The Hire Leeward campaign is a five year campaign with the following goals:

1. Encourage Leeward residents to seek Leeward jobs.
2. Reduce traffic congestion to town.
3. Encourage better coordination with Leeward job employers and job seekers.
4. Encourage Leeward residents to buy from Leeward companies.
5. Hold job training events.
6. Improve the quality of life for Leeward residents.

– Pacific Buisness News

Successful job searching takes a lot of time! Get over it.

After mentoring and hiring hundreds of job seekers, the number one surprise response I get when I give advice on job search process is, “Wow, this takes so much time!” I’m even more concerned by the proclamation that, “I don’t have the time to put into this.”

I’m convinced there is a binary categorization of job seekers today: those who are committed and those who are hobbyists. Which one are you?

The committed job seeker (both the employee searching internally in his or her own company and the person looking at new companies) is willing to block out the appropriate amount of time, put in the hard labor required, and perform at the highest-quality level. Every written and spoken word and every action is thought through, checked and re-checked, and meets the highest standards possible.

Here are the entry-level criteria to be considered committed:

  • Articulate your job goal, in writing, and state it clearly to your network.
  • Build your job search tools such as a tracking spreadsheet and use your personal productivity technology to manage follow-up.
  • Prepare your sales approach; how you will position yourself to hiring managers, what your value is to them, and how you will present yourself.
  • Research positions, companies, industries, interview answers, and more.
  • Network with precision follow-up; build two-way relationships for the long term.

The hobbyist job seeker cuts corners, believes he or she is entitled to get a job, and tends to be the victim of others’ inadequacies. His or her work is sloppy, riddled with errors, and ordinary. The hobbyist’s excuses range from, “There is no point in doing all this research.” to “Why waste time on process when I should just be sending out my résumé?”


As in any job interview, the topic of salary is a sensitive one. Before inquiring head-on about your starting pay with a prospective employer, you need to find out how much the job (and you) are worth. Take time to research the job position and its current rate in the job field. It is also important to know the bottom line – how much your net pay will be. That way you will be prepared to get what you are worth and to get a job offer that is realistic and reasonable.


Equipped with your research and a clear idea of what you want, you can determine the salary range you are looking for and justification for the asking price you have in mind. Be flexible.


Therefore, the key word is preparation.  If you do a little research in advance, you will be prepared to have an educated conversation about salary.  You should also take into account what the “going rate” is for the position, size of company, etc. in your community.  Consider what is happening in your community and region for comparable work in the field.

In addition, do not get locked in a “take it or leave it” negotiation. Instead of giving a specific number, provide a salary range.  It is okay to say to the recruiter that you might need to know more details about the job’s duties and employee benefits before you can discuss a number.  A lot of factors have to be considered – such as healthcare coverage, the commute, 401k, and other company perks.


By being informed, confident and non-threatening, you may be able to negotiate for a higher initial salary amount, but you will have to do your homework and be prepared. Keep in mind that other “things” may come into the negotiation besides salary – change in job title, adjustments in benefits, office change, more responsibility, etc.  Even if you don’t get exactly what you want, you will want to leave the impression that you know what your worth is and you know what the job calls for.  Your knowledge and confidence may encourage them to consider you for another position they may have in the future.

As they say, a first impression lasts forever. Therefore, carefully plan and choose your outfit when you attend a job interview.  As you come face to face with your interviewer, your potential employer makes his/her first judgment as the interview takes place. Assessment is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That is why, in many cases, it is still important to dress professionally for a job interview, regardless of the work environment.

Unknown to many, the way you dress tells a prospective employer how you conduct yourself at work, how you manage your work flow, your work system and how you relate with other workers in the job place.

What is the appropriate dress code for an interview? In general, the candidate dressed in a suit and tie is going to make a much better impression than the candidate dressed in scruffy jeans and a t-shirt. You don’t want to be over dressed nor under dressed.

Do some research about the company, the environment, and even their annual company events. This gives you an idea how other employees dress for the occasion. You don’t always have to be formally attired but you should always be neat and clean.  When in doubt, always dress more conservatively than might be required. And don’t shower in cologne or perfume. Many times, it turns off others.


When writing your resume, always keep in mind that you are selling yourself to prospective buyers. Be factual, straight to the point, and focus on your best assets.


Don’t include exaggerated, technical words. Don’t use over statements. It gives the appearance of a “paid resume”. Highlight your achievements and your contributions from previous employment. Show your long permanent status (if applicable).  Employers are usually concerned when employees are constantly moving around every 6 months. It does not reflect permanency in job employment history.


Be creative and show impressive numbers.  Highlight your role on how you brought about new ideas, procedures, products, etc. This will put you in a better position than other candidates applying for the job.


Outside community work and extracurricular activities can be an advantage on your resume. Employers like a good leader; it shows initiative, strategic planning potentials and good decision-making.


When reinforcing your strengths, make sure they are tailored to the job position you are applying for. Don’t get carried away with itemizing all your talents that are not even job-related.


These are just a few tips to help you determine what to put on your resume.

Dress For Success

For more information, please contact our Dress for Success® Program Coordinator

(808) 695-2603 or email

1040 Richards Street
Honolulu, HI96813

Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership
1040 Richards Street
Honolulu, Hi 96813

Cynthia Yamasaki
(808) 695-2636



967 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI


Olsten Staffing

900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 1200

Honolulu, HI96813

(808) 523-3313



Oahu Work Links-Honolulu Office
(808) 586-8740

830 Punchbowl Street, KeelikolaniBuilding, Room 112
Honolulu, HI


Oahu WorkLinks- Dillingham Office
(808) 843-0733

1505 Dillingham Blvd., Room 110, DillinghamShopping Center
Honolulu, HI


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