5 Tips to Guarantee You Don’t Get the Job


In this economy, who really needs a job? Work is icky and offices are boring. So here are 5 tips to guarantee you don’t get the job before you even get an interview.

Proofreading Scmoofreading. Nothing says, “Read no further” like an unproofed cover letter. Try this opening from one my old covers, “Dead Hiring Manager, I’m writing to inquire about . . .” Never heard from that guy.

Key—what? Got your eye on a sweet job? Don’t bother yourself by customizing your cover letter and resume to include job post keywords. You are you! You are unique! And you are perfect for this job . . . just like the 2,000 other applicants. Seriously, keywords? Waist of time.

A thing and some stuff. A guy I once went on a date with reminded me of the importance of speaking vaguely when telling me he was disinterested in seeing me again, “Yeah, so I’ll . . . do . . .  stuff?” When applying for a target job, try using an objective like “I want to work in a place that pays me money to do stuff.”

Leave being professional to the professionals. Darthvader@hireme.com? Yeahright@winkyface.net.

Hey, pal! Approach hiring managers like they’re your best friend. That obnoxious combination of informality and smooth charmer usually leaves a lasting impression . . .

I’d wish you luck, but I’m pretty sure you don’t need it.


Profile: Voila! Event Studio

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VoilaOpening-114-1If you haven’t noticed by the by the couples on park benches and picnic blankets, by the pollen in the air, or by the proliferating animals, it’s spring–which also means we’re headed straight for wedding season. So this seemed like a good time to highlight my friend Tyler, who recently realized her dream of becoming a full-time wedding and event planner.

What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about my faith, my family, and my business.

What made you decide to start your own business? 
From a young age I wanted to start a business because I was deeply impressed by my fathers entrepreneurism. One day the opportunity came and I went after my dream!

What do you like best about being a business owner?
I get to call the shots, I answer to my clients, not a boss, and I have a sense of freedom.

You said you’re passionate about your faith. How has being a business owner impacted your faith?
I have to trust that God made all of this possible because it is what I’m called to do. That is scary, especially when you are working hard all of the time and not necessarily seeing the fruits of your labor, immediately. You also have to remember to ask God to be a part of your business. Sometimes if you’re business is going well, you tend to forget to ask for God’s guidance because you don’t feel a need for it at the time. So I think staying humble and asking for God’s direction are important parts of being a Christian business owner, both during seasons of famine and in times of plenty.

Do you integrate faith into your business practices? 
Yes, I try to as much as possible. I mention my faith on my website and I treat my clients and industry peers with respect, honesty, and fairness. I try to keep my eyes open to any doors the Lord brings my way, whether it’s witnessing to a bride or encouraging a vendor, or another opportunity to bless someone through my business.

How do you want your clients to remember you or your business?
I want them to remember me as a fun, honest, genuine, organized, creative person, who really wanted to make their wedding day as unique and fabulous as they are. I want them to remember my business as a classy and sophisticated firm that more than exceeded their every expectation.

What have you learned about yourself through this process?
Your own business is really like your child in many ways. You have to give it constant attention, feed it, love it, help it grow, and keep it safe. So when you see it do well, you’re ecstatic. When you see it struggling, your heart aches. I have tried to rely on my faith to keep me more analytical and buoyant and less emotional and fatalistic when it comes to the ups and downs of every-day business.

What advice do you have for young professionals?
Don’t listen to the nay-sayers. You can do whatever you put your mind to. This is America where you have every opportunity in the world to achieve success and create your own American Dream.


Do you have any hidden talents?
I make a mean chocolate soufflé.


Twitter: @VoilaWeddings
Instagram: voilaeventstudio
Website: voilaeventstudio.com

Fear of Dogs will Prove to be a Snare

DogThe Proverbs say fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe (29:25).

That’s great, but what about fear of dogs?

It was the first warm, sunny day all week so I decided to go for an evening walk. I passed the neighbor’s house just as she was letting out her mini Dobermans. They tore across the yard, yipping all the way. I don’t mind dogs, so I kept my leisurely pace.

