Friday), but I've always had a deep love for animals and as soon as I met my dog's Veterinarian at the ripe old age of 6, I knew my calling. A few years later, I learned that Cornell had one of the best veterinary programs in the country and my dad and I instantly came up with the license plate for my car...A VETS VET...(to go on my corvette convertible of course). I was all set. And I followed that dream right up until first semester, sophomore year when I took Organic Chemistry. I remember the hysterical phone call home telling my parents that I just couldn't hack the world of free radicals, bond dissociation and carbocation (and yes, I Googled Organic Chemistry terms). Out the window went my dream of becoming a Veterinarian along with my 500+ page textbook (probably why I got a D...gasp). So I became an English major...

To this day, I wish I had become a Vegetarian. But I do believe everything happens for a reason. While I always loved the idea of helping animals, having to euthanize any of  them would have devastated me every time. When I had to put my two year old Golden Retriever to sleep 14 years ago, I finally realized that perhaps that D in Orgo happened for a reason.  So now I help a different kind of animal...the job seeker.

For ten years my job has definitely proved quite rewarding as I've helped hundreds of candidates find jobs. But I can't help but wonder how my life would've been different had I become a vet. Oh is what it is. So now I just have to wait and live vicariously through my daughters. And someday, when you need a vaccine, I'll watch her administer it with pride.

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta

Sunday, April 10, 2011


What type of industry are you looking for?
OH...DEFINITELY not finance...I'm terrible with numbers.

If I was recruiting actuaries, then a disdain for all things numerical would be a big negative. But since I predominantly place assistants, this answer is stupid. As long as calendar management and travel arrangements don't give you hives, you can work in just about ANY industry. And NEWS is where the money is.

The other day I met a lovely candidate who had only worked in the fashion world. We were talking about her next step and she recited this very line. We got into a whole discussion about why finance wasn't so bad and she started seeing hedge funds, and investment banks and private equity firms (OH MY) in a whole new light. She never realized that just because you work in finance, doesn't mean you're wearing your calculator in a holster and talking about Pythagorean's theorem at the water cooler. Smaller firms (like those mentioned above) have changed the way we see the financial world. Gone are the days of navy skirt suits, pearls, stockings and pin-drop-quiet offices. Hedge funds have made the financial world sexy. To get an administrative job at one of these coveted firms, you need a college degree from a top school, a polished presentation, great computer skills and no ego. And if you don't have prior experience at one of these firms, be prepared to start at reception! In return, you will be offered a TOP salary and an equally impressive bonus. Add in gyms on-site, free meals, 100% paid benefits, profit sharing, and beautiful offices and it quickly becomes evident how fabulous the finance industry can be.

The bottom line is that before you set out on your professional road trip, do your research. It's important to know why you want to work somewhere. It's not about creative vs. finance as these categories are too broad and need to be further dissected. Figure out the way you think and consider all the options. While finance is where the money and perks are, often times you are working late hours and if you want to climb that corporate ladder, you should have an interest in the stock markets, world economics, financial analysis, etc. On the other hand, should you want to venture down a creative path, bear in mind that often times these jobs don't pay very well until you've been in the business for 5, sometimes 10 years, have high turnover due to rigorous work schedules and require a lot of moving from job to job to get ahead. But often times, the creative companies have amazing perks to compensate for the lower salaries - fashion houses offer discounts and ridiculous sample sales; magazines give free subscriptions, celebrity sightings and some have the coveted fashion closet; advertising agencies are often wined and dined by their publishing counterparts and are given everything from amazing dinners to gifts, concert tickets and free trips. And the list goes on...And don't get me whole career was in the creative industry. I was a conference manager at an international marketing company; promotions coordinator at a major publishing house; AND an assistant to a former television personality...and in addition to all the great perks, I was given amazing opportunities, got to travel the world and even found a husband! However, after having a finger on the pulse of the employment market for the past 10 years, there are PLENTY of days that I wish someone had guided me down the financial path.

So don't rule anything out for the WRONG reasons. At the end of the day, this is a big part of your life so make sure you REALLY know what you're getting yourself into...and who knows...maybe calculus wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta

Monday, April 4, 2011


As I made my way into the city today, I found myself flashing back to when I first started recruiting. It was May 2001, and boy was that a shitty time. Besides the bubble bursting, four months later, our city, country and world would forever be changed. After 9/11, the candidates were coming to see me in droves and the jobs had all but dried up. Companies were folding left and right; 1.3 million square feet of office space had disappeared in a matter of hours and most people were reevaluating their professions and next steps in life. But most of all, I remember the stories of the boss perished; I was late for work that day; I had to walk down 88 flights of stairs; I was supposed to start at Cantor on September 12...However, the story that is forever embedded in my mind was not TOLD by a candidate; rather it was ABOUT a candidate.

My boyfriend and I were walking near St. Vincent's Hospital and we came upon all the missing ads for the people who were in the towers that day. As we perused the faces, I saw one that looked familiar. Jill, a candidate that had been referred to me only a few months earlier, was missing. My heart sank in that moment because up until that point, I did not know anyone personally who was involved. But it wasn't until a few months after 9/11 that I learned what REALLY happened. Jill and a few of her colleagues were working for AON in one of the towers. When the plane hit, a group of them packed up their things and left. But a few did not. It said that they, including Jill, were paralyzed with fear and decided to stay at their desks until someone came to get them...sadly, you know how the story ends.

I've never forgotten that story, or Jill for that matter. Her face is forever ingrained in my memory and I've always wondered what if??? "Sliding Doors" with Gwyneth Paltrow is about this very subject. The WHAT IFs in life. What if you didn't go to the bar that night for your friend's 25th birthday? Maybe you wouldn't have met your husband. What if you missed your bus to work? Maybe you would've avoided that three hour back up in the Lincoln Tunnel. What if I was the recruiter who placed Jill at AON? For selfish reasons, I'm so glad I wasn't. I don't think I could've continued doing what I do. And on the other side, what if I had found Jill a different job...chances are she might not have been in the towers on that tragic day. But then again, the opportunity she got at AON was a GREAT one and at the time, she was looking to get out of her job so anything I presented may have paled in comparison.

This experience really changed the way I do my business. As most of my candidates will profess, I'm not the recruiter who pushes you to take a position. I want my candidates to be happy and I want my clients to be happy. It's important that a relationship is established between both parties and that they can commit long term. Now while this doesn't work in my favor as turnover = more business, it does give me a reputation of being committed to the cause as opposed to the result.

