Archive for the ‘Networking’ category

3 Secrets to Get Anyone To Like You Right Away (Video by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

September 21, 2011

This video/article has ben moved over to my new blog. Check it out here:

-Pete Leibman
-Founder of Dream Jb Academy
-Author of “I Got My Dream Job and So Can You”
-Featured on Fox, CBS, and CNN


Why Networking Is NOT All About Who You Know (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

September 16, 2011

It drives me CRAZY when people say, “It’s all about who you know.”

Most people think networking is all about who you know.  Well, they are wrong.  Some people think networking is all about who knows you.  They are also wrong.

People who think networking is all about who you know or who knows you are usually people who think networking is about collecting business cards or amassing thousands of meaningless connections through social media. 

Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to connections.

Here’s the truth: Networking is all about who likes you and who respects you

Before referring you to someone else, a successful person is consciously or subconsciously asking himself, “Do I like and respect this person enough to put my reputation on the line by introducing her to someone I trust?”  If the answer is “no,” networking will get you nowhere.  However, if the answer is “yes,” you can usually get almost anyone to open his rolodex.  

Unfortunately, there are people I “know” that I would never refer to my top contacts because either (a) I don’t like them or (b) I don’t completely respect them.  This might sound harsh, but I guard my reputation very carefully (you should also), and other referral sources will have a similar mindset.

The good news is that it does not take years of rapport-building to get someone to like you and respect you, and it is incredibly easy to stand out in a good way. You just need to make someone confident that you will represent him well if he puts his reputation on the line by introducing you to his contacts. 

For example, one of the executives influential in helping me get my dream job in the NBA when I was only 21 was someone I spoke to for less than three minutes in-person.  I simply introduced myself to him the right way at a networking event.  The result?  He connected me with five of his best contacts after we spoke briefly on the phone the next week.  I’d be willing to bet he had some family members (i.e. people he “knew” very well) that he would not have been willing to do that for…

Networking is NOT all about who you know or who knows you.  Networking is all about who likes you and who respects you. 

Your first goal when you meet someone new should be to get them to like you and respect you.  Make sure to tune in to my next blog post when I’ll you how to do just that…

P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on  Job Search and Career Success Secrets, visit my web site at  (You can also learn about my speaking tour at  

-Pete Leibman (

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You!  7 Steps Towards Creating Your Ideal Career After College” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)

-Founder of Dream Job Academy

-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

3 Little-Known Reasons Why Networking Is The Best Job Search Strategy (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

June 8, 2011

Your job search strategy impacts the interview process and how you will be treated after being hired.  No employer will admit this publicly because every employer wants everyone to think its hiring and HR practices are uniform for all applicants and employees.  Based on my own experience and some “off-the-record” conversations with employers, that’s a load of garbage.  Here are 3 little-known reasons why Networking is the best job search strategy: 

  1. Networking leads to easier interviews.  Without exception, interviews I have managed to land through job boards or traditional channels have always been much tougher than interviews I have gotten through personal contacts and networking.  This makes sense.  If an employer doesn’t know you or the person who referred you, they should test you more during the interview process.  When I walked into the Washington Wizards’ offices when interviewing for a full-time job as a 21 year-old student, I was not “some kid found through”  Instead, I was “the kid referred by their former Vice President.” What do you think that did for my credibility before I even showed up for the interview?  My first impression was taken care of well before I ever walked into their offices.  Perhaps more importantly, what do you think it did for my confidence?  I walked in with a halo around my head, and after I got over my initial anxiety about interviewing with the Team President, I felt much more relaxed than in interviews with other companies where I lacked a personal connection.  (You still need to prepare impeccably for every interview.)
  2. Networking improves your ability to negotiate salary.  The way you come into contact with an employer also dictates your ability to negotiate salary, although negotiating power is usually pretty limited for students and young professionals.  In short, when you get yourself to the interview through networking, you position yourself as someone who is more resourceful, committed, and connected than someone who simply could be applying to jobs at random online.  That resourcefulness and focus also makes you appear more valuable and makes the company want you more.  Want proof that this matters?  I once negotiated a $50,000 increase in my starting salary because I knew the CEO of a company interviewing me.  The chances of me being able to do that if I had landed my job interview after applying through a job board?  Zero.
  3. Networking leads to better treatment after you are hired.  The way you come into contact with an employer during your job search also dictates how you will be treated after getting hired.  Again, no organization will admit this to be true.  However, if you get hired because you know a senior executive for the employer, you better believe you will be treated better than if you somehow manage to get hired without any personal/internal endorsements.  Part of this will be subconscious, and part of this will be intentional.  The employer will feel more invested in you if you know someone on the inside before you start your job.

P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at


-Pete Leibman (

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You: The Blueprint On How To Take Charge Of Your Career As A Young Professional” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

4 Keys for Business Cards for Job-Seekers (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

March 29, 2011

I did not have business cards during my job search when I got my dream job to work in the front-office for an NBA team at the age of 21.  I don’t  believe they are essential to your success as a job-seeker either. 