But as they came closer, I noticed they were baring their teeth. And growling. And they were headed straight for me. They are going to attack me! I thought. I jumped away as the one tried to nip my ankle. They came at me again and I considered running before I had a revelation: They were 6 inches tall. Practically doormats. I will not be bullied by a little dog.

So I stopped. I put my hands on my hips. And I glared. Their snarls turned to whimpers and they ran away. “That’s what I thought,” I muttered.

Then I laughed as I imagined that’s exactly how fear works. It comes fast, loud, and furious, hoping you don’t stop to examine its source, its size, or its validity. It feeds and grows on your knee-jerk reactions and continues its bullying pursuit. But once you stop and stare fear square in its beady little eyes, it slinks away like the weasley dog it is.

Fears are real, but in comparison to the size of God, they’re basically little dogs.

Now spiders on the other hand . . .

How do you deal with fears?

How to Succeed at Almost Anything


I took a rhetoric course in college of which I understood approximately 2%. This was probably because 98% of the textbook was written in Greek. That’s probably an exaggeration–I didn’t do so well in math that semester either. While I didn’t learn much about rhetoric, I did learn how to succeed at almost anything.

Each week our professor asked, “What was this week’s reading about?” And each week the class sat blinking. Maybe our responses were profound in Morse Code–either way, our professor wasn’t impressed. “OK, then,” he said one day. “Write an essay on this week’s readings. Compare and contrast the arguments, then pick a side and justify it. You can use your books. You have an hour.”

I skimmed the book and had no idea what I wrote, but it took the whole hour.

A few weeks later he handed our papers back and announced that save for one A and a smattering of Bs and Cs, most of us failed.

“Pss! Whadya get?” whispered my classmate. I turned and whispered back, “An A.” Her jaw dropped. “How did you do that?”

“I honestly don’t know. I just . . . followed the instructions.”

I didn’t consider myself particularly smart–in fact, there were a few students who talked circles around the rest of us about the intricacies of rhetoric (they probably spoke Greek too)–so I was as shocked as my classmate about my grade. That’s when I realized I didn’t need to be the smartest kid to succeed. I just needed to understand my professors’ expectations and follow basic instructions.

I ended up getting an A in the class and graduating school with the gold cord of honor.

It seems too simplistic to even point out, but this principle will serve you well long after your classroom days. Do you want a job? Do you want to win an audition?

You can perfect your resume, write a dazzling cover letter, and hone your interview skills to CEO-level awesome, but I guarantee none of that matters if you don’t follow the instructions on the application.

I know we live in a culture that prizes leadership. And as I type this, I find myself squirming at the idea of stepping in line. But here’s some real-talk:

There are times to deviate from instruction, to break some rules, and buck some systems. But for most of us, before we can rise or out-maneuver, we have to learn how the systems work.

Before we can be a good leader, we have to learn how to be a good follower.

Now, I think there are two kinds of followers:

  1. Those who like to be told (dependent)
  2. Those who like to be instructed (independent)

The first kind can result in blind acceptance and an inability to critically examine systems. The second kind–the kind I’m totally biased for–develops confident, multi-talented people and strong, independent thinkers. And these are the kind of people who inspire, the kind of people who enact change, the kind of people who should be leading.

The ability to self-start, self-teach, and self-direct is invaluable.

There are, of course, a few more traits that play into success: passion, hard work, courage, and persistence, among others. But it all starts with a few fundamentals.

Someone recently asked me about my proudest accomplishment. I couldn’t pinpoint one that screamed “Look at me!” So I told him I’m proud that I know how to follow directions.

I’m proud because it means I can do anything.

Even pass a Greek rhetoric class.


From Confrontation to Compassion | Love Ann Joy

My article From Confrontation to Compassion is live on Love Ann Joy today.


I talk about a bump in a particularly important relationship and the 5 ways Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend’s book How to Have that Difficult Conversation You’ve Been Avoiding helped us transform conflict into deeper understanding.

If you don’t know Cloud and Townsend, it’s time to meet them. They’re great. Seriously. They offer accessible, yet really profound insight on emotional health and healthy relationships.


Surf over to Love Ann Joy to read From Confrontation to Compassion and, of course, leave a comment!