I've worked for NINE different companies since graduating (two of them my own), and from this I realize that it's much better to find a home as opposed to a just a job. And I always recommend thinking about the "what ifs" every now and then...don't obsess over them, rather consider them before making a move. Because when one door closes, a new one's opening right about the corner...

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Every so often one of my fabulous former candidates will reach out and ask, "How's the market?" To which I always ask..."What are you making?"

Recently, a candidate answered as follows - "...well my base is $140K plus I make a 30% bonus..." After I picked myself up off the floor, I told her, "Retire there!!!" But if you decide to leave, here's MY resume. I know there's a bit of curiosity in all of us, and nothing would make me happier than pulling her out, placing her somewhere else and then refilling her spot. But my conscience just can't do it. Sometimes the grass, instead of being greener, is dead and covered in dog shit!

I know it's hard to see a good thing when you've been in a job for a few years as curiosity can definitely get the best of us. And unfortunately when it does, and you decide to leave for bigger and better, sometimes you wish you hadn't. I've had quite a few candidates leave jobs after 5+ years and never find that same job again. Unfortunately they are looking for that comfort on day one that took FIVE years to establish.  More money may equal a new wardrobe OR...more therapy sessions! It's important to realize that just because the silver lining is wearing a bit, it doesn't mean you can't polish it and make it look pretty again. In other words, the evil that you know is ALWAYS better than the evil that you don't!

So what else can you do when you get antsy at a job and wine and cheese is just not quelling it? If you work for a large company where opportunities are posted internally, you should always be scanning for something enticing. Companies LOVE to hire internally as it's a money saver for them and they already know your shortcomings (and love you in spite of them). Talk to the HR executives within the organization and explain why you want a new position. Now remember, this is not for those that have worked for 6 months and feel like they are "ready for a promotion." Those people need to do a 180 and march right back to their desk with a hot latte for their boss and get back to work. This is for those people that have really reached the ceiling on their position and while they LOVE the company, they are a bit bored with their day-to-day responsibilities. Often times HR is THRILLED because you just made their job that much easier.

If you work for a small company or an individual and/or you've truly hit the proverbial glass ceiling, commit to making a move...but CHOOSE WISELY. Tell everyone you know that you're looking. Work with a few recruiters that you trust and be explicit with them with regards to what you want (and more importantly, DON'T WANT). And leave no stone unturned. The web is a wonderful resource and provides a plethora of options for the savvy job seeker. But most importantly, carefully weigh out the pros and cons of what you're looking for and make sure you're next move is the right one. Because at the end of the day, the right decision could be to stay put...and it's important to realize a good thing when you have it...right Brian Dunkleman????

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The other day, I had a candidate interview with a very high profile client of mine and before she would commence the interview, she asked the COO to sign a confidentiality agreement. That's right...SHE (the candidate) asked HIM (the potential employer) to sign a CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT. If I was my client I would've looked her right in the eye and said, "Honey, I don't give a shit where you worked, nor do I care." Needless to say, they passed.

It's amazing how after 10 years in the business (LONG years I might add), candidates never cease to amaze me. If you think Charlie Sheen's lost his mind, spend six months recruiting and you'll apply to be his intern. He's got NOTHING on the crazies I deal with. Back in the day, when I was looking for jobs, my goal was to GET them...but for some reason that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Candidates have their own agenda and most feel they are in the driver's seat. They can say what they want, do what they want and these employers will bow down and beg them to come work at their companies. One turned down a final interview at a hedge fund because the job started at 7:45...but when I asked her if she would interview for another fund where the job started at 8, she was TOTALLY on board. If my Swatch is working correctly, That's FIFTEEN minutes...what on earth could you possibly do during those 15 minutes that you would rule out a six figure job with full benefits and free lunch? If you take out your clothes the night before and put your lip gloss on on the subway, you're golden...15 extra minutes just for you! There are people STARVING out there...what the hell are you thinking?

Another wouldn't interview for a job that wasn't within a 10-block radius. Now "geographically undesirable" is a prerequisite for employment...are you fucking kidding me? We just came off the WORST ECONOMIC CRISIS since the depression, and you can't take the subway? What happens if they close a street for a going to take a personal day? The stipulations, demands and restrictions that candidates place on their job searches are unbelieveable. I understand that you may not be desperate for a new position, but when you make it near impossible, you may as well not look at all.

The other day I was meeting with a wonderful candidate and she asked me why it was better to look for a job when you have a job. The answer is simple...when you start your job search it's usually for one of four reasons - you're unhappy, there's no room for growth, you want more money or your company is having issues. But as long as you're employed, you're not desperate. This is the MAIN difference between someone who is employed and looking for a job and someone who is not. When you are employed, you have the comforts of a paycheck and a place to go every day while you look for something better. Companies are enticed by the idea of "stealing" someone away because they can offer them bigger and better. The unemployed are at a disadvantage because companies know they need a source of income and many will take the next best thing that comes along...whether they want to or not. Most of my clients don't want to see extended lengths of time between jobs as it could indicate laziness or lack of drive which are big turnoffs to potential employers. At the very least, you should be temping. If you are unemployed, cancel your cable, padlock the liquor/candy cabinets, burn your sweats and get your fat ass off the couch. The best way to make yourself marketable is to keep up your skills, find temp work within your said profession and make finding a job a full time job.

If you think about it, most of the changes you've made in your life were powered by one of two feelings...Inspiration or Desperation. If you are a conscious, living, breathing adult, there is no reason to wait for the latter. Inspiration exists all over the place. On TV. In magazines. On the web. In the park. Even from the person sitting next to you on the subway knitting (if you've had a burning desire to make a sweater). And when you do get inspired, MAKE the change. We are our worst enemies and if we only make changes when we are desperate, Jenny Craig will have an endless choice of Kirstie Alleys.

Good Night and Happy Job Hunting,
The Job Yenta

Thursday, March 10, 2011


We've all taken jobs that for one reason or another...SUCK. The workload was ridiculous. The people were atrocious. The boss was GODZILLA...or all of the above. You tried to persevere, but to no avail. At the end of the day, week, 3-month guarantee, you realize that you are the proud owner of a one way ticket to HELL (and your clothes are NOT flame-retardant). At this point, it's time to make a decision. Do you quit, give two weeks notice, organize your files and clean out your inbox of all "family and friends" emails and stupid jokes your dad sent you? Or do you throw out ALL important documents, infect your computer with a virus and walk out the door with your finger held high???

