John Tanrnoff

John Tarnoff is an executive and career transition coach, speaker, and author who supports mid and late-career professionals in defining, planning, and achieving more meaningful and sustainable careers. Fired 39% during his 35 years as a film producer, studio executive and tech entrepreneur, he learned how to turn setbacks into successes in a volatile business. He reinvented his own career at 50, earning a master’s degree in counseling psychology to share his career lessons with others going through similar challenges. Since leaving entertainment in 2010, John has coached individuals, groups, and led career workshops for university alumni, including for UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Corporate coaching clients have included Bank of America, Bridgewater Assoc., Levi-Strauss, Softbank, TD Ameritrade, and Thrive Global. He is the author of the best-selling Boomer Reinvention: How to Create your Dream Career Over 50 and has been named a Top Influencer in Aging by PBS/NextAvenue.

What Is The Book (Or Books) You’ve Given Most As A Gift, And Why?

Getting Things Done by David Allen, Range:Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

What Purchase Of $100 Or Less Has Most Positively Impacted Your Life In The Last Six Months?

72% Dark Chocolate (recurring)

When You Feel Overwhelmed Or Unfocused, Or Have Lost Your Focus Temporarily, What Do You Do?

Meditate for 20 mins.

What Are Bad Recommendations You Hear In Your Profession Or Area Of Expertise?

“Hide your age on your resume.”

In The Last Five Years, What New Belief, Behavior, Or Habit Has Most Improved Your Life?

Journaling daily to set my intentions for the day.

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?

My dog.

If You Could Have A Gigantic Billboard Anywhere With Anything On It — What Would It Say And Why?

Forgive yourself. You’re doing the best you can.

How Has A Failure, Or Apparent Failure, Set You Up For Later Success?

Raised millions for a startup that ended up going bust during the tech bubble in 2001. The lessons are endless.

Forgive yourself. You're doing the best you can.

John Tanrnoff

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”?

Ask questions. Don’t ignore any advice, but don’t necessarily follow it.

What Careers Advice Would You Give To Your 21-Year Old Self?

Go slower. Ask more questions. Believe in yourself.

What is currently wrong with the recruitment process today?

Relies too much on “hard skills” and not enough on “soft skills.”

What is the most common mistake you see people make when applying for a job?

Chasing open positions instead of building relationships.

What is a useful skill someone could learn in one minute?

Wait 5 seconds after someone finishes speaking before responding.

Can you give us your most important formatting tips?

Use spell-check.

How does your resume advice change from a 20 year old to a 50 year old?

Fit it all on 1 page -> Fit it all on 2 pages.

Are Resume's Dead?

No, but they won’t get you the job.

Top things to AVOID putting on a resume?

  1. Your phone number
  2. Your star sign
  3. Your proficiency with Microsoft 365

What's your favourite colour?


What's your favourite holiday destination?


What one thing in life do you consider to be overrated?


What are you NOT Very Good at?

Hiding my feelings

What's your star sign?