Sharpen Your Interviewing Skills, March 26

On March 26, join the Training Committee as it offers you a fun and interactive opportunity to enhance your ability to answer the “tough” interview questions. This session will incorporate a Speed Networking activity. So bring your CAR stories and get ready to share them as you answer thought-provoking interview questions.

Great interviewing skills are a key component in your journey towards obtaining an offer of employment whether for a full-time position or a contract “gig”. They ensure you can clearly and concisely communicate the knowledge, skills and abilities you can contribute to future employers.

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4 Points of Connection: Public Speaking Workshops

Presenting with confidence is about being in touch with your inner self. Acknowledging your feelings and thoughts and managing self-judgement and anxiety, facilitate being fully present in the moment and communicating at your best. Connection with your Inner Self is one of the 4 strategic elements that will be part of Eileen Sinett’s upcoming class. Mark your calendars to come and learn the keys to successful public speaking and satisfying presentation performance.

  • Your personal investment is $495.00
  • 4-session program from 6:45 -9:00 pm on April 4, 11, 18, 25, 2018
  • Full-day program will be held from 9:30 am-4:30 pm on May 12, 2018
  • For details click here.

— David Milkes

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Shop at Amazon, Give Back to PSGCNJ! Triple the Amount this Month!

PSG of Central New Jersey has joined the popular program Amazon Smile. Whenever you place an order at Amazon, a portion of the total goes to PSGCNJ to fund our activities to help each other transition.

Since we are new to the program, from today until March 31, Amazon will give back 1.5% of your first purchase. After that, they will give back only 0.5%.

Click here to connect your Amazon account to Amazon Smile and enable donations to go to PSGCNJ.

— David Milkes

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Upcoming PSGCNJ Presentation: What to do When you can’t do What you used to do

On March 5, we welcome back our friend David Schuchman to present his talk, “What to do When you can’t do What you used to do”.

It may be that your former job function or industry has changed and requires professional skills you do not have. Or, you cannot keep up with the physical rigors of your old job. In these cases, you may not easily be able to find the job that you have previously done for so long. This program examines why you can’t do what you used to do, and discusses ways to leverage your professional expertise in order to move forward in your career.

David Schuchman is an active leader in the job seeker support community. He is the current Executive Chair of the Professional Service Group of Mercer County and a co-facilitator for New Jersey Job Seekers in Princeton, NJ. 

Professionally, David is an Information Technology services, training, and management consultant with his own company, Princeton Technology Advisors, LLC.

In David’s blog, TechTopics4U, he shares his opinions with readers on a variety of technology & management topics. In addition, David provides IT training classes in email marketing, blogging and social media, and he offers individual training on a variety of IT subjects.

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“What They Never Taught You in College” Presentation by Mark Beal

On February 20, PSGCNJ had the pleasure of having Mark Beal give his “What They Never Taught You in College” presentation to everyone.

He started off by talking about how he went on the PSGCNJ website before he came on Monday, and what struck him was the mission of the organization, which was to provide job seekers opportunities with encouragement, empowerment, education and inspiration to advance their careers.

Mark then spent some time talking about some lessons that were in the book he wrote called 101 Lessons They Never Taught You In College:

  • We should create our own path and figure out where we want to go. Set your own rules and go places no one has ever gone before. Do something non-traditional to get there.
  • Don’t follow the rules…transform the way you’re networking and meeting people. Companies will continue to value employees who transform.
  • We should work hard to meet people and keep finding ways to engage others. After all, it costs nothing to start a conversation.
  • Don’t stop networking. Mark is a big believer in cup of coffee meetings, for example. He said we’re hardwired to want to help each other.
  • Anything is possible.
  • What is your passion? Is there an industry, category, or brand that you’re really passionate about? Whatever it is, there are opportunities there.
  • Try something for the first time. Whatever it might be, there are ways to try new things to solve that riddle you’re trying to solve.
  • Face your fears. Unlock the brain and think what’s a different way around something.
  • Be a student for life. We’re all trying to learn from each other and grab insights. We should create our own syllabus to get us where we want to go.

He ended the presentation by saying the lessons are meant to inspire. They’re meant to shift the thinking a little bit.

— Melanie Chima


Mark Beal is an adjunct professor in the School of Communication at Rutgers University, and also managing partner of New York-based Taylor, one of the world’s leading consumer and sports PR firms. You can find him on Twitter.







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Landing Story: Angie Foster-Barnes

Back in December 2017, Angie Foster-Barnes, one of our members who contributed to the Marketing & Events committee, announced that she landed a position at Audible in Newark. She was kind enough to tell us about that journey:

“I made it a point to have a polished LinkedIn profile with an eye-catching headline, which is how I was discovered by a recruiter for the position. In addition, I updated my resume to reflect my accomplishments in a quantitative manner (i.e. not only stated what I accomplished, but how, and the revenue result).