Obviously the former is the high road, but sometimes the latter feels SO much better. But at the end of the day, you just have to cut your losses and realize that while every pot has its lid, you're not interested in a some crappy job. This doesn't mean you're a failure or will never find another job just means that you made the wrong decision. It happens. Get over it. No need to wallow...just move on to bigger and better. Go out there and when someone asks, "So why did you leave Suckmyass Capital?" You say, "It wasn't the right fit." This isn't the time to drag your bosses name through the mud, or tell the interviewer how your coworkers were getting high in the bathroom. Save that for your tell all. Instead, smile, sit up nice and straight and LIE. And when I say lie, it's only in this particular situation...when the job REALLY wasn't the right fit. Not because you were insubordinate; stole something; or failed the company's mandated drug test. But when the job and you just didn't get along and you mutually decided to shake hands and part ways, "It wasn't the right fit," is completely acceptable. No one wants to hear your tale of woe. We've all had at least one horrible job (if anyone says different they are either lying or sleeping with their boss) but no one wants to hire the person who bitches about it.

A very dear friend of mine was coming off what I would call my worst nightmare...a devastating tragedy. She was so distraught she walked away from her amazing career because the thought of dealing with the world was the last thing she wanted to do. After a few months of healing, she called me to see if I could help put her on a new path. I had placed her in her first job out of school and we had always stayed in touch and over the years had developed a wonderful friendship. So what did I do? I convinced this poor girl that recruiting was EXACTLY what she wanted to be doing. And stupid her...BELIEVED ME! So together we set out to make her recruiter extraordinaire! And in six short weeks she quickly became...unemployed. Hated every single minute of the 12,960 that she spent in my company's employ. And when she left, it was not under the best conditions. But you know what? During those 27 days of torture, she realized that being amongst the corporate bullshit was just where she needed to be. Amongst the pompous and the crazy and the weird guy at the front desk. So she went back into the wonderful world of trends and strategy and intellect, knee deep in corporate bullshit and ecstatic to be there. She picked herself up, brushed herself off, and kicked some corporate ass. Just like I always knew she could. So this blog is dedicated to her and all that I know she of the smartest, strongest, most amazing women I have ever met. Here's to you're my hero!

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Monday, February 28, 2011


I walk out to my reception area and and am greeted by my ideal candidate...we'll call her Beth. Polished, put together, big smile, firm handshake. Then I take a look at the resume...EQUALLY as fabulous....I can already smell the leather on my new Louboutins.

We sit down to debrief. I tell her that I need to bring in one of the other recruiters because I think she has a great job for her. My colleague comes in and asks Beth a few questions. At this point, Beth can only be talking to her imaginary friend because she does not look at my colleague ONCE even though she's "answering" her questions. She also can't get to the point and doesn't talk in coherent sentences. My colleague says she'll keep her in mind as her desk is a bit slow right now. She then walks out of the interview room and all but gives me the finger...but I, flashing back to Beth's fabulous first impression, am not convinced she's unplaceable.

I bring Beth into another colleague's office. I ask her to take a seat and walk away to grab a tissue only to return to Beth in HYSTERICS. Between the cursing and her telling us she got her period this morning (YES I'M SERIOUS), I think I'm in a bad dream. She goes on a tirade about the other assistant she works with. But in the next breath, tells us she loves her. She also love the company she works for and feels like a "spoiled bitch" for wanting to move on to a new position. She doesn't want to disappoint her boss and yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah...At this point, I feel like I'm filming an episode of "In Treatment." She's now covered in blotches and is banging through a box of tissues like there was a million dollars at the bottom.

As the tears continue, I cut her off midsentence with three words..."We're all replaceable!" No matter how much you love your job and how much you THINK your boss/company/colleagues LOVE you, you're seat won't be retired. Executives need assistants, phones need to be answered, offices need to be run. These positions are the guts of a company so if you decide to vacate one of these, someone else will GLADLY take your place.

The same goes for when a candidate asks me if a position is promotable. "Positions are NOT promotable...PEOPLE are!" In other words, if you're good at what you do, you'll be rewarded. But someone WILL fill your vacancy. Plain and simple.

When I was 23 and working at my favorite job of all times, I had the BEST boss. We got along so well and she taught me so much about corporate America and the bullshit bureaucracy that comes with it. Whenever I was frustrated, she was quick to remind me that everyone is expendable and you need to look out for yourself. Always do your best and keep your eye on the prize...whether it be a raise/promotion, a special award or just knowing that you were behind an amazing project, do your job and do it well. And when the foundation starts to show cracks, make sure you get out before the house falls. That was a long time ago but to this day, I always remember those words. I work really hard at what I do, and I'm really good at it. But I never take for granted the fact that I do it better than everyone else or that I'm irreplaceable. I'd be a fool if I thought otherwise...and If you think I'm crazy, you might want to talk to Camille Grammer.

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Monday, February 14, 2011


Nothing drives me crazier than bad service. If you're going to work in a restaurant for a living (or to make money while you try to become an actor/actress/model) then be good at it. I was both a hostess and a waitress and while grueling, it's NOT rocket science.

This past weekend, I was on LBI with very dear friends of mine to celebrate our birthdays. As our childless weekend drew to a close, we decided to have breakfast at Uncle Will's Pancake House...quite the establishment (and the only damn restaurant that was open). After we sat for a few minutes, over walks our waitress. Clothes about 15lbs too tight; Uggs; Hair piled on top of her head. Wreaking of patchouli. Cute right? Not when you're 60! Now g-d bless her for dressing how she wants, and I wouldn't have even noticed, had she been a good waitress. But since I had to search for her everytime I needed something, it was hard not to take note. It took her FOREVER to come over and say hello. All the tables around us got their food before we did (and they got there after us); she brought our meals ONE AT A TIME; the food was cold; and she spent more time flirting with my husband than she did refilling my coffee cup. We had to ask repeatedly for butter, ketchup and the check. So when it was time to tip her, I'm the first one to say screw you...hate me if you want, TIPS is an acronym for a reason:


So show me the service and I'll show you the money.

