The Motivated Job Search – An Amazon 5 Star Book!

The Motivated Job Search was released into the market just 6 months ago (April, 2016). During this brief time, the awareness of the book, mostly by word-of-mouth and referral has been remarkable!

The Motivated Job Search has been warmly received by job seekers from all over the country!

Amazon recommendations have all been glowing with all reviewers giving the book the highest ranking of 5 Stars!

“I have already been receiving emails and LinkedIn messages from readers here in the United States and Canada that are finding the book useful in their job search and recommending it to others.” states Brian Howard, author.

If you have not yet requested your booklet containing selected sections from The Motivated Job Search, hit this link and it will be sent to you (in pdf).

Here are some excerpts from some of the recommendations posted on Amazon:

“Brian Howard has written a gem! The book is well-researched, simple to understand, and thought provoking. The strategies he wrote about I would have never thought of. I used the advice in the book to identify possible employers and got interviews. I used his WITS approach to negotiating a job offer and got more than what I thought. Within six weeks of reading this book I had an offer in hand. His advice and instruction works!” 

  • •    

 “This book is OUTSTANDING and a must-read/must-have! Brian Howard speaks to the reader from an authentic, sincere, yet practical perspective and provides all the tools to help you differentiate yourself in a competitive marketplace and get the job that you want.” 

“Great real-time tools not only for job searches but also the interviewing process, negotiating job offers and even the graceful way to submit a resignation letter. Brian’s experience in the industry is captured on paper for your reference throughout your work life journey.” 

“I’m a seasoned sales professional who has read many different job-search books throughout the years and this is by far the most effective book on the market and applies not only to your job search but to many aspects of life as well! Do yourself a favor and buy the book before starting your new search. Thank you Brian Howard!” 

“This is a must buy for anyone looking for new employment and/or contemplating a career change. It’s an easy read that provides job seekers with practical advice on interviewing, resume preparation, follow up calls, and negotiation. Throw out anything you’ve read before! This is truly on point!” 

“At 60 I suddenly found myself unemployed, I did a little research about books to help you get organized and focused on finding a job in today’s market. This book did EXACTLY what I hoped it would do. It took me through the logical steps of finding THE RIGHT job and helped me avoid the pitfalls. This is a well written book from a seasoned professional that talks to you in down to earth terms.” 


To read all Amazon reviews follow this link.


About the Author: Brian Howard, J.D. is a Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC), a Certified Job Search Strategist (CJSS), a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), and an actively practicing executive recruiter. He has helped thousands of job seekers over his 24 year recruiting career. It is from this experience and knowledge that he wrote The Motivated Job Search.  

© 2016 Brian E. Howard, All Rights Reserved.

Brian Howard Interviewed on – Podcast Interview

Brian Howard was recently interviewed for a podcast on Click this link to listen to the interview.

The interview covers interesting topics about job search mindset and motivation, differentiation, LinkedIn, and the 5 most important questions hiring executives need answered before they can extend an offer. is an award-winning Career Blog where individuals are able to obtain ideas and strategies to land their dream job or career. In addition to job search advice, the Blog also provides information for professionals on improving their communication and leadership skills to take their careers to stratospheric levels.

Strategies For Your LinkedIn Profile When You Are Unemployed

You find yourself unemployed. What do you put on your LinkedIn Profile? Do you announce your availability or would doing so reduce your attractiveness as a candidate? Fortunately, you have several strategic options.

As you consider the options that follow, the primary consideration is this: How would a HR recruiter or hiring executive react to the strategy you use for the level of position you are seeking? After we discuss the strategic options, we’ll discuss factors that could influence your decision on which strategic approach to take.

End Date on your last Employment. Your first option is to list an end date on your current employment. It’s honest and your profile is up-to-date. Viewers of your profile can draw the conclusion that you are currently unemployed in your chosen field.

Announce your Unemployment in your Headline. Your headline is the area immediately below your name. LinkedIn provides 120 character spaces, which is actually a lot of room. It is acceptable to use your headline as an advertisement of your availability: “Currently Seeking New Opportunities.”

However, there is a more effective approach. When HR recruiters search LinkedIn for candidates, they use keywords to find qualified candidates. The headline area is one of the places that the LinkedIn programming and algorithms look for matching words. By only announcing your availability, you lose your ability to put keywords in your headline which reduces your chances of being found by a HR recruiter.

There is a way to get the best of both worlds. Remember, LinkedIn gives you 120 character spaces. So get your keywords in your headline plus “Seeking Opportunities.” For example, “Banking Professional Specializing in Commercial Lending, Seeking New Opportunities.” This strategy capitalizes on your keywords and announces your availability.

Announce Your Availability as a Statement in Your Summary Section. Another option is to include a statement of your availability early in your summary section. Your statement could be as simple as “Actively Seeking New Employment.”