Having said that, if you really want to have some cards created, they better look very impressive.  A business card that looks like it was printed on your home computer will diminish the value of your first impression.  In other words, it’s better to not have business cards than to have cards that look cheap or sloppy.  So, if you choose to invest in business cards, make sure you follow these 4 tips:

  1. Include a professional headshot.  I learned this by meeting hundreds of fellow professional speakers over the last few years.  Nearly all of them have headshots on their business cards.  The first time I saw a picture on a business card, I thought it was weird.  The 10th time I saw a headshot on a business card, I changed my mind (and my own business cards).  A LinkedIn profile lacks personality without a great headshot, and your business card will as well.  Just don’t make your headshot too big, or it can look obnoxious.  To be consistent, just use the picture from your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Include your full contact information: full name, professional email address, mailing address, phone number, and links to your relevant social media profiles (i.e. LinkedIn).
  3. Show your value.  Include a few bulleted points on the back of your card with several relevant achievements or academic/professional highlights.  Or, you could include a short (5-10 words) value statement where you express your dream/professional mission or where you state how you make other people/organizations better (i.e. like if my cards were to say “I help students and recent grads get their dream jobs”).
  4. Get your cards designed by a professional.  You can find a graphic designer at,, or  You could also just get a friend with a graphic design background to create them for you. If you are not a graphic designer, do not design your business cards yourself or they will probably look amateur.

How can you tell if your cards appear to be high-quality?  People should actually comment on how great they look.  If they don’t, throw out your cards and get some new ones (or just focus on what’s most important: having real conversations with people and building real relationships)!

P.S. For more free tips on how you (or your group’s members) can get their dream jobs and advance their careers, visit my web site at

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day


5 Myths and Truths About High-Performing Salespeople That You Need To Know To Get Your Dream Job (Written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

January 31, 2011

What pops into your head when you hear the phrase “salesperson?”  Chances are you’ll think back to some time you dealt with a sleazy, slimy, pesky salesperson who tried to jam a product or service down your throat.  Given the behavior and demeanor of the typical salesperson, most people have misconceptions about what it takes to succeed in sales.

When I was in college (before I started my sales career), I assumed that you had to be sleazy, tricky, and dishonest in order to be a good salesperson.  Since I am none of those things, I wasn’t sure I could cut it in sales.

However, after setting a number of sales records in the NBA, I realized that the best salespeople are those who truly care about their customers.  If you have integrity and you’re good at building relationships and professional friendships, you can be great at sales. 

Approach your job search like a high-performing salesperson approaches his work, and you will land your dream job faster and with less effort.  Here are 5 myths and truths about high-performing salespeople:

Myth #1: High-performing salespeople have inborn qualities that low-performing salespeople do not.

The Truth: Not everyone can become “the Michael Jordan of sales,” but selling is a skill that can be learned by anyone. 

Myth #2: High-performing salespeople are dishonest and tricky.

The Truth: High-performing salespeople have integrity.  Customers buy from salespeople they trust.

Myth #3: High-performing salespeople are very aggressive and confrontational.

The Truth: High-performing salespeople build rapport with their customers; rapport is not built through force or manipulation.  Customers buy from salespeople they like.

Myth #4: High-performing salespeople are lucky.

The Truth: High-performing salespeople create their own luck by having a positive attitude, being well-prepared, and taking massive action to achieve their goals. 

Myth #5: High-performing salespeople are focused on their own needs and desires.

The Truth: High-performing salespeople are focused on their customers’ needs and desires.  They focus on how they can help the customer, not on how the customer can help them.

In summary, if you want to get your dream job, you need to think and act like a high-performing salesperson.  Anyone can learn how to sell.  Demonstrate integrity to build trust, be likeable to build rapport, create your own luck by having the right attitude and by taking the necessary steps, and make sure you always focus on the needs and desires of the people you want to buy you (aka to hire you).

If you like this post or want to add your thoughts, please comment below!

7 Questions Employers Have That They Won’t Ask You (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

January 21, 2011

When I had to hire my first employee for one of my businesses, 7 concerns swirled around my mind.  The person who eventually got the job was the one who addressed all of my concerns with how he presented himself to me.

If you want to get your dream job, you need to understand what is going on in the minds of the people in a position to hire you.  No matter what organization you want to work for, and no matter what type of work you want to do, every employer and hiring person is secretly asking themselves 7 questions about EVERY job candidate and potential new hire. 

Many hiring persons probably don’t even recognize that they are subconsciously asking themselves these questions, and none of them will blatantly ask you these 7 questions.  However, you still need to address them in every interaction you have with potential employers:

1. How much can we trust you?  If an employer doesn’t think they can trust you, you aren’t going to get hired, no matter how talented you are.  Position yourself as someone who can be trusted.

2. How hard are you willing to work? If employers think you are lazy or unmotivated, you aren’t going to get hired, no matter how talented you are.  Position yourself as someone willing to work hard.