And this rule goes for all jobs. If you're going to do something, do it 100%...or else, don't do it. Do your due diligence BEFORE accepting a job so you don't end up doing something you hate. Fully vet the person selling you the job. Note - this is not a license to GRILL them (don't go all "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH" on their ass). A few inquiries into why they love the company and their job is completely appropriate. Ask questions. Research the company. Network and find a friend of a friend's third cousin's girlfriend who works at said company. The more you can find out BEFORE you accept the job, the better. And this is where I (or any other recruiter) can be incredibly resourceful. We know our clients better than anyone and know who will and won't work there. So be sure you are candid and honest with whomever you are working with. Tell them all the things you loved AND hated about your current/last job so they can find you the right fit. The more information you provide, the better shot you have of finding a "home" for the next 10-15 years.

We spend more time at work then anywhere else, so if you're unhappy, look inward. People who complain about the people they work with, their bosses and everything else related to their job, usually aren't good at what they do or are not doing what they love and that's why they have so much time on their hands to complain. If you focus on why you're there - whether it's to support your family, yourself or your Prada habit, work is a necessary evil, so you may as well make the best of it. As my father used to say, "If work was fun, it would be called something else." He also said to do what you love in life and then it wouldn't be work. Why choose a profession that makes you miserable? More often than not, people will tell me they took their job for the money. But remember, a high paying job might buy the latest Louboutins, but misery looks just as ugly in five inch heels.

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I love interviewing a candidate where I don't say ONE word after my initial question...which makes it more like a confessional than an interview. I start by asking..."So Alice, why did you leave your last job?" And let the games begin. As I sit and stare in amazement, 10 minutes have passed before she comes up for air. What's funny is that after 30 seconds, you sound like Charlie Brown's teacher to me. These soliloquies will get you a firm handshake, a nice smile and an, "I'll do what I can..."

When you come in to meet with me, I always have an agenda. There are certain facts that I need to obtain for my clients and certain questions I need to ask so as to formulate a "profile" of what it is you're looking for in your next job. Everything else you add, is really unnecessary and a waste of both of our times. I'm not trying to be rude because I like to chat as much as the next yenta, but with so few hours in the day, and so much to do, I need to get to the point. And your interview with me is DEFINITELY a window into how you'll interact with my clients. If you ramble, don't answer my questions or don't let me get a word in edgewise, chances are you will do the same thing to my clients which means I won't present you for a job! Wasting my time, while annoying and often frustrating, is one thing; wasting my CLIENT'S time, pisses them off and in turn infuriates me.

When you are interviewing with one of my clients you should be prepared with the following:

1. Why you left all of your former positions. These answers should be succinct and should in no way incriminate anyone you've worked for. "My boss is a BASTARD" is NEVER acceptable. I once had a candidate tell my client that she left her last boss because she was a paranoid schizophrenic. TMI my friend, TMI!!! Ready for a change, laid off, or professional instability within the company are all acceptable reasons for putting yourself out there.

2. Your strengths. Talking about your strengths might seem like an easy thing to do, but your answer should be relevant to the job you're applying for. Bench pressing 350lbs is only impressive to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jillian from The Biggest Loser. My financial clients could give a shit. They also don't care if everyone in the office LOVED you...I remember in college, if the only thing positive someone could say about you was that you were nice, then they really didn't have anything positive to say. Amazing attention to detail; saying "yes" and then figuring out how to do something; leaving no stone unturned; being the "go to "person for all tech questions...those are all GREAT answers!

3. Your weaknesses. Chocolate, tabloids and Taye Diggs, while funny are not the answers they are looking for. Ideally, no one wants to admit their weaknesses, regardless of how many you may or may not have, but most of my clients want you to be truthful. Because once you answer the question, they are hoping that you will explain how you overcame said weakness. Here's an example: I have a hard time saying "No" when someone asks me for help. This causes me to work more hours than necessary, and can leave me frustrated and lethargic. So what I've started doing is prioritizing the requests and only taking on "x"/week. Therefore, if someone needs something, but it's not for a few days, I don't have to say no, but instead tell them that it won't be tended to until set date and will be ready when they need it. Weakness admitted and resolved :)

4. Where do you see yourself in 5/10 this answer may seem obvious to some (ie - with a reputable company, like this, advancing myself both personally and professionally). But I had one candidate, whom I LOVE and have placed multiple times, lose herself in the moment and say, "Raising my daughter in the South of France." While it might sound chic and fabulous to your friends, to a potential employer, it means you don't plan on dying at the company and therefore they have no interest in hiring you.

5. Do you have any questions for me. It is important to go into an interview with a few preconceived questions regarding the company and the position in general. And by a few, I mean no more than three. The rest of your questions should come from the actual interview. If you try and memorize your questions, you might miss if one of them gets answered. So ulitmately, formulate your questions as you go along and don't be afraid to ask them during the interview as opposed to at the end. A majority of my clients love when the interview is conversational as opposed to a Q and A session.

Interviews should not be used for the following:

1. Bad mouthing your boss/co-worker/spouse/boyfriend/children/the receptionist
2. Confessing how much you hate working for a living and that all you really want to do is star on the "Real Housewives of Staten Island."
3. Hormonal outbursts. That's right...I've had candidates cry right there in HR...please don't forget to take your prozac before you interview. While some may be sympathetic, tears automatically disqualify you from just about ANY job you interview for.
4. Making connections. When you interview for a specific job, don't think it's a stepping stone for something else. If a recruiter even gets the slightest scent of ladder climbing...don't let the doorknob hit you in the ass on the way out!
5.The opportunity to sell/pitch anything other than yourself. Personal websites, girl scout cookies for your daughter, or sponsoring your son for his local read-a-thon, are big NO NOs.

Ultimately, if you prepare in advance, take the time to do your research, and know what you bring to the table, there is no reason why you shouldn't ace EVERY single interview you go on.

Be confident; not cocky.
Spit out your gum.
Have great eye contact.
And wipe those sweaty palms before ANY handshake.

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


My favorite question on my application is - Have you ever been convicted of a crime or misdemeanor? If yes, when? Usually, it's blank, but nothing gets me more excited then when I see that it's filled out. Because with each crime, there's always a great story.  One of my all time favorites read, "Will explain in person..." As soon as she sat down, she launched into her tale of woe...
A few years ago, my boyfriend and I moved to Saratoga as he had a store up there. One night we had a big fight and he left. I was so distraught, I took too many ambien and passed out. My 10 year old daughter called 911 and I was arrested for child endangerment. I mean, I'd never taken a pill in my life...

