Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri 8:00am - 8:00pm

Job Search Workshop Summary 

Pain & Risk:

  • All employment is about Pain & Risk (Not your pain, not your risk but the employer’s pain and their risk)
  • Pain is the reason why they are recruiting the position (look in the job summary for their description of the Pain this position is causing them)
  • Risks are the abilities and experiences they want the applicant to already have demonstrated (look at the position responsibilities)
  • Qualifications are just a listing of who is eligible to apply.
  • Those applicants who directly address the Pain and show how they minimize the Risks are the ones the organization is going to interview.
  • By the time you see a job advertisement that is “old” pain (they have been talking about filling this position for months)
  • It is presumptuous for you to assume you know where an agency is going to advertise their job openings
  • You need to go find the job openings and to do your networking
  • Any and all job advertisements should be viewed as a window on the “Pain” of what’s currently not working in an organization


Profile of Skills & Experiences:

  • Before you approach any employer, you need to know and understand your portfolio of skills and experiences (the Pain you can take away and the Risks you minimize )
  • Targeting employers who can make immediate use of your current profile of demonstrated skills and experiences will yield the most successful interview opportunities
  • Developing your own "Skills and Experiences Portfolio " can help you write a more compelling resume and speak confidently about your accomplishments.

        - How to develop a portfolio of skills and experiences: 



  • Your resume has only one job – that is, to get you an interview
  • Your resume is your calling card/marketing brochure for communicating your profile of skills and experiences to an employer.
  • If you do not receive any requests to interview, your resume is not working for you.
  • Remember, you are writing and sending your resume to someone who knows nothing of you or what you have done. All they will know is what they read
  • Be sure to quantify and offer examples of the depth and breadth of your skills and experiences
  • Your skills and experiences should obviously show how well you fit the position and the organization
  • Hiring managers are usually very busy and doing two jobs simultaneously; the job they were hired to do and trying to hire for the position that is open, they are not going to give a lot of their time to the hiring and interviewing task. Make the reading of your resume an easy and immediately understandable task for them.
  • Employer’s will spend only 5 to 10 seconds looking over your resume
  • Readers of your resume are reading your resume for exclusion not inclusion (remember, they are trying to take away their immediate pain and eliminate their risk)
  • Remember; quantifying your experiences and explaining their outcomes helps the hiring manager understand your experiences better - how much, how often, with whom, what were the results, what were the consequences, etc.
  • 5 R’s - A good resume: Read, Resonates with the employer, Remembered, Referred on and Results in an interview.


Cover Letter:

  • A short and succinct letter which highlights and narrates one or two points in your resume is sufficient. 
  • The first paragraph should state your interests and purposes for writing and how you learned of the position. 
  • The letter should be a narrative of how your skills and experiences directly address the employer's Pain in this position and how you are no Risk to the employer in this position by your demonstrated abilities and experiences as you have outlined in your resume.



  • Networking is getting other people to market your skills and experiences for you. They are worth their weight in gold!



  • Join professional associations and attend professional conferences - find like-minded and skilled people as yourself. Likeminded employers will also be advertising to these like-minded groups and associations.


Internships, Field Work & Teaching Assistantships

  • Be Strategic and purposefully in building and adding to your skills and experience portfolio

NGO Job Boards where you can find PAIN & RISK that resonates with your skills and experiences:

These web sites serve only as partial listings of those available on the topic of Advertising. Keep in mind that some sites will serve multiple functions so be sure to search for the information you need.


Three (3) useful Google Syntax Search Techniques for discovering employer Pain & Risk:

Boolean – Google uses the comma ( , ) as AND  

Phrase Search – Google will find the phrase or sequence of words inside the quotes “  “

site Search – Google will narrow your search by a site or top-level domain site:

Google Syntax help (Refine web searches & Common search techniques)

Google Advanced Search - You can increase the accuracy of your searches by adding operators that fine-tune your job search keywords.

Transition Industries or Skills:

Transitioning is always a challenge for the applicant. Do not deny the skills and abilities you have developed and are already part of your skill and experience portfolio. It is vital for you to recognize what skills and experiences you already have and how they address the pain and risk of the employers you are targeting. You want to identify and leverage those skills and abilities that are valuable in addressing the "pain" and "risk" of the industry/sector you are targeting.

Skills & Abilities defined:

  • Skills involve the measurable manipulation of data, things, or people that one has gained as a result of practice or training
  • Ability is the natural or acquired power to perform a mental or physical activity.
  • The main difference is that abilities suggest a capacity to perform, whereas skills result from the actual performance.
  • For the most part and for the purpose of rèsumè writing determining or recognizing the difference between skills and abilities is not always vital.

Do you need a Master’s Degree?

Generally a Master's Degree is very helpful after the person has been hire - for retention, promotion and internal transfer. Initial employment is all about having the necessary skills and experiences relevant to the immediate needs of the position. Relevant skills and experiences can be gained through work experience and or academic training. A strong combination of work experience and (advanced) academic training positions a candidate well for immediate employment and future advancement.