Sunday, February 12, 2012

You Can Handle the Truth About Your Job Search

I received an email today from a reader in a related industry who has been looking for full-time work since 2010:

Hello Debra-

I read your recent blog with great interest.  I've been "selling" myself for the past 2 years with no full-time takers.  Please see my attached resume. Comments?  Opportunities?

Thanks so much.

Gentle readers:  I was born in New York City, and my daddy is a Marine.  If you ask my opinion, I will serve it up directly and in the spirit of supporting our mutual success.  In that context, below please find my direct and heartfelt response:  

Thank you for your kind feedback on my blog posts.

I've been to the Recession Rodeo a few times myself as well as in the hiring authority seat, so my response to you is grounded in both of those experiences:

  • If you hadn't mentioned that you have worked, albeit part-time, since 2010 in your email below, I would assume from your paperwork that you have not worked at all since 2010.  Please consider including your contract / project work since 2010 as your most recent / current work experience on your résumé since 2010.   Work, part-time or full-time, still counts as your most recent résumé item, perhaps as a Consultant performing contract work.  One significant reason you may not be getting many bites from hiring authorities.  Also, from your email, I don't know the depth and breadth of these part-time / contract projects.  Summarizing recent projects since 2010 in both your résumé and cover letter / email telegraphs that you're already working and therefore employable to a potential hiring authority.
  • Good, bad or indifferent, your lack of social media presence does not do your background justice.  Please do some LinkedIn searches to see how peers / colleagues in your industry have punched up their LinkedIn profiles, including a headshot that communicates trust.  The more you use / explore LinkedIn, the more you learn its capabilities to promote you as a professional / practitioner.  Also:  once you're 5 years or more past graduation, no need to keep graduation dates on your résumé.  Also:  lots of great books in the local library system on this subject.  A lot of what I've learned about social media has come from reading and online / in-person seminars, almost all free.  And once I learn it, I implement it.
  • Hiring authorities and your network will do a quick Google search to see what you've been up to / what you've accomplished.  My quick search on you turned up an article implying different employment dates / employers.  When dates / employers don't sync up on a résumé, hiring authorities will also take a pass.  Please ensure that your résumé matches these searches, and/or outline why.
  • Stating reasons for leaving jobs / companies on your résumé and LinkedIn profile not only demonstrates that you're proactive, but may also help a hiring authority take a second look at you as a candidate.
  • Most importantly:  have you asked for this same feedback / advice from trusted colleagues / friends in your local network that you have asked from me (someone who has never met you)?  From former clients?  If so, what are they telling you?  When I hear the same piece of feedback twice, I have learned over time that I need to listen, incorporate it and change course. Also, for those folks in your network and clients that you've listed on your résumé:  have you networked face-to-face with all of them, asking for their advice and asking how you can be of service in return?  Selling is an in-person exercise; with your background and accomplishments, you know this even better than I do.

Hopefully my comments were what you were looking for: I suspect that you will make better progress with in-person contacts within your own network.  I wish you the best in those explorations.

Have a great week and thanks again for your feedback,


No comments:

Post a Comment