Your Summary section is also an area where the LinkedIn programming and algorithms look to match keywords. There is a strategic advantage of adding a sentence or two with keywords about position types, industries, types of companies that would interest you. For example, “Actively seeking a new opportunity as an account manager in the employee benefits industry.” This can help tighten your search but be aware that it can also reduce potential opportunities. After you make this statement, continue with the rest of the summary in traditional fashion.

List Your Availability as Your Current Employment. The consideration with this approach is the LinkedIn programing and algorithms look at position titles and position descriptions for matching keywords. So simply putting “Open to Opportunities” as your title does not take advantage of the programming. A better approach is stating an actual title or job function followed by “seeking opportunities.” For example, “Sales Operations Professional Specializing in Healthcare Seeking New Position.” You have 100 character spaces in the title area which is a lot room. You could re-word your headline and put it here as well.

For the Company Name, you can put “Unemployed.” But, that sometimes can carry a negative stigma – though the weight of that stigma has faded in recent years. Instead, consider a more positive approach, such as putting “Exploring a Career Move” or “Seeking New Position” as your current employer.

Your position description provides some unique opportunities. If you resigned from your previous employment, the first sentence of you description could read something like this:

“Currently seeking a new position after voluntarily leaving [Past Employer] in good standing with recommendations.”


“Actively looking for a new job in event planning after resigning my position at [Past Employer] with strong job performance evaluations.”

If you were laid off, you could state the description something like this:

“Was subject to a company-wide lay off affecting [x number employees, the entire marketing department, x number of departments]. Release was not performance related.”

Create the messaging to put you in the best light. According to LinkedIn, there is now a 200 character minimum and a 1000 character maximum in the position description area.

If you were terminated for performance, it’s probably best to leave that unspoken and use the position description space for other strategies.

The position description space is an area where the programing works to match keywords. So using your keywords here works to your advantage. So, what do you put in this space? You have a lot of latitude regarding the content. It is recommended that any messaging be reasonable short and to the point.

The content of the position description could be a brief statement of your abilities, knowledge using keywords. It could function as an abbreviated cover letter. You could also re-work your elevator speech (if you have one) and put it here. The key consideration is to use the space wisely, not be lengthy, and consider how a HR recruiter would react to what you write. When put all together, it could look something like this:

Title: Account Manager Seeking Opportunities in Employee Benefits

Company: Exploring A Career Move

Description: Was subject to a company-wide lay-off affecting over 100 employees at Insurance Company. Release was not performance related.

Seeking an account management position to benefit an insurance organization with proven skills in client service, ACA compliance, implementation, renewals, and claim resolution.

Do Nothing At All. The final option is do nothing at all and if asked about your profile, go with “I forgot.” This is not ideal, but the option is available to you.

Which Strategy would be Best for You?

The correct strategy(ies) depends on your unique professional circumstances. You may choose a select combination of approaches.

If you work in an industry where it is common to hire on a project basis, contractor-to-hire, or consulting basis, announcing your availability using these strategies makes good sense.

The level of your position or positioning on the corporate organizational chart of the position you are pursuing also has a bearing. Speaking generally, these “announcement” strategies may be more acceptable to lower, mid-range, sales to management roles rather than true senior management, executive, or C-Level positions. Exercise your professional judgement as to whether or which strategy(ies) to use. Your strategy hinges on how you believe a HR recruiter or hiring executive for you desired position could respond.

About the Author: Brian Howard is the author of the recently released job search books, The Motivated Job Search and The Motivated Networker. He is a Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC), a Certified Job Search Strategist (CJSS), a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), an actively practicing executive recruiter.


© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All Rights Reserved

High Praise – The Motivated Networker has been Endorsed by Business Network International

The Motivated Networker has been endorsed by Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder of BNI (Business Network International) – The world’s largest business networking organization.

Dr. Misner has been dubbed “The Father of Modern Networking” and is one of the world’s leading experts in business networking:

The Motivated Networker is the most comprehensive networking book on the market on how to use networking to find a job. Well-written, thoroughly researched, and practical, The Motivated Networker covers important networking topics and introduces the “ICE” Method for job search networking. It is a must-read for all job seekers!”

About the book: The Motivated Networker is a direct-to-the-point guide for networking during a job search. When 60% to 80% of all jobs are filled through some form of networking, mastering the skill of networking is imperative to success in landing a new job in the shortest time possible! Brian Howard provides an easy to understand and easy to execute approach for networking in a real-world job search. Based on years of front-line recruiting experience helping thousands of job seekers find hidden job market openings leading to job offers, the book gives you a distinctive competitive edge by teaching networking techniques that will create job leads, interviews and a fulfilling career position!

The book can be ordered on the publisher’s website, WriteLife Publishing or through Amazon.

About BNI® (Business Network International). BNI is the world’s largest business networking organization. In 2015, BNI generated 7.7 million referrals resulting in $9.3 billion USD worth of business for its members. BNI was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ivan Misner. The organization has over 7,500+ chapters throughout every populated continent of the world. (

Just Released! The Motivated Networker

I am pleased to announce the release of my second job search book, The Motivated Networker!

