Sarah Johnston’s The “Briefs” Job Search Newsletter – Issue #22

Dear Reader:

I ran cross country and track in high school– before earbuds, and Apple Watches were a thing. The only thing I had to rely on was my old New Balance tennis shoes and my mental stamina.

While I was never a major race winner, I was typically a top finisher. And like many runners, I had my own race day strategy. For me, I liked to run a consistent and conservative first mile and then start picking up the pace in mile 2 and then finish strong with an adrenaline-fueled sprint at the end.

This strategy typically worked for me, with one exception.

I was running a smaller race and having a great run. I came out of a wooded area into a grassy clearing and was greeted by some cheering high school students. They started yelling, “final stretch! You’ve got a half-mile left!”

All of the racers started picking up the pace.

I knew my final time was strong, but I didn’t realize I was so far along in the race. I, too, sped up.

And then…. we realized that we had been pranked.

Even though I’d just run like I was approaching the finish line, I still had a mile to go. I let the noise impact my race.

Job seekers often make this same mistake.

Don’t let the noise from the news headlines impact your job search. Over the next few months, you could see headlines encouraging you to trade up “Join the Great Resignation” or more doom and gloom attention-grabbing “viral” headlines like “Worst Q1 in Decades.” Sometimes the headlines are informative. Sometimes they are click-bait. Follow your own job search strategy and keep a consistent “pace.”

Take the long-range approach in a job search, and don’t make decisions based on one headline that you read.

I hope that you find value in the articles that I hand-selected for you this month based on what is trending and thought-provoking.

I’m rooting for you,


Landing Your Next Position

December Hiring is Different this Year - Briefcase Coach
December Hiring is Different this Year – Briefcase

December hiring typically sees a slowdown in new hire postings and job offers but this year trends are different. Uncover the reasons why and how to navigate the changing job market.

Making Your Next Move: The Three Fs of Job Selection
Making Your Next Move: The Three Fs of Job

Even the most effective leaders can struggle to make decisions at crucial pivot points in their careers. Jason Baumgarten outlines a framework that can help.

U.S. Job Market: Who's Quitting, Who's Hiring
U.S. Job Market: Who's Quitting, Who's

The U.S. job market has seen extreme fluctuations in 2021. Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa breaks down who’s quitting, who’s hiring and job seeking tips for 2022.

Holiday Job Search Tips & Resources - Job Search Journey
Holiday Job Search Tips & Resources – Job Search

Executing a holiday job search or remaining active in a job search during this time of year has its benefits. Job Search Journey has new tools available to help you navigate.

Salary Negotiation

How To Avoid Salary Negotiation’s 'Dirty Dozen'
How To Avoid Salary Negotiation’s 'Dirty Dozen'

The best way to learn how to negotiate your pay is to figure out what *not* to do. Kate Dixon says to avoid these ‘dirty dozen’ mistakes to get great results.

Tech at Work

Tech tools are helping the millions of workers who quit find new jobs
Tech tools are helping the millions of workers who quit find new

Workers on the job hunt are finding aid in services like LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Instawork, as well as online communities and networking tools. Danielle Abril explains how to use them to land your next job.

LinkedIn's New Profile Redesign & Functionality
LinkedIn's New Profile Redesign &

Are you ready for the latest LinkedIn Profile Redesign and Functionality or do you already have it? Kevin Turner gives the ins and outs of the new rollout.

This New Tool Finds Job Openings at Companies That Will Help You Pay Down Your Student Loans
This New Tool Finds Job Openings at Companies That Will Help You Pay Down Your Student

Student loan repayment benefits have been on the rise. Kenadi Silcox showcases a new search tool that can help you find hiring companies that offer this growing assistance benefit.

Hot Topics

What Is The Metaverse? Facebook's Strategy And How Microsoft, Disney, and Amazon Could Win.
What Is The Metaverse? Facebook's Strategy And How Microsoft, Disney, and Amazon Could Win.

