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The Phrase Job Seekers Hear the Most

August 4, 2016
Education and Employment Program Newsletter

Justin Cartagena is St. Ann’s on-site Education and Employment Counselor. Every month, Justin writes and distributes an informative newsletter for his clients. It is always packed with useful employment tips, career advice, and recommended reading.

Below is an excerpt from the August 2016 edition (Volume 2, Issue No. 8) of the Education and Employment Program (EEP) Newsletter. To read this edition in its entirety, click here.

“Tell me a about yourself...”

We’ve spoken about this little phrase before but it’s so important that it needs to be covered multiple times. The truth is: it’s a hard phrase to respond to. There are so many ways to answer it and so many things you could say. We’re all multifaceted people; we like different things, we do different things, and we’ve had so much happen to us in our lives. So how do we effectively combat that daunting phrase? It comes during interviews but it also can make its way into daily networking (and we discussed how important networking is in our last issue).

Scott Ginsberg over at has a whole list of “10 creative ways to effectively answer the dreaded question...” But, what’s interesting is that Ginsberg suggests that the message is the answer of the question but more in your confidence, enthusiasm, and passion with which you answer it. As an education and employment counselor, I’ve asked people to tell me a little about themselves often and nine times out of ten there is hesitation and uncertainty. In a previous Newsletter we discussed this: no one knows your experiences better than you. Take comfort and be confident in that fact.

Ginsberg says that the, “biggest mistake you could make is pausing, stalling, or fumbling at the onset of your answer, thus demonstrating a lack of self-awareness and self-esteem.” I’m going to agree. That’s why I always suggest preparing a statement beforehand. Don’t read it out like a robot but use it as a guide to help you get your perfect answer.

Check out Scott Ginsberg’s full list and see if it helps!

This was an excerpt from the August 2016 edition of the EEP Newsletter

Click here to learn more about Justin Cartagena’s work as St. Ann’s Education and Employment Counselor.