Work In Progress: Can you hear me now?

Just as you listen to the shofar on Rosh Hashana, listen to those around you to be more aware of your work environment.

September 11, 2012 14:35
2 minute read.

Shofar. (photo credit: Wikicommons)


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One of the most powerful experiences of Rosh Hashana is hearing the shofar. It is the main focus of the day. The emphasis is on the hearing. The important thing is not blowing the shofar but listening to the voice of the shofar.

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Job seekers can enjoy this same, simple advice: Listen.

When making new contacts, sending your resume, approaching a potential employer or going for an interview, it can be easy to turn focus inward. It can be far more helpful and useful to focus attention on the person or information in front of you.

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The answer’s often in the question

By taking the time to read the job description completely, to understand every detail provided by potential employers, to listen carefully to an interviewer, the desired response, proper language and underlying meanings become clearer.
Take a moment to pause, absorb all of the information available, and then formulate an answer that is concise and clear.

Be aware of the needs of potential employers. Resumes and emails should reflect the words used in job descriptions and on company websites. Identifying and using keywords indicates that you are attuned to the values and goals of the company and on the same page.


During an interview, the interviewer can provide vital details about the environment of the company, the responsibilities required of the position and the atmosphere among the staff. Benefit from both verbal and non-verbal social cues by mimicking the language and the body language of the interviewer. For example, if an interviewer removes his suit jacket and leans back in his chair, it would not be appropriate to remain in a straightened position. As a candidate, sitting up straight and keeping your jacket on will likely cause you to appear nervous and tense.

Reflecting the language and behavior of the interviewer will also give insight into how well you fit in the position. If you are uncomfortable speaking or behaving as the interviewer does, it is likely that the role is not suitable.

As we take time out to enjoy the High Holy Days, reflect on ourselves and hear the shofar, we may also take time to hear those around us in both our personal and professional lives. By pausing to listen, we remember that there is much to gain by paying attention to the needs of those around us. A job seeker often sees only the immediate need; a job. Instead, try to accommodate the needs of potential employers. Balance and harmony will soon follow.

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