The Job Search
You have finally found the perfect position after days, make that months, of scouring the internet for job openings in the field that you love, in which you have experience and for which you are qualified. You dig around until you find the most recent copy of your CV, which is just a bit outdated. You realize you need to find the time to revise your CV and the job advert has an expiry date in the same week that you have to meet a critical deadline for work…you’ve hit your 1st obstacle.
Tailoring your CV/ Resume
You have heard that best practice is to tailor your CV to the job advert because one-size-fits-all CV’s just don’t cut it, given the stiff job competition. Your CV is so generic you could be Everyman. You need to craft it…meet obstacle number 2.
As an aside, please note I refer to CV/ Resume as one and the same due to how individual clients refer to them, not knowing/ caring about the technical distinction. And whilst that distinction is important, for the purposes of this article, it is not. For more information, please refer to: https://bit.ly/2S58YMN
Meeting the Job Advert Requirements
You realize you don’t have all the requirements listed in the job advert but you know that you have what it takes to deliver – the challenge you face is how to persuade the recruiter or hiring manager that you are The One. Perhaps it’s a lateral career move you are making and you need to present a business case stating why you are suitable using your transferable skills. Your heart sinks as you realize you’ve just encountered your 3rd obstacle.
Updating Your CV
Not to be dissuaded you put something together in haste. You add your most recent job responsibilities and recently acquired qualifications and hoping (make that praying) that the hiring manager will join the dots and see the light when they receive your CV, you press ‘Send’. Obstacle number 4 is that somewhere inside your mind is a message you don’t care to examine that whispers that you haven’t really done yourself / your job search justice but you rationalize it away by convincing yourself that you did the best you could under the circumstances.
Hiring Manager Follow-up
You hear nothing from your prospective employer so you follow-up with the hiring manager/ recruiter (that is if you were lucky enough to apply directly to the hiring manager and not via a job-board that had a form which made you feel more like a number and less like a person). You try to keep your email tone nice and friendly, confident without being pushy, definitely not too needy as you know that is a big No-No.
No Reply from Recruiter
More shrieks of silence or you get an auto-respond message, a generic “thank you for your application; we will reach out to you should we wish to discuss your application further”. In other words, obstacle number 5: “don’t call me, I’ll call you”.
Returning your attention to your CV you perhaps notice you didn’t include your phone number, your personal email address or your LinkedIn URL; maybe there were typos and formatting gremlins and you suddenly realize your chances are less than average as first impressions count. And average is slim nowadays: obstacle number 6. Down, but not out, you justify that this is the reason you didn’t hear from that prospective employer.
The Job Search Continues
Not to be disheartened, you continue the job search, addressing the gremlins in your CV and posting it to new job adverts together with a generic covering letter that is broad enough to cover many bases and reads something like “I’m seeking the opportunity to broaden my professional experience in different fields and can bring many talents to your company; I look forward to hearing from you to discuss how I can match the advertised position”. You mail it to whichever job postings look as if they will save you from your current workplace.
Job Search Despondency
Having heard nothing your thoughts turn dark. You think among other things that hiring managers and recruiters are rude, there are no jobs out there, it’s because you’re the wrong sex, age or race, it’s really unfair and you consider emigration. Obstacle number 7: deep down in your gut you know you haven’t done as much as you could have to get the job but you did what you could in the time you had. You become unhappy, resentful and even experience the bitter taste of defeat and despair.
Perhaps at this point you adopt the “spray and pray” approach, repeating the application process over and over again. It’s a numbers game and one day you get lucky and you get a new job…only for the honeymoon period to wear off and you realize the grass wasn’t much greener on the other side. You still hate your job or the lack of opportunities or the same behavioral thing keeps happening between you and all your previous bosses. Obstacle number 8.
Now you really despair because you’ve jumped from the frying pan into the fire, so to speak, and if you resign now it will appear that you are a serious serial job-hopper. Still counting the obstacles? You start the job search anyway and repeat the process as described above.
Sound familiar? Feeling finished before you have begun? For a courtesy review of your personal brand collateral, allowing you to make changes so that you are ready when the positions need you, reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to engaging with you!
About Me: I am a Career Management and Life Coach who is passionate about helping people re-discover, re-invent, re-orientate, re-align, re-cover and re-position themselves as it relates to work. Solving career problems, together.