Relevant a key word in search 

Relevant, pertinent, germane, material, apposite, apropos.

These adjectives describe what relates to and has a direct bearing on the matter at hand. Something relevant is connected with a subject or issue: performed experiments relevant to her research.

"Relevant" is a very important word to learn if you're in the workplace or searching for a job.

If you're an older worker or job searcher, become "relevant" as to dress, work skills, language, style, trends and culture. Learn to work with younger co-workers and supervisors, not against them.

Lose phrases like, "Well, back in the day we used to ..." Nobody wants to hear — younger managers are learning what you know and will ask for your input if they want it. Work with your managers and stay "relevant."

If you are in interviews, keep focused on your objective, but stay "relevant" by actively listening to your interviewers for clues as to their needs and for clearly stated questions. By actively listening, you may hear opportunities to communicate how your skills or experience may help solve their problems. By actively listening, you can respond to questions asked with "relevant" answers. Keep focused on your objective, but keep listening to stay "relevant."

For example, if you are currently unemployed, you can bet you will be asked why you left your last job. Be ready. Don't respond with something like, "Well, you know ..." That won't work — it will only show that you weren't prepared for the question. Prepare an answer that shows strength and purpose and "relevance" to the job you are seeking. Maybe: "Although I know it's better to stay employed while job searching, I was in the wrong job for my skills and abilities and left to spend quality time searching for the right position."

Planning, thinking, researching, focusing on objectives and active listening will help you stay relevant to an employer's needs and your goals. Active listening is crucial, in the workplace and the job search. You must listen to the question to be able to communicate the answer needed. Nothing is more frustrating than asking a question and getting an answer that is what the other person is thinking, but not "relevant" to your question.

There is a time to listen and a time to talk. Stay focused on what you want to accomplish by actively listening and maintaining "relevance".

Do what others fail to do!

Marvin Walberg is a job search coach, and has contributed 'Getting Hired" since 1991. For contact information, visit

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