Abby Kohut, aka “Absolutely Abby,” has hit the road in an RV on a 38 city speaking tour to help 1 million people get back to work. We recently spoke to her about what motivated her to travel the country and get her best advice for job seekers.
What inspired you to go on this tour? How many people have you met so far?
I have been educating job seekers since 2009 as Absolutely Abby, and although I was helping people, I wanted to help more. I decided that people in Florida and New Orleans needed help as much the people back home in New Jersey, so I decided to go out to meet them. I have probably educated 200,000 since becoming Absolutely Abby.
What is the biggest mistake you see people making in their search for jobs?
They are sending their resumes into the “black hole” instead of trying to network their way into a hiring manager at a company. These are skills that I teach people in my classes and in my one-on-one sessions.
What frustrations or complaints do the attendees at your classes have about their job search that HR professionals could change?
They are being brushed off because they are unemployed. HR professionals need to know that many of the unemployed population are out due to no fault of their own and are strong performers. It is a crying shame that these people are treated like criminals when they did nothing wrong.
How did you get into HR and become so passionate about this particular area, helping job seekers?
I was in computer sales and I volunteered to help my VP hire new sales reps. That’s how my recruiting career began and I have hired 10,000 people over the past 18 years. I want to help 1 million people because when you hire 10,000, you have to reject a million in the process.
Your philosophy is “Don’t Just Think Outside the Box…Think Outside the World.” Can you describe what “outside the world” means to you?
There are 3+ million jobs available but there are also many job seekers vying for these jobs. You have to find ways to differentiate yourself.
What is your No. 1 piece of advice for job seekers, regardless of industry, education level, or experience? What is the one thing that ALL job seekers should be doing?
Job seeking is an art and you CAN master it if you learn from experts who are providing the right kind of advice. Being a strong interviewer is key to the entire process. Learn and practice and then learn and practice more. You can win the game if you know how to play it.