Things that might be getting in the way of finding a new jobWhen I coach job seekers, so often the real reasons for their job search problems have nothing to do with what you might first suspect. When we dig a little deeper, turns out that it’s not about the resume after all. But there might be something you can do to stand out.
- Attitude and energy you project – I’ve sat behind an interview desk many times. And I can’t emphasize enough how much information we get from your energy and attitude. It’s not just the words. It’s how you sit. How you look at us. The energy you put out. And of course, how you tell your story.
- Knowing who you really are and showing them that person – I’ve met perfectly nice people – folks I’d be happy to work with. But when they get to an interview or even when networking, they seem to turn into some cardboard clone of who they really are. They think that being more “professional and business-like” is the way to go. Now I’m not saying to scratch your belly and burp, but please let them see the real you. That’s whom they’re looking to get to know.
- Basic doubts you have about yourself that you don’t realize show – This one is the hardest to identify. I’ve seen people who appear confident, but then when it comes to how they tell their career story, they aren’t able to see all their strengths. And they often minimize things that could help make their case. And most of all, it’s like they add an emotional anchor to their job search efforts, missing and even avoiding opportunities that feel like they’re meant for someone “better”.
- Resilience even in the face of failure – Job search is filled with closed doors and countless things that could undermine the ego and confidence of even the most talented people. The one trait all successful people have – and this applies to job seekers – is that you pick yourself and keep going even after things go wrong. In fact, you use that to redouble your efforts.
- Embracing new methods and stepping past your comfort zone – If what you are doing were working, you’d have a job already. Now of course, even the best job search methods take time – and patience. But if you’re reading this, it may be time to open up to new things. I believe Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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- REALLY check your resume and cover letter – Yes, I know this one seems incredibly obvious, but … I have seen far too many resumes that people think are good, but they don’t in any way reflect the whole person and all their oh-so-valuable transferable skills. Take time to make them strong and make them match the job. Ask for help if you need it. It’s worth it!
- Get yourself out there in person to meet people and network – As much as you will find good advice, resources, key information and contacts online (and the internet is indeed a great place to spend part of your job search), you can get much farther when you connect in person. Get yourself to networking events, industry meetings, and all kinds of places where you might meet someone in your desired industry. But also be ready to meet contacts anywhere (even supermarket lines) to help get you past those awful HR roadblocks.
EXTRA TIP: Remember to always have a business card with you.
- Speaking of asking people for help – This is NOT the time to be shy or afraid to show that you need help. You do. We all do at one time or another. If you really believe in yourself, then you aren’t begging someone to do something terrible, you are giving them a chance to help someone else get a great employee – YOU. If you don’t believe that, then please go back to the section above about basic doubts that you have about yourself and try again.
Some final thoughtsDuring your job search, everything you do or say when speaking to potential employers or even folks who might help you is almost like being viewed through a magnifying glass.But that doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. The most powerful thing you can be is yourself – someone who knows who you are, believes in yourself, and can shape your story to point directly toward the job you want.If you present that with a healthy dash of enthusiasm, positive energy, and a sincere desire to be an essential part of the company and what IT needs, you will get yourself to your goal a lot faster!
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