As I nodded in disbelief, I was caught between a state of sympathy AND hysterics...NEVER taken a pill in her life...I knew she took pills when she shook my hand...

So I got my daughter back and my boyfriend and I decided to split. LONG PAUSE. And then last week my puppy was killed...

At this point she starts to cry...

"OH NO!!!!!" (Animal stories ALWAYS pull at my heartstrings)."What happened?"

"I was at my boyfriend's house getting my things and his father killed the dog."

"ON PURPOSE????!!!????!!???"

At this point she's completely hysterical and simply nods her head the way my 4-year old does when I ask her if she hurt her keppie (that's Yiddish for head).
"What do you mean he KILLED the DOG?"

"He ran him over with the car..."

"You have to be kidding me!"

"Nope...he did. And I was so upset that I didn't know what to do with myself so I drove to the nearest bar. I had two glasses of wine...and on my way home got pulled over FOR DWI!!!! I had never been drunk in my life..."

I instantly looked for hidden cameras because you can't make this shit up...

In my ten years of recruiting, I've never been speechless...after this interview, I can never say that again. First, I handed her a tissue. Then, after we finished talking about her career in fashion, I explained that her record should not hold her back as long as she's honest with potential employers. She didn't need to include ALL the details, but just what each conviction was for (OY VEY!).

This holds true for all of my candidates. The bottom line is we all have pasts...some more illustrious than others, but no one's perfect. So if asked, or if you know a client is going to do a background check, be sure to tell everything up front. Whether it's bad credit, a DWI or even a misdemeanor for shoplifting with your pledge sisters, as long as you're honest, most employers won't care.

When I first started recruiting, I had a great candidate, right out of school who landed an AMAZING job at an established financial company. As he was filling out their background check, he called me to say he had been busted with drugs in college. I said was it a joint or 6lbs of cocaine? He said it was a few hits of ecstasy. I told him not to worry and to just mention it accordingly.

He got the job.

Three months later, the company felt he was doing so well, they wanted to promote him. This required a more in depth check. The results revealed that he was convicted of a felony for intent to sell as he was caught with 500 HITS OF ACID!!! Needless to say, he lost the job. And since the Dead stopped touring, he might still be unemployed...I'm not sure. But he didn't lose it for the crime...he lost it for lying.

So always tell the truth...besides setting you free, it will keep you gainfully employed.

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Monday, January 31, 2011


Let's discuss for a minute your resume.  Of course there's the obvious things that you need to include...your name, contact information, dates of employment, company names, titles, computer skills (if necessary/applicable). All of these facts should be accurate and should depict your work history on one neat little piece of paper (unscented, unless your name is Elle Woods). Not 20 pages...ONE...MAYBE two...but as someone who is the queen of altering those margins (back in college, I could turn 100 words into a FIVE page paper), there are very few people out there who need to have a resume that's longer than one page. Those people are published, have 20+ years of experience (although they really only have to list the last 10 years which should be very easy to include on one page), A-list actors or juniors in college (purely because they have no clue).

Because the majority of the resumes I see are entry level and/or support staff, I prefer a bulleted, chronological resume to a paragraph, functional one. It's just easier to read and is usually what companies want. These bullets should be clear, concise tidbits about what you do/did at your job. If you're not currently at the job, make sure everything is in past tense. I don't like objectives/summaries as I think they are redundant...not to mention funny. "Experienced Executive Assistant with 10+ years of experience who brings passion, intelligence and amazing attention to detail to the table..." WELL OF COURSE YOU DO...what are you going to write, "Mediocre employee who often makes mistakes and calls in sick, is a MUST HIRE." Objectives often pigeon hole you as well. I can't tell you how many times candidates have written, "Strong assistant seeks office manager position at thriving company" in their objective and they're applying for a receptionist job!

And don't ASSUME potential employer KNOW what you do by your titles. When looking for an assistant, my clients want to see that you've planned 10-person meetings, coordinated domestic and international travel, ran personal errands and answered phones. They want to see if you've done PowerPoint presentations; handled expenses in excel; and processed 5000 piece mailings using mail merge. If you've dealt with office moves, build outs or the hiring and training of staff, list it. Everything else after this is GRAVY and should be included at the author's discretion.

And now we get to my favorite part of every resume...the SKILLS/INTERESTS/WHAT I DO WHEN I'M NOT WORKING AT MY SHITTY JOB section. I've seen everything from yoga and marathon runner to knitter, polar bear club member and pole dancing enthusiast. I recently met someone who listed TRUFFLES on their thought was while it's all well and good to eat them, professing a love of fungus is just WRONG. She quickly clarified she was talking about CHOCOLATE truffles, but STILL! I Heart Hanson, President of the Justin Beiber fan club and avid reality show viewer need not appear on your resume. Now I will put a caveat in here that sometimes these random things do catch the eye of some recruiters, but for the most part, they can turn someone away (especially if they too have an aversion to all things funghi related). One candidate listed blockbuster movies as a passion and the interviewer thought that was dumb because most blockbusters have little to no meaning, are not thought-provoking and rarely display any intelligent qualities and therefore served as a metaphor for the candidate.

I also hate when candidates list their 2.4 GPA as though it's impressive that you were a C student in college. If your GPA is lower than 3.3 (3.0 if I'm being generous) there's no need to list it. You also should only include language skills if you are fluent. Most companies will only hire candidates that can read, write and speak another language so if you can only count to 10 (like I can), don't list it as a skill.

Ultimately your resume is your book cover. And in this world, you are TOTALLY judged by it, so make it Oprah's book club worthy!

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


As far as I'm concerned, the term "working mom" is redundant. Whether you're in an office or at home, if you're lucky enough to be called "mommy" by anyone other then the dirty construction worker on the corner of 48th and 3rd, you work for a living...and one of those jobs is the hardest one of the planet.

Recently, I read something in Parenting magazine that caught my eye. The reader wrote in that she was the "only parent at work and colleagues complained behind her back about her responsibilities at home." The advice given was not to confront the naysayers, but rather find the office gossip and tell him/her how much overtime you're putting in. Tell him/her that they're fortunate because once they leave the office at 5, they can relax and take off their work hat. You, on the other hand, start your OTHER job the minute you walk into the house. You put in all these hours on nights and weekends to make up for what you're missing when you're at the office. But ultimately what matters is that we get our jobs done. Personally, I'd just tell my co-workers to go @&#%$! themselves and add laxatives to their coffee, but I guess for the sake of office politics, this advice is not bad either. Ultimately, you spend more time in an office than anywhere else, so it should be worth your while.