“I interviewed with the recruiter first over the phone and conducted that screening the same way I would have for an in-person meeting…professional, showing my value. Many people don’t take recruiter phone screens very seriously especially ” if they’re “not well known. I recommend taking the opposite approach which is one way I was able to stand out from the crowd. I actually sent the recruiter a hand-written thank you note and followed up with her after one week.

As a result, I was selected for a phone interview with a Marketing VP. In preparation for the meeting, I created a reference document that outlined basic company information along with industry and news articles that I could reference in the interview. I relied on my findings to develop 4-5 relevant questions to ask at the end of the meeting to both evaluate whether the company was a fit for me, and demonstrate that I did my homework. 

After the initial (Audible) phone meeting, I was asked back for a series of in-person interviews in which I followed the same preparation process (along with practicing and recording my questions and answers to common questions). Customized thank you notes were sent to everyone I interviewed with and one week later I was offered a position which I gladly accepted.”

Key Elements to Angie’s Landing:

  • Attractive LinkedIn headline, which let her be found by the right person
  • Treat phone screens as importantly as in-person interviews
  • Reference documents for hiring manager interview
  • Prepare informed, relevant questions for hiring manager
  • Customized thank-yous (hand-written preferred)

Angie also had encouraging words for us as people in job transition:

Stay focused and take every opportunity seriously. At a minimum it is a chance to practice demonstrating your value. You have a lot to offer and any company is lucky to have you as an employee!!”

Finally, she gave PSGCNJ props for all their help:

PSGCNJ was an excellent resource in helping me to land my current position. The weekly meetings and special guests provided useful information that I was able to apply in my search for a new career opportunity. The members were friendly and encouraging which made my transitional journey more manageable. Many thanks to the members of PSGCNJ!!”

— David Milkes

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“3 Cutting Edge Communications You Can’t Afford to Ignore” Presentation by Alex Freund

On February 5, PSGCNJ was happy to have career coach Alex Freund give his “3 Cutting Edge Communications You Can’t Afford to Ignore” presentation to everyone. The 3 cutting edge communications he was referring to were “Tell me about yourself,” “The Elevator Pitch,” and “The Value Proposition.” Let’s take a closer take a closer look at each of them.

Tell Me About Yourself

Alex said this was typically the first question in the interview because the interviewer wants to form an initial impression — a starting reference point.  They need to see how you communicate with them.

  • Are you brief or are you lengthy?

He said being too long isn’t too good because you don’t know what frame of mind the interviewer is in or how much he or she is willing to listen to.

  • Are you focused or very general?

The interviewer is evaluating you and what you’re talking about.

  • Your body language

How do you communicate with your body language? The handshake leaves a first impression. He also said to never show your back to the interviewer when you walk in. You want to be friendly and nice. Also how you sit, how you look, and the tone of your voice also communicates things. Are you soft or are you loud when you communicate things? You want to maintain your tone of voice so that the interviewer can at least hear you. He also said the interviewer can tell when you speak with confidence, and it’s necessary to make a positive impression during the interview.

He said every interview question has 2 components – what you hear and what the interviewer is trying to find out. That part is hidden. When they say “tell me about yourself” it relates to your ability to solve their problem. It’s not about your personal past or your career progression.

The correct answer is a 5-step format:

  1. Summarize in one or two sentences what makes you professional
    • title, department size, area of responsibility, scope of work.
  2. Provide a concrete example of a success story that ends with recognition by a third influential party. For example, a supervisor, top leader or customer.
  3. At this point, ask the interviewer about his or her priorities. By asking this question you turn the interview from an interrogation to a professional dialogue. You need to find about ASAP what bothers them.
  4. Assume the interviewer’s answer indicates the need for someone to reduce cost by a certain percent, for example.
  5. You answer to his or her need with a relevant success story.

The Elevator Pitch

Alex says the purpose of the elevator pitch is to initiate a dialogue and from there develop a relationship. It is not about saying how amazing you were in your professional past.  It has to be 20 seconds or less and because of the time constraints, it is a challenge. Communicate who you are, what you do and what you are looking for at minimum. It’s both what you say and how you say it. You need to communicate something impactful to the audience, and practice it till it seems natural.

The Value Proposition

In the marketplace you’re a product, and you need to be clear what your values are. You have to do a self-assessment.

The value proposition requires answers to 4 questions:

  1. What is it that you do?
  2. Who are the customers that you support?
  3. What value do your customers obtain from you?
  4. What do your customers perceive as advantageous and unique to you?

Your value proposition has to be consistent everywhere.

Alex ended his presentation by talking about a class he’s teaching starting on February 13th via the Princeton Adult School. The class meets on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 pm — five consecutive weeks. The whole course is coaching with him, and you can find out more information on his website.

— Melanie Chima


Alex Freund is known as “the landing expert,” and can be found at



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