- Manage Your Expectations: This is the best piece of advice that I could ever give to my clients – it is also really good advice for life in general. Many people, consciously or unconsciously, fall into the trap of setting arbitrary expectations about their job search – How many resumes to send? How long it should take? What is the employer thinking? Ultimately these questions, while good in themselves, are futile because the final answers lie outside their control – there are just too many “moving pieces.” So it a mistake to focus on things beyond immediate impact and can only spell frustration, disappointment, and loss of motivation. Better to focus on what actually is within the sphere of control – what resume tool they have available and how well they work the process. Since there is no way to predict how long the job search will take, it is essential to have the perspective, stamina, and confidence for as long as it takes. And not to settle early!
- No Resume is “One Size Fits All”: Job seekers should never plan on using the exact same resume and letter for each job opportunity. Different employers will look for different things, so clients should try and “mirror” their resumes to the actual job specs by customizing the documents as much as possible. This may mean more effort in the job search but will pay off by avoiding the impression of resume “cloning” and giving the job seeker a sense of traction and buy-in for the process. You can make your customization process easier by using a resume builder.
- The Best Resume is the One that Works: This brutal truth helps put things into perspective – it’s the only way I can figure how people with really bad resumes still get jobs. No resume, professional service or recruiter can or should guarantee interviews or jobs – this is impossible because there are too many moving pieces outside anyone’s control. Rather, getting the resume and reviewed and redone by a professional service with the proper credentials can increase the probability of getting noticed, employer interest and being tapped for at least an interview. Since resumes are essential to almost every job search, it can only improve your odds when you’re confident in your tools.
- Resumes are Naturally Polarizing: Jobseekers should not expect to get an interview with every resume they send out. Since employers look for different things, some will find your resume attractive, others will not. Some readers will love graphic-intensive resumes, others will like a cleaner, straightforward look. Actually, if you knew what each reader thought, it would be scary! But when an employer doesn’t call you for an interview, it is not meant to be a personal insult – their choice is based on specific requirements – things you can know, and internal dynamics at the company – things you can’t know. Bottom line, the job search is a numbers game. The best odds are with those who really worked on maximizing exposure for their resume. It is essential that job seekers not put all their “emotional eggs” in one basket, i.e. counting on only a few, haphazard opportunities. Rather, the job seeker can’t have too much exposure for their resume or LinkedIn Profile.
- Work the Process: Jobseekers must avoid the temptation of simply reacting to circumstances in the job search. My experience is that those who are proactive and persistent and who use their resume and LinkedIn Profile to drive the process will get real traction. This, in turn, will promote focus and stamina. In the old pre-Internet days, many would just wait for the Sunday Want Ads to come out; nowadays, online resources have replaced the newspaper – though, of course, simply clicking and pasting resumes and then waiting by the phone for the call won’t work. As we know, this approach does not work in dating and it certainly doesn’t work in the job search. All venues are valid: personal networking (the best tool), recruiters, researching companies online, community job clubs, and yes, posting resumes online and even ads in national or local newspapers can help. The real truth is – no one can predict absolutely where that golden contact will come from, so job seekers must be prepared for anything.
- Don’t Doubt your Abilities or Track Record: In all my years of writing resumes, 99.9% of my clients have exactly what they need, in terms of their abilities, to make the transition they want. What hinders them is more a lack of packaging, not really a lack of ability. Jobseekers should not focus on their weaknesses or gaps but work on showcasing their strengths and skills. This produces real confidence and motivates job seekers to stay on track through the process – plus it will help get them through those hard points when it seems no one is responding. Remember, the playing “cards of life” are shuffled every day! When you are determined, learn from your mistakes and adapt to new situations, success will inevitable.
Helpful Reminders For A Grueling Job Search
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