I always find it interesting when moms are ostracized, whispered about or suffer because they've chosen to stay active in the workforce. As a "two-job mom" myself, I remember having to deal with these cynics when I returned to my current workplace after owning my own recruiting firm for six years. While I have the "luxury" of only going into the city twice a week, as all of my candidates, clients, friends and family members will attest to, I'm ALWAYS working. But that didn't matter to my co-workers...even my girlfriend who's also a "two-job mom" gave me shit about not being in the office every day. "Did you meet my candidate, Sally Unemployed? Oh that's right, you're only here two days..." was her favorite line. It wasn't until I outperformed all of them (except one), that they finally shut their mouths.  Funny how the mommy works two days/week and manages to outperform all her co-workers...while raising two daughters (ages 4 1/2 and 16 months)...just another testament to how strong "two-job moms" really are!

Since I moved to the suburbs, a majority of my stay-at-home mom friends have asked me to help them find jobs.They feel like their brains are turning to mush and they need some interaction with the real world. I guess lunches, manicures and playing tennis can get boring after awhile.  And nothing frustrates me more than sitting at dinner with friends and having to hear about the latest sale at lululemon or that Bobby peed on the floor in the middle of the night and then fell asleep in it. I only have ONE friend who literally wanted her career to be a mom. She went to college PURELY to find a husband and future father to her children. And kudos to her for admitting it! But everyone else gave up their careers when they had their first child. And now that their youngest is in school full time, they are ready to head back to a job. Of course there's the stipulation of work/life balance, so if that's achievable, they'll be on the 7:15 express to employment.

The moral of this soliloquy is that moms are amazing human beings. Whether you choose to stay home or head to an office every day, there is no one on the planet who works harder than you (shout out to stay at home dads as well). So keep your chin up, buy your coffee in bulk and if all else fails, aquaphor makes a great lip gloss.

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


As the Oscar nods were announced today, I tipped my hat that "The Social Network" received the accolades it so deserves. Facebook has singlehandedly changed the world, with 500,000,000 users and counting. As a 37 year old, I find Facebook to be a great networking tool as well as a fun window into my past life. I've reconnected with hundreds of old friends and am able to know about them without having to leave the comfort of my own home or spend hours on the phone "catching up." I know where they live, what they "like" and what their relationship status is. I see pictures of their kids, their girls' nights out and their family vacations. Pretty mundane I know, but that's because like me, most of my friends are beyond the days of fraternity parties, spring breaks, all night clubbing and impromptu trips to AC.  

However, a good majority of my candidates are NOT! For some reason, people ages 22-30, love to post pictures/status updates/wall postings about the crazy, sexy, sometimes illegal things they love to do. What they fail to realize is employers have a sneaky way of finding those pictures/postings and denying them employment because of it. I can't tell you how many times my clients have "googled" a candidate only to find them in a skirt that's too short, doing luge shots off of Miley Cyrus' ass. COME ON PEOPLE...if there's any chance of embarassment, then don't POST IT. It's one thing to BECOME the office slut...but no one's going to hire one! 

Looking for employment is a full time job and should be taken seriously. Please don't ask me to email you at or and neither Jay Z nor Lady Gaga should be on your voicemail (unless you ARE Jay Z or Lady Gaga). Multiple piercings should be removed and tattoos should be covered as much as possible. And please, WHATEVER you do, do NOT bring your chihuahua/maltese/yorkie to an interview. This will NEVER be acceptable (unless you're interviewing at a pet shop or shelter).  

I had a candidate come in who was extremely put together...attractive, well spoken, nice suit, excellent resume. A year out of school, she'd spent the past two years working as the receptionist for a law firm. What I would consider a "walking placement." We literally THREW her out the door to our client who LOVED her. Thirty-six hours later they come back to us and say they are passing. When pressured for a reason, they said they found "provocative pictures" of her online. Ten seconds later, my colleague and I are staring at said candidate in an outfit that can only be described as "bondage-like"...AS HER PROFILE PICTURE ON FACEBOOK!!! Talk about the rug not matching the shades. IN A MILLION YEARS...I never would've thought...But my client did, and needless to say, didn't offer her the position.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, I think social media is an amazing tool as long as it's used appropriately. It's allowed people to reconnect with lost friends, loved ones and even parents. It's helped children get adopted; pets find homes and the unemployed find jobs. But like all vices, it can be abused. So remember, if you don't want your mother to see it, it shouldn't be posted on the internet. And when you start to look for a job, make sure that all you "T"s are crossed, your "I"s are dotted, and that you're wearing underwear in every picture.

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta

Friday, January 21, 2011


In addition to my job as a recruiter, I am also a psychotherapist. Not licensed or anything, just by default. I spend HOURS on the phone with clients and candidates discussing why things aren't working out. Often times, this happens when I am in a public place and am trying to do something else (ALWAYS multitasking). So usually, people will hear only one side of the conversation and it usually goes something like this -

Hi...I'm good. And you?

small talk...then...

"Uh huh...I understand you wanted clear labels and she did opaque."

3-5 minutes of silence

"No...I can't blame you for being upset that your driver showed up 10 minutes late...all of the calendars should've been synced."

5 minutes of silence

"I don't think you're crazy AT all" (eyes roll). It's DEFINITELY not you (even though this is your FOURTH assistant in ONE year). You're the boss and either she does it the way you want it, or don't keep her."

10 minutes of silence

"Really? She TOLD you she was taking day off instead of asking you. No, I believe you..."

2 minutes of silence followed by a bunch of "uh huhs" and "yups."

"Not a problem. I will look for someone else. Like I always, say, there's a lid for every pot and she's just not your lid!"

And there you have it...basically this is why I can't stop biting my nails. The littlest thing can cause a deal to fall apart...I mean I do sell PEOPLE for a living. Everyone has an ego, an agenda or some warped idea of what it's going to be like working for a socialite/celebrity/high level executive as their assistant. I can't tell you the number of people who think being an assistant is "easy." But I can tell you FIRST HAND that other than being a mom, it's one of the more difficult professions (probably because it's like being a mom at the office). Having to check your power to think, reason or rationalize, along with your ego at the door is not for the weak or feeble minded. As someones assistant you have to be ready, willing and able to conform to their every whim. Sure, there are bosses out there who give COMPLETE autonomy and are wonderful to work for, but those are the minority.  All assistants need rhino thick skin, the ability to do 8,290,699 tasks at once, and know the answer to a question, three minutes before it's asked. It takes a special person to be able to completely manage another person's life, EXACTLY the way they want it. I'm talking window or aisle seat; blue folders with red labels vs. white folders with clear ones; coffee with two splendas and a splash of skim, NO FOAM; two black pens, one blue pen and yellow legal pad in the right corner of their desk...the devil's in the details and your boss has horns, a tail and a pitchfork!

