Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Keep stories short

Q. I'm a pretty good storyteller, and when I start to talk friends and relatives usually sit around and listen because the stories are good and so is my delivery. Not so when I'm interviewing or networking. I see the people I'm talking to turn away looking over my shoulder, and I watch their eyes glaze over as I try and give them a really good idea of who I am and what I do. Is there something wrong with trying to make that great impression?

Ans. Unfortunately, potential employers or colleagues are not your relatives and friends. They don't need all the bells and whistles that your family does when seated around the dinner table.  Instead, you need to develop what the pros call a "two minute elevator pitch," Try and follow the successful formula Nicholas Boothman offers in his new paper back Convince them in 90 Seconds  for what he's dubbed "Your Ten Second Commercial". It has three parts: What you do, whom you do it for, and how it makes their lives better. Keep it short and to the point. Keep massaging it until you're sure everyone that hears it will say, "I'd like to hear more."  THEN you get to tell the dinner table story.

No formula for keeping seat in layoff

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