Job Search Lessons from The Presidential Election 2016

There are things to take away from the current Presidential election that can be applied to job hunting. Use one that is obvious to me, but may be less so to you.


it’s 2016 and I want to use the example of this year’s presidential election to make a point for job hunters. This is not going to be a political exercise and do not invite your opinions about either candidate. Keep them to yourself. I’m going to start with Sec. Clinton and in my next video in this series will start with Donald Trump.

Both of these are candidates that have intentionally re-branded themselves over the course of time. Secretary of State Clinton has changed many of her positions over the course of time, whether he is on trade where she supported her husband’s positions on NAFTA to her time as Secretary of State to 2008 where she’s spoke about taking a pause on signing trade agreements to, as Secretary of State, helping to create the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to now opposing it. I’m sure there are many valid reasons but part of it is the elections and the fact that the electorate is not all that fond of these agreements for a variety of reasons that are not important to go into.

Even since this election began where she was considered more hawkish than Sen. Sanders, she has evolved her positions on many many issues. The notion of rebooting or re-branding her position on different issues has been a part of her candidacy.

On the other side is Donald Trump. Few of us know his positions on many issues. The way he has been evaluated is on the basis of his personality and his personal attacks. As recently as August 2016, coming out of the respective conventions, he was little more than a buffoon and… I do want to get into name-calling. I will just say he was not very popular among large segments of the voting population.

However, as I record this at the end of September, 2016, he has rebooted himself, brought in different aides, changed how he presents himself, is not antagonizing anywhere near the degree he did before, and, if he is, it is being swatted away quietly by his representatives.

What can we take away from these behaviors from Clinton, who is changed her positions and from Trump who has changed the display of his personality? What can we learn?

The answer was very simple – – when things aren’t working, change. For job hunters, often, you are doing the same things over and over again that aren’t getting you results you want. You keep doing it because you think that’s the way to get what you want. You keep repeating these things and doing them over and over and over again and wondering why you are not getting the outcomes that you want. If you are not getting interviews. If you are getting interviews, you are not being invited back. If you are being invited back, maybe you’re getting job offers or maybe you aren’t. It just isn’t working and you’re putting in a lot of effort.

Here’s what I want to point out. Like the candidates, you can change as well. You can rewrite your resume to make it stronger. You can practice answering questions that are asked on interviews. You can get coaching to help you with your search so that you are not making dumb mistakes through your lack of experience. The experience says you are not making the right choices.

Let me go back to something for those of you who think you are good at interview.

Even you hiring managers who read resumes and interview people for your job, you think that makes you good at job hunting. The truth is, you aren’t. Do you think that Michael Jackson did it by himself? No, he had a coach.

To be an expert according to Malcolm Gladwell and other takes 10,000 hours of focused concentrated effort, ideally under the supervision of someone who knows their craft and can redirect you.

You have how much experience? Even if you are interviewing for your employer, how much experience do you have interviewing? You know your own reactions but don’t know other employers’.

Get some help. Hire a coach. That’s what Trump has done he has gotten coaching. That’s how Clinton has operated throughout. The Trump people, the Republicans, the conservatives may say she is a candidate who sways in the breeze and follows the polls. No matter. It works, right? What Trump was doing wasn’t working in the general election. He has changed. Why can’t you?

Each of these individuals hire someone to help them get to the outcome that they want. Pro athletes do it. Entertainers do it, too. Do you think Michael Jackson, Madonna or Stevie wonder did it by themselves? People who are successful have coaches. Get some help. Learn the lessons from the Presidential candidates and hire a coach.


Do you really think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.h is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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