I tip my hats to the career assistants who have devoted their lives to taking care of their bosses...making sure that they get to their meetings on time, their wives get flowers on valentines day and their coffee is on their desk, HOT, exactly the way they like it. This job is not for everyone...but for the chosen few who have conquered this beast, they are often rewarded handsomely. I know one assistant who upon returning to her boss after a brief hiatus, was given a $4M house in the Hamptons. Or another who drove her jaguar to work courtesy of her boss of 20 years. Huge cash bonuses, trips around the world and the best seats in the house are just some of the perks assistants receive. But those are rarities. Most just get their check every two weeks, a bonus at the end of the year and a thank you every now and then. Remember, it's work after all...if it was anything other than tedious and necessary, it'd be called something else.

I've met some amazing assistants during my ten years in the business...many of which I've placed in their jobs and still speak with today. They are the best there is and from them I've heard, seen and learned so much. So don't get me wrong...being an assistant can be tremendously just have to be the right person for the job. Because ultimately, there's a little micro-managing meshugana in all of us.

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Over the weekend, I went to Target and of course I was dressed to the nines...and by nines, I mean my pajamas. I figured...I'll run in, get a few things, run out...who could I possibly run into at 9am on a Sunday? Plenty of people...that's who. I got back in my car and just laughed to myself...I am a sweats-hair in a ponytail-no makeup kind of girl...always have been; always will be. I'm low maintenance and don't think I could be anything different. And both people that I ran into, know that's who I am and weren't fazed by my oscar winning outfit.

But when it comes to work and how I prepare my candidates, I fly by one rule - NEVER LET YOUR OUTFIT BE THE REASON YOU DON'T GET A JOB!!!! I can't tell you how many times candidates have lost out on great opportunities because they weren't dress appropriately. Red suits to uber-corporate companies; low cut shirts that were only meant for dark clubs; white see-through shirts with black bras...and the best was a candidate who went on a final interview at a fashion company and when complimented on her shirt, said, "Thank's from YOUR COMPETITOR." (She got the job but still...what was she thinking???) I can't stress enough how what you wear is as important as what it says on your resume. So here are the basics...follow these fool proof dress tips and you're a shoe in to at least get past hello:

1. Wear a neutral colored suit (black, navy, grey, beige). It should not be dirty or wrinkled and should fit relatively well. Nothing too tight. If you can't button it, that's ok, but you shouldn't look like you're busting out of it.

2. NO cleavage, camel toes or visible g-strings...VPL (visible panty lines) in general are a big NO NO!

3. DO NOT WEAR PERFUME. I've never had a client tell me that a candidate smelled good...the only feedback I've ever received was, "Her perfume was WAY TOO STRONG..." If the client can still smell you after you've left, chances are it will be the last time you see each other.

4. Your makeup should look like you're not wearing any. Interviews are not the time to try that new metallic blue eye shadow you saw in Vogue. Keep it simple. Some foundation/cover up, a little blush, a little mascara, a little lipstick/gloss. That's it. Clowns and drag queens need not apply! (This is in no way to imply that I don't like clowns or drag queens...I just don't have any openings for them right now so unless you're applying for one of those jobs, keep the makeup to a minimum).

5. Undergarments should remain just that...UNDER your garments. There's nothing worse then when a candidate picks up her bag off the floor and I get a beautiful view of her purple g-string. Make sure all skin is properly tucked away.

6.  Unless you're Mr. T, jewelry should be kept to a minimum. Additionally, it should be seen but NOT heard. Don't wear every bangle in your jewelry box and don't wear a million necklaces because it was also written about in Vogue (see #4).

7. Hide your tattoos and remove all piercings except cultural/religious ones, those that can't be seen and the traditional earring in each ear - preferably studs. If you choose to wear hoops, please make sure small animals CANNOT jump through them. Ideally keep them minimal, classy and about the size of a quarter or smaller.

8. Your hair should be styled and out of your face. If you tend to play with it, curl it around your finger or chew it, pull it back. A ponytail or barrette is ideal, or nicely tucked behind your ears will long as it stays there.

9. Your nails should be either manicured or free of polish. Chipped polish is a big no no. If you are a nail biter, as I have been for my entire life, try to get your hands in the best condition you can before the interview. I know asking you to stop biting before something that's probably causing you to bite in the first place is a tough request, but if you can stop biting for a day or two and take the time to file them, moisturize and apply a clear coat of polish, they will look perfectly presentable for your interview.

10. Do your research. If you are interviewing with an investment bank, chances are you will need to wear a skirt suit, stockings and closed toe shoes. Creative companies tend to be a little bit more lenient when it comes to your outfit. However, I would still air on the side of conservative. No one has ever lost out because they were dressed too corporate.

MEN (your preparation is definitely much easier)
1. see #1 above

2. Be clean shaven. That means shave the MORNING of your interview and be sure to avoid razor burn. I've interviewed men who've made me uncomfortable because it looked like their razor burn was excruitiatingly painful.

3. See #3 above except exchange COLOGNE for PERFUME!

4. Comb your hair and don't use too much product. Too much gel only looks good on Gordon Gekko, Pat Riley and The Situation.

5. DON'T SMOKE BEFORE AN INTERVIEW...Ladies - this goes for you too! I cannot say it enough times. No one will hire an ashtray and while I personally don't think you should EVER smoke, if you must, do it AFTER the interview.

6. Pinky rings should be left at home. Nuff said!

7. see #7 above (minus the part about the hoops)

8. Make sure your shoes are polished...or at the very least NOT scuffed. And they should be appropriate for an interview. Unless it's a blizzard, any shoe that you'd wear to shovel snow, watch a sporting event or to play a sport is not appropriate for an interview.

9. see #9 above

10. I feel you should always wear a suit as you don't have as many options as women do. However, if you are interviewing at a creative company and feel a suit would not be appropriate, slacks and a nice button down work (although chest hair should NOT be seen)...tie is optional. Jeans, flip flops, shorts or tank tops are NEVER acceptable.

