Why is it that these articles, about making yourself a fortune, improving your love life, sticking to the diet, landing a new job, keeping your existing job, things to say in interview, things not to wear during interview, ALWAYS have numbers in the title? Not that it matters, really, but my theory is that the writers of course want you to read their articles, and somehow they have to make it look as though it’s easy for you to remember what they say. If there are actual numbers of things to do, say, not do, not say, then it’ll be easy peasy to remember them, won’t it? I’ve even done it myself in one of my blog articles, but to be honest it was more as a laugh than anything; “5 resume dos, 5 resume don’ts.” Mind you, the advice was good!
So…. What do we have to say about self-help articles, especially as they relate to finding a job, which is what the blog is about?
They’re only any good if you have the mind-set to change. You have to be in a frame of mind to change your resume, decide whether you really want to leave your job, what you want your next job to be (or, alas, what you’ll settle for.) Other people, and what’s relevant here, staffing services, can help you in this next stage in your career path BUT THEY CAN’T DO IT FOR YOU. You can go look for jobs on the Internet, network like crazy, put your resume out there in the ether, or even just think, “Oh good grief, I’ll let an agency come up with the jobs, the ones they get all seem fine to me.” But you still have to be in the right frame of mind, get your act together, improve the resume, listen to advice, reject what isn’t appropriate to you, start thinking like Pollyanna so that you look enthusiastic at interview. Otherwise it won’t work, potential employers can spot a Debbie Downer a mile away.
Aside – if your current job is so awful you go home feeling depressed, then get yourself off to a decent agency who will help you out of the Slough of Despond so that you’re ready to look.
Right. Your loins are girded to go job hunting. When was the last time you revised your resume? That long, huh? Take a good hard look, see if your work history reads more like an obituary – things I have done so far with my life – than a proud proclamation of what you have achieved and can still achieve.
They say a week’s a long time in politics, and a year is a long time not to be updating your resume. You’ve worked hard but not achieved anything in over a year? Saved no money for the company? We don’t believe it… you’ve answered 50 phone calls a day for a year, produced obscene numbers of Excel reports, arranged so many business trips you know more than the travel department. Let the world know.
If you’re looking for a punchy new format because you don’t know what’s hot in the market, then come to an agency (no bias, but how about Merit?) and we’ll help. What we’re here for.
This is where I shoot Merit in the foot and tell you how to help yourself without an agency…. Social media are there for a reason (I g-u-e-s-s). Use them. There are all sorts of sites, I mentioned a couple in a previous thread, but why not put your information out there on Monster, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn. What THEY’RE there for. Of course, they’re not as good as a good staffing service, cough cough, but they’re much better than nothing. And how else could we find you?
Make sure you have a couple of decent interview outfits. I’m not saying expensive, I’m saying more-or-less corporate, with a jacket, conservative pair of trousers (can’t bring myself to say pants, even after 22 years in America. Pants are still underwear to me), boring blouse or white/blue shirt with staid tie. Make sure everything is clean/brushed/dog-hair-less with no buttons missing. Do this now or you’ll be panicking the evening before an interview.
Dear me, that’s only four things you should be doing to prepare yourself for the Job Hunt, and I headed it 5 things. Oh well. There’s probably lots more, and if you think I’ve forgotten something vital, let me know.