What Not To Do When Looking For A Job

I can't give you a lot of advice on job hunting. I graduated college shortly after the stock market crash of 1987. Not a great time to look for a job. (kind of like moving to a country with double-digit unemployment).

by bob

Oct 2, 2012

I can’t give you a lot of advice on job hunting.

I graduated college shortly after the stock market crash of 1987. Not a great time to look for a job. (kind of like moving to a country with double-digit unemployment).

Now I was pretty good in putting together a resume, and writing cover letters, and I had quite a few interviews. I never closed the deal on any of them. (I did learn how to stop going into interview with sweaty palms, but it may have been too late by that point)

While I applied for positions I knew I could do, I was never very good at presenting myself or appearing super confident…still not something I do all that well I guess.

[I’ve often thought that if I could have done it over again, I would have offered some company that I would work for 6 months for no pay. If they agreed to hire me at that point great. If not, I’d have 6 months experience. However, I didn’t think of that until years later. Now of course a wife & 4 kids…an extended time with no income would not really be workable I’m thinking.]

It was around that time, July 1988, that I decided to go into campus ministry…so I cancelled the rest of my interviews (saved myself having to have more people tell me no).

A year later I moved to Albany to start a campus ministry, and also needed a job, so I started looking again. I even had an acquaintance get me an interview at GE. However, no matter how high up he was, he would not have gotten me a job at GE after another horrible interview.

I remember sitting in a car with a friend around that time and telling him, “I need a job, and I’m willing to do anything. The only thing I won’t do is work in a grocery store.”

Any guesses where I worked for the next 5 years of my life?

That was my last job hunt…23 years ago. (I did apply for a ministry gig in Amherst, Massachusetts a couple of years later, but the position never ended up getting created.) And when I walked away from that grocery store in 1994, it was my last “non-church job.”

I always tell people that the reason I start stuff is because that way I don’t have to go through an interview process.

At this stage of my job search, I still have not gotten to the interview process…of course, that might have something to do with the fact that my resume now screams  things like:

  • Pastor
  • Church Stuff
  • Ministry.
  • Chaplain
  • More church stuff
  • HR Stuff in college, BUT THAT WAS OVER 20 YEARS AGO!!!
  • Did I mention I was a pastor?
Of course, it is still early in the process. I still have a number of resumes & applications out there. And only 2 official “no”s so far.
So anyway…I entitled this post, “What Not To Do When Looking For A Job.” So I guess I do have some advice. When you are in a retail location and speaking to a manager about a position, it is best to not back into a display table, knock a box off of the table & break whatever is inside.
Yeah, it’s been that kind of day week.
What is the worst job interview experience you’ve ever had?

What about Bob?


I grew up in Western New York and have started and led missional church planting efforts for a little over 30 years. As you might gather, I have opinions about the church, and I share some of them here.

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  1. Loraine Wilson

    Did you really do that?

    • Bob Wilson

      How could you make something like that up?

  2. Dustin LeBlanc

    Still sounds to me like writing a book or something is more up your ally 🙂

    • Bob Wilson

      Think I need to build a bit more of a platform first. 🙂 thanks for the comment, I appreciate it.


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