I will say one more thing before signing off. Many of you who are just out of school or currently unemployed should NOT feel the need to spend money on interview clothes. A firm handshake, good eye contact and a great smile will get you further than anything else.

I remember in the movie, "Pursuit of Happyness," the interviewer asked Christopher Gardner (Will Smith), "What would you say if a man walked in here with no shirt, and I hired him? What would you say?" To which Christoper replied, "He must have had on some really nice pants."

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Friday, January 14, 2011


So I'm in the AT&T store today and as I'm waiting for my information to be transferred from my old phone to my new phone, another customer walks in. The guy behind the counter recognizes him, and tells him that the merchandise he ordered is not in yet but that he would call him when it came in. The customer said thank you and as he turned to walk out, the salesman said, "'re in the music business right?" And right away, I think...OY VEY...that's ballsy!!! So the customer says, with quite a long pause, "Yes..."
The salesman proceeds to tell him that he's about to release his first video and he's gone viral and has this that and the other and would he mind listening to some of his stuff? So the customer looks at him and asks what genre he's in...and the sales guy says RAP...which was the LAST area of music I would've guessed he performed. He then proceeds to play a piece of his was fine, but I don't think he's the next Eminem. So the customer is courteous, listens and right before he leaves gives the salesman his email address, both personal AND business. This was right after he told him that while he USED to do A&R for Columbia, he now produces and develops shows for MTV and he would do what he could.
I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I would have NEVER asked a random person to listen to my music. Especially if it sounded like a mix between my rabbi and William Hung. But I guess that's why I'm blogging and recruiting and Justin Beiber is on the cover of Vanity Fair :(  But this guy probably thought, "what've I got to lose?"
It instantly made me think of all the candidates that come and see me who have been out of work for weeks, months, even years. They show up at my office, tell me their tale of woe and then if I don't respond to every email or send them out on an interview immediately, I'm an asshole and they write a bad review about me on Yelp. I once received an email from a candidate wishing that I, along with the rest of the employees I worked with, contracted herpes. And this was in response to a request to update her personal information for our database.
I’ve posted the contents below...VERBATIM...please take a moment to note her wonderful grammar and ability to spell...I definitely missed out on my commission with this one...(I saved it in a folder appropriately named, "Crazy Applicants"...I knew it would come in handy some day).
Oh. my. god.

i just want to say thanks.... for shit.  I *never* heard from you assholes ONCE!  I now am maoking about $80K per year and loving it.  Just so you idiots (and you and your staff are...) will know, some people go through hard times when they move to a new city, especially one like NYC.  They come to you because you (lie) say you can help them find a job. 

My co-workers and I laugh at you behind your back.  Others have even stared a hilarious website about your "company" and forwarded me it.  What a hoot!  God, you people are depressing, untalented and obviously could not find "real" jobs for yourselves.... you all work at "Jennifer" with your wanna-be hipster staff (what a bunch of poseurs!! uggghhhhhhh.)  -- by the way, what a shitty and cheap and ugly website. NO WONDER YOU HAVE NO CLIENTS!!


I was once working 3 jobs and sleeping about 5 hours a night to afford my rent here.  I came to you on a much needed day off to speak with you and show you my resume.  I graduated a top-tier Private University with a GREAT GPA.  I was in a Sorority, played a college-level sport and had WONDERFUL references.  WHICH YOU NEVER EVEN CONTACTED.  Now, 6 months and absolutely no contact later, you send me a MASS MAILING!! asking me for my resume info????  You are all such low-class bottom feeders.  Your office and entire staff reeks of implied (laughable) bourgeoisie.

I hope you all get herpes.  (oh shit... most of your staff probably already does!) yuck!  stay away from me.  please NEVER email me again with your spam, you self righteous losers.  Oh, and check your website background.  You can't even afford to fix it?  it looks like shit.  It doesn't replicate and you can see where it repeats itself.  a tip from me.  I cannot wait until you fix it -- I am *sure* you will.  Just like you will contact all your "clients" (your companies don't even take employees from you, do they??   poor babies!  no wonder!  you suck! -- every job interview I went on I was awarded the job at hand AND most of them were in the 65K - 70K field.  You talk a big game but don't deliver.  I think some of your clients should know that, too....  (and I am sure they already do.)

Most Sincerely,


the one you "said" you would keep in contact with but never even sent an update... the one with the great resume.  I don't even think you could review it with me in your office because over the phone you told me you had a hard copy but then accidentally "lost..  uhhhh i think? uhhh i think my email is broken --boy hits computer--- ummmmmm...  can you uhhhh  send it again later?? ummmmmm.  hmmmm?  sure i had it here a second ago?."  how utterly un-professional.  I sent you another and never heard back. I called and was told I would receive an update, but you never even contact references (a prominent NYC Cosmetic Dentist, a top-notch Pharmacist, a major of a city in NJ, and the dean of my University - besides the other great bosses and co-workers I worked along side with.  I have also have a tested Genius level IQ.)  You don;t do your job.  I GUESS YOU LOST MY COMMISSION!!  boo hoo!  what a reflection on you.

i have wasted enough of my time responding.  I am so glad I have so many friends and co-workers in this town.  I hope your numbers don;t drop.  hee hee hee.  (I think they will!) just a hint.......   GOOD LUCK!! 

Amazing right? With all those great references from cosmetic dentists and pharmacists, it's a wonder I couldn't find her a job! Especially since she has a GENIUS level IQ (in all areas except grammar and spelling) MY LOSS!

 I get this ALL THE TIME...not as harsh...or as eloquent...but people love to place blame. Especially desperate people. But what's so essential to remember, is you are your BEST sales tool. I'm just a pawn in your big game of chess. If people approached their job search with the same attitude as that guy at the AT&T store, they probably would spend less time looking for a job and more time working at one. Recruiters are just part of the process. And yes, I have placed hundreds of people at amazing companies, many of which I still keep in touch with to this day, but unfortunately the majority of people that walk through my door, I can't place. However, I tell all of my candidates the following:
  1. Be Prepared
  2. Be Presentable
  3. Be Positive
  4. Persistence BEATS resistance
And tell everyone you know, including that random guy/girl who walks into your store/restaurant or sits down next to you on the train, that you're looking for a job and could they help.
Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta