Career Tips

When They Write, You’re Right

By Lisa Parker

When I’m in a business meeting with someone, I rely on one simple sign to tell me if I’m on the right track with the information I’m sharing. It’s great when people are smiling at me and asking questions or making comments about what I’ve said, but the real winner for me is when the other person finds the need to write down something I’ve said. Then I know I’ve given the person something new and worth remembering.

Think about the interviews you’ve had. Did the interviewer ever grab a pen? Was your interviewer’s copy of your resume a graffiti exhibit at the conclusion of the meeting? If not, you’ve got some work to do.

If the interviewer was writing something down, what were you saying at the time? Was it something meaningful that the person might want to remember? Did you capitalize on their interest in that particular line of discussion? If it wasn’t really meaningful, were you inspiring them to put pen to paper about? Was it drivel that moved the person to write “talks too much” or “remember to buy eggs at the store” during that particular moment?

The true indicator of how interested a potential employer is in you comes in the form of a job offer. Don’t discount the clues offered along the way, however. Think of what you do when you are hearing something interesting and meaningful to you and look for those same actions in those you meet with. If you’re not seeing signs of interest, like a pen in motion, you’ve got to rethink your approach.


Lisa joined the Michigan State University Alumni Association as Director of Alumni Career & Business Services on May 1, 2012. Her primary focus is to develop effective networking and resource channels for experienced alumni interested in professional development and job search strategy assistance. Additionally, Lisa works directly with corporate, education, foundation and government partners seeking to attract qualified talent, retain and develop good employees, and establish collaborative relationships in line with their established goals and objectives.

With 15+ years’ experience in third party recruiting, Lisa offers a balanced understanding of both employee and employer perspectives.

Lisa is a firm advocate of the networking process and considers it a vital element in a successful job search. In addition to helping job seekers develop and best utilize networking contacts, Lisa shares her knowledge and insight-gained aiding corporate recruiting efforts-to give Spartan job seekers an edge in terms of lead sourcing, resume presentation and interview strategy.

Among Lisa’s notable accomplishments: Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar; Michigan Works Association Volunteer of the Year; Pink Slip Mid Michigan Planning Committee; career content blogger.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Michigan State University.


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