Job Hunting Tips for Women

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto", February 18, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

Watch "Your World w/Cavuto" weekdays at 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: What are the biggest mistakes women make when looking for a job? Well, if you're not sure, this segment is definitely for you.

With us now is Tory Johnson, the founder and CEO of Women for Hire, which is launching its spring recruiting season tomorrow in the Big Apple.

Tory, good to have you.

TORY JOHNSON, WOMEN FOR HIRE CEO: Thanks for having me.

CAVUTO: I was kind of playing with words in the last segment, but I think it is true. I think men are better blowhards than women when it comes to promoting themselves.

JOHNSON: They definitely are, but that's a good thing. It's not something to criticize about.

CAVUTO: Why is that a good thing?

JOHNSON: Because the more you can be aggressive and out spoken, the more you can toot your own horn and claim your successes and celebrate your accomplishments, the better chance of getting a job. Getting a job or getting a promotion.

CAVUTO: So are men more talented, or just do they have bigger mouths?

JOHNSON: It is maybe they have bigger mouths. I certainly wouldn't say they are more talented than women. I think they are more confident. They're less worried about coming across as conceited or a show-off or braggart. Those things don't necessarily enter into their minds. But they certainly enter in the minds of women, and that often holds us back.

CAVUTO: All right. Let's talk about some of the things that women can do to sort of avoid some prominent mistakes.


CAVUTO: One is their lack of clearly defined goal. What does that mean?

JOHNSON: That's right. A lot of the women that I talk to will say, I'll take anything, I just need a job. And they think that it shows a lot of flexibility. Instead, it shows desperation.

So you want to have a goal that you are going after. If you don't have that goal...

CAVUTO: Even if the hiring environment is tough, as it is now?

JOHNSON: That's right. Have a couple fallbacks. Nobody is qualified to do absolutely anything. So you want to have a goal in mind.

CAVUTO: All right. Now, reliance too much on the resume.

JOHNSON: On a resume, yes.

CAVUTO: Why is that bad?

JOHNSON: The problem with that is we are bombarded in this Internet age with messages that say, just apply online and the jobs will come to you. And when you solely apply online, and you are just relying on that resume to sell yourself, you do yourself a disservice.

Instead, you need people to help sell you. So attach a referral to that resume. Get people who will speak up on your behalf.

CAVUTO: All right. But you argue, too, that women aren't good at mixing business and pleasure. Like the golf outings that men go on...

JOHNSON: That's right.

CAVUTO: And kind of seamlessly do this. They have to get better at that?

JOHNSON: That's right. Much better at that. There's nothing wrong with mixing it up. I can ask my neighbor for sugar and ask my neighbor for job advice. I can talk to my...

CAVUTO: Why do women feel funny about that?

JOHNSON: Because we see this imaginary boundary there and we don't want to cross that boundary. We're very respectful of our friendships and we think that...

CAVUTO: And men aren't?

JOHNSON: I think that men realize that there is nothing wrong with it. It's not that men are disrespectful.

CAVUTO: So women need to be more like men?

JOHNSON: In this area, absolutely.

CAVUTO: All right. Now, you say also discomfort with self-promotion, women generally are not by nature braggarts.

JOHNSON: That's right. We worry about coming across as conceited or a show-off. And so my message is, in a job search, toot your horn. Don't view it as bragging, view it as selling yourself. Employers want to hear that.

CAVUTO: But you also argue that women don't like this whole idea of negotiation, period.

JOHNSON: That's right.

CAVUTO: What is...

JOHNSON: Whether by nature or nurture, smart girls are taught we don't talk about money, and that is totally wrong. And when you don't negotiate, and when you simply sit back and say, I'll take whatever is offered and I'll just sort of hope for the best, you don't get the best. You don't -- they don't sort of look at you, three months, five months down the line and say, oh, you know what? Mary has been doing a really good job. We're going to pay her what she is worth now.

CAVUTO: But Tory, I don't see that like I used to. I see a lot more diligent, even militant women in the workforce who are very forceful and very decisive at getting their point across.

JOHNSON: When it comes to negotiating on their own behalf, they are not necessarily that way. Your producer, for example, might be great at booking the best guests for you, being great on your behalf. But on her own behalf she might not be as strong.

CAVUTO: See, but I take the credit for everything that goes right. Then I blame her for everything that goes wrong. Isn't that fair?

JOHNSON: Absolutely.

CAVUTO: No? All right.

JOHNSON: I would expect no less from you.

CAVUTO: Thank you very much. Tory Johnson, Women for Hire. It's an interesting read. I guess it's good for men and women. Just things to keep in mind.

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