Career Advice – Always Bring A Gift

Jan 26 2011 in Featured, Networking/Social Networking, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

career advice, job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career information, career help, career tips, career info, job search info

Sometimes I see great ideas for career advice in unusual places. This unusual place was a signature block – one of the best I’ve ever seen.

I got an email from Mary McFarlin of LinkedNChicago that contained one of the best signature blocks I’ve ever seen. Mary has been a wonderful mentor to me in community building and I’ve been fortunate to have benefited from her trailblazing efforts as a group leader and networker extraordinaire.

Mary’s signature block was simple, but amazingly powerful. It said simply … “Always bring a gift.”

This is a brilliant concept for job seekers as well as networkers. When we’re invited to someone’s house for dinner, we bring a gift – flowers, a bottle of wine, dessert. When we’re invited to be someone’s houseguest for the weekend, we bring a small gift of appreciation, or at least something tasty to share.

So my career advice today is … Why not extend this gift giving into our job search?

Of course you’re not going to bring a bottle of wine or flowers into an interview, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still bring a gift. You can bring a gift whenever someone talks to you on the phone, whenever someone takes the time to listen to your voice mail, or reads an email you sent.

Why give a gift to someone who reads your email?

Giving a gift makes you memorable. First, because almost no one other than you would think to give a gift, just for reading your email. Second, because it’s just so incredibly nice. Third (and most important) is because the gift is thoughtful, because it provides special value for the recipient.

What kind of gift could you give that does all this, yet isn’t a bribe?

This gift doesn’t have to cost anything more than effort. The less it costs, the more valuable it usually is (sounds strange, no?).

The gift is information. If you had to pay for it, then it’s probably public information, and isn’t very valuable. Private information, usually free, is the most valuable.

The gift I suggest can take many forms:

  • Information: In your emails and voice mails, give information that’s valuable to the recipient. Competitive information, leads, names of top recruiters or vendors, industry information
  • The hint of more information: Gives the recipient even more reason to call you back, other than to just say thanks
  • Value: Give information that the recipient can only get from you. Don’t bother with information that they’ll hear on the 10:00 news, it doesn’t carry much value.
  • Relevant: Make sure the information you give is relevant and interesting to the recipient – which means different information for different people
  • Customized: The more customized the information, the more appears that the information was given only to the recipient
  • Provide value: If your gift can’t provide value to the recipient, it isn’t worth giving and could appear shallow
  • WIFT: Make sure that you know what’s in it for them. If you do, your gift is much more likely to provide value.

Most importantly, when you bring a gift you pay it forward. Not just talk about paying it forward, not just giving it lip service … you’re actually delivering on the promise of paying it forward. Delivering on this promise brings dividends – to your job search, your networking efforts, your career and to your life.

Mary’s gift to me was her signature block that inspired this article. Hopefully, my articles and webinars provide my gift to you for your readership.

What gift will you bring?


Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

To attend our next complimentary live webinar featuring action items to double your resume response rate and number of interviews, plus live career Q&A with Phil Rosenberg of reCareered, register at .

Available Now On Amazon: Job Search Secrets - Rethink Your Job Search Now, By Phil Rosenberg

Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

Download Job Search Secrets on Amazon

Join our mailing list for newsletters, announcements of complimentary upcoming webinars and other job search resources. Sign up at

For access to more information:
Connect to Phil Rosenberg on Linkedin:
Follow reCareered on Linkedin:
Like reCareered on Facebook:
Follow Phil Rosenberg on Google+:
Follow reCareered on Twitter:
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin:

Author: Phil Rosenberg

You might also like

Dirty Rotten Job Search Tricks: Find the employer behind a recruiter’s ad How many times have you thought: "If only I could get to the hiring manager ... " Who says you...
Dirty Rotten Job Search Tricks: Become A Shareholder How many times have you thought: "If only I could get to the hiring manager ... " or "If only I could...
A Seat At the Table With the Expert – Jackie Bassett Jackie Bassett joins us today to discuss the media industry, and demand for new media professionals.Jackie...
Can Linkedin Company Pages Help You Find Unadvertised Positions? Many job seekers can find Linkedin company pages to be a useful tool in their search. This often overlooked...