Q: I have been looking for work Since April of 2009. Given the bad economy, I gave myself until the end of 2009 to get a job (thinking that was allowing more than enough time). Here it is, January, and I don’t have a job. I haven’t even had more than a few responses to my resume. Based on some research, I’d like to have you help me out….. Before we get started, I need a pep talk because I’m angry and I think today’s hiring process and the whole resume game is a mess…
A: First off, take a look at my entry on why an outstanding resume matters. It doesn’t answer all of your questions, but it can help in making sense of something that is mad-making to many people.
I feel your pain. I got into the resume writing / career development arena because being on the other side of the table can be a very frustrating experience. Seeing so many worthwhile candidates that weren’t given any attention, I was inspired to look into what’s wrong with the system. Believe me, there’s plenty wrong with the nuts and bolts of a typical company’s hiring process; it’s often ineffective, clunky, inconsistent and biased.
That’s a mess that forward-thinking HR professionals, like myself, are grappling with.
That end of things is outside of your control. Job seekers need to stay focused on the reality of the current hiring environment, as flawed as it might be. For starters, you need an outstanding resume, a network and polished interviewing skills. That’s just for starters.
Most resume are crummy and some are average. That’s a kind version of the truth. I believe that most people struggle with resumes because everything starts to be a big blur. Questions such as “What do I say?” and “What do I put where?” start to boggle the mind.
Why is everything a blur? Well, it’s tough to write about ourselves in the best light possible. More than that, though, people aren’t encouraged to be introspective – to know themselves. Therefore, many people don’t have a handle on their strengths and their natural talents – those things that make living life as awesome as it should be. As I tell clients over and over, many people just go through the motions day after day with very little authentic career satisfaction. That’s not the way it should be.
So, that’s why everything can be a big blur, making an already irritating process even more so. It’s also the reason why a professionally crafted resume is a good idea. Remember, if a great resume is a critical piece in our current (broken) job-search reality, then you need one. Period. It’s non-negotiable so If you need help, you need help.
This reality is also how I’ve come to be very passionate about the career development work that I do. It is very gratifying to get clients thinking about things people typically put on the back-burner, such as striving to be more of the person you ARE as opposed to wasting energy in pursuit of others’ definitions of success and happiness.
When I hear people say that resume writing and career enhancement activities are a joke, I correct them. Many people need help with resumes and with what’s going on behind the resume. It’s our job search / hiring system that’s a bit of a joke, but it’s all we have for now. By arming yourself with the tools and support necessary to navigate it, you can make an imperfect system work for you.
Need help building a great resume or a more fulfilling career? Send off an e-mail.