3. Are you going to be a pain in the “neck?” If employers think you are going to be tough to manage or get along with, you aren’t going to get hired, no matter how talented you are.  Position yourself as someone who gets along well with others.

4. Are you going to have one foot out the door from day 1?  If employers think you aren’t committed to their organization for the long-term, you aren’t going to get hired, no matter how talented you are.  Position yourself as someone who really wants to work for the selected employer.

5. How much are we going to need to hold your hand?  If employers think it will take a lot of time and effort to get you up to speed, you aren’t going to get hired, no matter how talented you are.  Position yourself as someone who can contribute from the start.

6. Are you going to embarrass us?  If employers think you won’t represent them well in-person and online, you aren’t going to get hired, no matter how talented you are.  As social media and the Internet continue to evolve, this is becoming more and more important.  Position yourself as someone who is professional and responsible.

7. Are you more than capable of delivering the results we need in this position?  If employers don’t think you can get the job done better than anyone else, you aren’t going to get hired, no matter how talented you are.  Note: if you satisfy the first 6 concerns, this concern is often eliminated, even if you don’t have a lot of relevant work experience. 

The hiring process is like dating in many ways.  When you first meet someone, you size them up (subconsciously or consciously), and you make judgments about their personality, character, value, and how much you fit with each other. It’s the same with getting your dream job.  Overcome the 7 concerns every employer has about job candidates and new hires, and you will significantly increase your chances of getting your dream job!

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day


Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. To learn more about my programs and availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour (or for individual career coaching), please send an email to

6 Major Mistakes People Make When Sending Thank You Notes and Cards (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

January 14, 2011

If you simply do what you say you will do, you will rise to the top of any company, organization, or industry.  If you go above and beyond what you say you will do, you will be absolutely unstoppable.

One way to go above and beyond is by sending a personalized thank you note/card any time another person does something to help you.  Yes, this sounds basic, and I realize I’m not the first person to tell you this.  However, I guarantee you aren’t sending thank you notes as often as you should, and if you are sending thank you notes, they aren’t having the impact you hope they will. 

Here are 6 major mistakes people make when sending thank you notes and cards:

  1. You don’t have your supplies handy.  At all times, make sure you have thank you notes, envelopes, and stamps in your office and/or home.  If they aren’t easily accessible, you’ll be much less likely to send them.
  2. You aren’t a speedy sender.  If someone gives you career advice over the phone, send your thank you note right after your call.  If someone meets with you for an informational interview or a job interview, send your note right after your meeting.  The longer you wait, the less likely you will send your note.
  3.  You don’t type AND write. Type a short email (or message) AND send a handwritten letter.  In today’s electronic world, people expect a thank you note to be sent rapidly via email, so send your electronic message within a few hours.   (I remember once being peeved that a friend had not emailed me to thank me for donating to a charity event she was participating in.  Luckily, I didn’t say anything about it.  She never emailed me to thank me, but her letter arrived in the mail a few days later.)  By sending the email, you acknowledge the person immediately.  The letter then arrives a few days later as an added appreciation of the other person.  By sending both, you also make sure you reach the other person, in case they miss one of your efforts somehow.
  4. You don’t look professional.  Make sure you use decent stationery, write legibly and in black or dark blue ink, and proofread before you send your letter.
  5. You don’t use a personalized P.S.  Use discretion here, but you want to make people smile and/or laugh in your letter somehow.  Here are a few examples:

“P.S. Can’t wait to hear about your trip to the Caribbean!  You have to send me your pictures when you get back.” 

Or…  “P.S. It will be no small feat, but I think my Jets are going to destroy your Patriots this weekend.”  (In case you missed it, that was a reference to the Rex Ryan “foot fetish scandal.”)

6. You rely too heavily on automatic card-sending services.  Many of my friends use a card service like or  Personally, I think their cards look cheap and/or impersonal.  (Sorry if any of you are reading this!)  The purpose of a card (genuine, personalized appreciation and acknowledgement) is defeated when someone sends a card that they clearly mass-produced online and mailed to everyone they know without any personalization other than changing the name of the person the card was addressed to.  Letters sent by mail should be handwritten (even if it’s just 1 sentence).  Or, if they are typed, they should include a message unique to each person (even if it’s just 1 sentence).

2 Bonus tips for thank you notes after informational interviews or job interviews:

  1. Sell yourself: Include 1-2 sentences (no more than that) to reiterate why you want a certain job and why a certain employer should hire you. 
  2. Use 1-2 sentences (max) to address any mistake, confusion, or omission from your informational interview or job interview. 


In summary, thank you notes are absolutely imperative.  When done right, they can build deeper relationships and help you advance your career.  Want proof? People often thank me for sending them a thank you note!  The greatest gift you can give someone is your genuine appreciation.  Start giving the gift of a great thank you note today.

 P.S. Please share your comments or thoughts as well!

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day


Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. To learn more about my programs and availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour (or for individual career coaching), please send an email to