The Metaverse is here, and it’s not something to be afraid of. Josh Bersin provides insight into why Microsoft and Disney may really dominate this space. I’ll be honest….. the future sounds pretty creepy to me!

Facebook hiring recruiting crisis in leaked docs – Protocol — The people, power and politics of tech

Anna Kramer presents background into one of Facebook’s newest crises. Its hiring team for engineers cannot find enough candidates to meet demand and has struggled and failed to meet 2021 recruiting goals. I find these leaked emails to be interesting as they are likely indicators for the market.

Fined ... for Late-Night Texting
Fined … for Late-Night

“Right to disconnect” laws that ban firms from off-hour contacts are gaining steam in the EU. Korn Ferry explores the question – would they work elsewhere? I’d love to hear what you think on this topic.

Interview Preparation

Job Interviewing for Leaders and Managers | LinkedIn Learning, formerly

I’ve had the honor of working with hundreds of job seekers one-on-one over the years to help them present the best version of themselves on paper or in interviews. I got to work with the wonderful LinkedIn Learning team to create a course on interviewing using many of the strategies that I use with my private coaching clients. 

Using this link, you can access the course for free for a limited time. I hope that you find it beneficial. If you have trouble accessing it, please email me at

New Year, New You: Looking ahead to 2022

5 Accidentally Manipulative Things You Say At Work | HuffPost Life
5 Accidentally Manipulative Things You Say At Work | HuffPost

Monica Torres asked me and other career experts about what not to say at work. We gave examples that can subtly influence people into doing what co-workers and bosses want.

Try this simple one hour exercise to identify and maximize strengths
Try this simple one hour exercise to identify and maximize

Experience Design leader Klaus Heesch observes whether you’re a people leader or an individual contributor, you’ll want to optimize for your own strengths while leveraging and encouraging the strengths of your colleagues.

Navigating Workplace Fashion as a Plus-Size Person | Vogue
Navigating Workplace Fashion as a Plus-Size Person |

Dressing for work comes with an entirely different set of obstacles for larger bodies, but progress has been made. Vogue’sMarielle Elizabeth helps navigate how to return to the office in style. Thanks to Ed Han for initially sharing this article.

It’s not normal.

I have a kid who–when we are trying to get out the door– moves as slow as molasses.

It never fails, we always start the morning ahead of schedule, but then she forgets a coat or a lunch box… and then somehow, ten minutes later, we are still in motion to get the forgotten item …… and then we’re the last car in the carpool line.

I’m not the world’s most patient person, but I love my daughter and am working on it.


The theme of hiring around the holidays is “hurry up and wait.”

There is always a lot of urgency in Q4 hiring, but scheduling conflicts often make it difficult to get consensus.

This year is going to be no different. With “use it or lose it” PTO policies (and the fact that a lot of people didn’t take time off this year and have a bunch of unused days to burn!) it’s likely that the hiring process will get dragged out.

For example, as a job seeker, you may find that the recruiter *really* wants you to come in and interview with little notice… and then you may not hear from him or her for weeks.

Annoying… but normal for the season.

My best advice for you is to:

1. Plan on the fact that the interview experience may not be as smooth as you’d like

2. Ask the recruiter upfront at the beginning of the engagement what the hiring timeline is like.

3. Give grace to the hiring manager and recruiter.

Can you do me a favor?

I’m on a mission to help job seekers land amazing jobs. Would you consider doing one of the following:

  • Forward this newsletter to your job searching friends
  • Recommend me as a paid speaker for your company events on networking, job searching or leveraging LinkedIn
  • Recommend my services to high performers wanting to work one-on-one with an executive resume writer / or experienced interview coach


  • Sarah Johnston

    I’m a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. I have relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and have had to execute job searches in completely cold markets (where I literally knew no one!) I have been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space in 2019, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

Sarah Johnston

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