The book is a practical no-nonsense guide on how to successfully network for a job. When 60% to 80% of all jobs are filled through some form of networking, mastering the skill of networking is imperative to success in landing a new job in the shortest time possible!

So, what makes The Motivated Networker unique? The Motivated Networker is a tightly written book squarely on the topic of networking to find a job. It tells you not just what to do, but actually how to do it!

The book covers topics such as how to embrace a networking mentality, overcoming fears, how to create a networking “cabinet,” how to start and exit conversations, the ICE Method of networking, networking with recruiters, online social media strategies along with a myriad of useful networking tools not otherwise written about in other books.

You can check out the book on the publisher’s website, WriteLife Publishing or on Amazon.

A Story of Inspiration

I received a wonderful story of inspiration last week that I want to share with you.

A Story of Inspiration

For nearly 40 years I have worked in the employee benefits industry in various capacities. It has been a wonderful and fulfilling career. For the past five years I was in sales with a company which ironically was the most stressful position that I have ever had. So much has changed in business today and I’m not referring to advancements in technology. There is simply a lack of business-honor unlike the past.

In March I turned 60 and having another good year in sales. Then, in July I was unexpectedly fired. It came from out of the blue!  My employer’s justification was weak since my sales numbers were good. It was tough going home that night telling my wife that I had been fired. There were some tears.

Now, who is going to hire a 60-year-old man? That was the question swirling around in my mind. I was referred to a book, The Motivated Job Search.  Two take a-ways from the book that changed everything for me.

  • One, don’t waste time brooding! Clear your head, put all bitterness aside, and get on with your life and a new search for employment. “Don’t be bitter, be better” was my mantra!
  • Two, think about reinventing yourself, think outside the box, find a new angle

With these concepts in mind, I started making calls to my close colleagues and contacts in the industry. I sought their advice on ideas of what I may be suited for in their view. Ideas started to flow as I considered everything that they said. I opened myself up to anything and everything.

After one week, I made a decision to explore a certain service sector of the employee benefits industry. I identified several companies in this new sector based on company names I gathered during my networking calls and simple Internet research.

I decided to contact these companies directly by phone. I created a simple presentation of about myself so I had something to say and started calling the companies. I spoke with anyone who would listen and got transferred around several times. Eventually, I spoke with those that could make or influence the hiring decision. In this new industry sector, it was common to hire independent contractors, which was what I wanted.

The plan worked! Two weeks and a day after being fired, I was offered a job! And, my first work assignment was just a few weeks away. Mission accomplished!

While not at the same pay or potential income annually I was free of corporate shenanigans and all that goes with it. I am so excited that I have a new career direction still in the employee benefit space with companies that actually love my experience! That to me is worth its weight in gold!…to be appreciated and valued.

I know it’s a challenge for those of us over 50 to conduct a job search especially when we find ourselves suddenly unemployed. The emotions of doubt, fear, and uncertainty can easily get to you quickly. It’s hard. I know because I lived it! But you can’t let this new reality beat you down and in particular stress you to the point of causing illness or death.

My advice…Take heart! Get up and dust yourself off! Seek guidance in the counsel of others and in reading. Plot a course of action and get on with it! Just like me, you CAN write a new chapter in your career. You CAN continue your career until you want it to end…and, not the other way around.


Age 60

May’s Jobs Data – Not So Good

According to the Business Intelligence Brief (Armada), JOLTS data looked bad in May. “JOLTS” stands for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

“Everything in the labor sector looked bad in May and there is  some expectation  that  there will be better news  from  JOLTS  from June.

The May data showed a drastic  reduction  in  the  number  of  jobs  available  and  a  corresponding  decline  in  the  number  of  quits.  The willingness of people to quit their job and seek a new one is a good indicator of confidence in the labor situation and the latest reading would suggest that there is far less confidence than there has been.”

Business Cards During a Job Search – Infographic Business Cards

Infographic Business Cards

An infographic business card is a very unique concept. It is not a “business card” in the traditional sense. Instead, it is more of a “networking handbill.” In concept, an infographic business card is a colorful, high resolution document containing impactful and persuasive background information and accomplishments presented through pie charts and bar graphs of creative design.

Conceptually, an infographic business card is larger than the standard three-and-a-half inch by two-inch business card. Although there is no rule, a four-by-six inch card is a good size or starting point.

The infographic business card is ideal for networking events, especially for association gatherings and conventions. Printed on business card grade paper, with colorful graphics, it is a clear differentiator. If not too large, it can still easily slip into an inside jacket pocket or portfolio of a networking contact or hiring executive.

It is highly recommended that you use the services of a professional with experience creating infographic resumes. There are advantages and disadvantages that need to be carefully considered before you pursue this job search tactic.

This topic is covered in more detail in The Motivated Job Search. You can also check out the book on Amazon.

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.