HR Pros spot it a mile away—and dismiss you immediately! 

Human Resource Professionals and Recruiters can spot it in seconds. It’s as if they have some remarkable ability to know your thoughts. You know you are a good fit for the position; you have every qualification listed on the job posting. Perhaps you get phone interviews, but they don’t take you to the next step. You’ve had face-to-face interviews and you feel like you’ve given all the right answers, but for some reason, they aren’t interested in you. What’s going on?

The Number One reason Human Resource professionals don’t hire someone who is qualified for the job is because of their attitude. Hiring professionals are superb people-readers. They have to be! They can read one sentence of a cover letter, or look at a résumé, and they have a sense of the emotional state-of-mind of the person when they put together the material. Our attitude and emotional state comes through loud and clear—even on your paperwork.

Actually, we’ve all experienced it. You open an email and before you read one word, you know the person is upset. Even in our writing, our attitude shows through. So what does this tell us about our cover letter and résumés, as well as our interviewing?

If you’ve been laid off, you have every right to be upset and angry. What’s going on with our economy and our government is frustrating. We should all be angry. However, your attitude can make or break your chances to land an employment contract. Obviously, a person has feelings and they don’t just go away. However, they have to be managed.


  • Realize that with the loss of a job, it is necessary to process the emotional turmoil of the loss. This includes the grief process which has several stages of intense emotions. These emotions come through on ob applications and during interviews.
  • Find one or two high quality jobseeker groups. The group should be positive, productive, and have a professional demeanor.
    One of the best groups on LinkedIn is the Connecticut Re-employment Group, led my Michael Lynch. This group is positive and focused on helping people get back to work.
  • Avoid isolation.
  • Establish goals for each week and set a schedule to accomplish those goals. See the articles: Planning Your Jobsearch and Your Employment Action Plan.
  • Make it a priority to avoid negativity and diligently manage your mental traffic.
  • Keep long-term goals forefront, and balance it with short-term successes.
    Consider the article: Job Search Without Regrets.
  • Intentionally monitor your attitude and demeanor. Find what works to remain positive.
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