Laura Poisson

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ClearRock President Offers Tips in Huff Post Article

When Casey Bond was writing her article titled, “9 Seemingly Harmless Things You Should Never Have On Your Resume,” ClearRock President, Laura Possion was happy to offer the following tip about removing meaningless buzzwords:

How many ninjas and gurus do you know in your industry? Probably too many. These days, buzzwords like these have become so overused that they don’t mean anything.

“Many of these words don’t differentiate one candidate from another because they’re so generic,” said Laura Poisson, the president of ClearRock Inc. “We encourage our clients to describe their accomplishments rather than generic self-praise phrases.”

Poisson pointed out that many companies are moving toward behavioral-based interviews, which involve open-ended questions based on the premise that a person’s actions and accomplishments in previous positions are meaningful predictors of behavior and performance. “Set yourself up for success in your resume by describing your past performance,” she said.

Other phrases to delete from your resume: “team player,” “outside-the-box thinker,” “self-motivated,” “go-getter,” “hardworking” and “detail oriented.”

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Boston Business Journal Executive Profile: ClearRock’s Laura Poisson

ClearRock President, Laura Poisson, featured in Boston Business Journal

Laura Poisson could sing the praises of her company in more ways than one. She could take the conventional approach, politely rattling off her ClearRock Inc.’s accomplishments as a Boston-based leadership development, executive coaching and outplacement firm — including its list of high-profile clients or its nearly $3 million in revenue. Or, as a longtime lover of music and former member of the Up With People — and now leader of her own “pop and soulful” band, LP & the Vinyls — she could take the less-conventional approach, literally singing away.

“I’ve always loved singing,” says Poisson. “When I was young, I would be wearing my mother’s clothes, standing on a chair and use a hair brush as a microphone as I sang.”

Today, as the head of the 15-employee firm she hopes can eventually triple in size, she has a lot more keeping her busy than a desire to sing. ClearRock, which Poisson purchased two years ago after working at the firm since 2011, helps companies and nonprofit institutions to map out their hiring needs, conduct leadership assessment and training programs, and manage other personnel issues via its coaching consultants. ClearRock also helps companies with outplacement needs to part ways with employees who just aren’t working out.

Among ClearRock’s clients are Harvard University and Boston University, and the firm has clients in tech, biotech and health care companies in the Boston area.

“Their coaches have done real good work with some of my executives,” said Ed Boyajian, chief executive of EnterpriseDB Corp., a Bedford database-software company with 330 employees. “We use all of the services that ClearRock offers. They have a unique niche, helping companies with their staffing (strategies) and offering a great range of services.”

He said such “talent management” services are particularly important for tech companies like his that are growing fast and “need to grow well.”

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ClearRock President Talks to Knox News about Informational Interviews

ClearRock’s president, Laura Poisson, shares how her informational interview led to her a job offer with the company. Check out this USA Today network interview with Laura.

Laura Poisson contacted Boston’s ClearRock Inc. ( for an informational interview in 2011. The company offers outplacement and assists job seekers in career transition. Two months later, she received an offer of vice president of client services and business development. In 2016 she became the owner and president, a position she retains.

Perhaps the least understood job-hunting vehicle, the informational interview benefits job seekers in a number of ways when used correctly. It can lead to referrals within a company or outside of it. It offers a good, low risk opportunity to practice self-promotion. Occasionally, it leads directly to a job, although such cases are rare.

What is an informational interview? Richard Bolles, author of the posthumously published “What Color Is Your Parachute? 2018″ (  (Ten Speed, $19.99), defines it as the process of “interviewing workers who are doing work a person . . . might be interested in doing . . . to discover if they are on the right track.” Poisson says that these interviews provide the opportunity for relationship-building while you do a little detective work.

You might be tempted to turn an informational interview into a job interview, but that’s a privilege best left to employers. Tad Mayer, Founder of Career Negotiations (career in Burlington, Massachusetts, where he’s a career coach, trainer and speaker, cautions that “the person you asked for the meeting may feel you pulling a ‘bait and switch’. … It will not exhibit integrity or build trust.”

Mayer continues that you risk appearing unfocused: “You came asking for information and are now fishing for an interview. It will be hard for him or her to be impressed (or to) refer you to an opportunity that s/he hears about in the future.”

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Clear Rock comments about surviving a bad manager

Laura Poisson, President of ClearRock, Inc., recently commented for about how to thrive in your new job when you have a bad manager.

Boss shouting at employee

How to thrive in your new job when a bad manager cramps your style

January 05, 2017 by

Congratulations on landing that first job out of college. The hard work has paid off.

Now welcome to the real world. A world where bad managers can quickly turn fun, exciting new jobs into a recent college grad’s worst nightmare.

“Getting a job one loves is a wonderful accomplishment for recent college graduates,” says Laura Poisson, President of ClearRock, Inc., a Boston-based career transition, outplacement, leadership development, and executive coaching firm. “However, having to deal with a bad manager can make that new job a nightmare. It is often hard, especially for a younger person or someone who is new to a company, to determine the best way to deal with a difficult boss.”

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