As I said before and will probably repeat many times over, “Writing a resume and conducting a job search is all about the person you want to be and not the person you were.” This holds true in your actions and mind set as well as in the information you provide in a resume and a job interview.
This week I was asked by a neighbor to talk to his former boss who was experiencing a hard time with his job search after unexpectedly being let go in February from a company he worked for since 1999. My conversation with him was all too common and worth sharing to learn how NOT to conduct a job search.
In speaking to this 44 year old man I sensed a tremendous amount of anger, frustration and hostility and immediately understood what his problem was and the steps he’ll need to take to get on the right track. What he and a great many job seekers I come in contact with require is an attitude adjustment because they allow their emotion to dictate their decision making instead of relying on logic, common sense, and proven job search methodologies.
The first step in a successful job search is to acknowledge it is likely to take several months to achieve success, and the interim results of your efforts are near impossible to measure. Accept this as a given and never let it cloud your mind or negatively impact your psyche or decision making process.
My neighbour’s ex-boss has been out of work now for 6 weeks but has yet to put his negativity behind him and he’s letting it influence his judgement. He’s still focused on trying to figure out what he did wrong and dwelling on why this happened to him and not someone else in his group. The reality is his company lost a key account and he was the most expendable employee and this is why he was let go.
To make matters worse, he is convinced the job market is so bad that he’ll never find a job to replace the one he lost; therefore he sees no urgency to invest in himself at this time, plus he sees no reason to put in the maximum effort to his job search as long as he still has two more months of severance pay left to fall back on.
He refuses to listen to others when we tell him his resume (which is an update of the same one he wrote in 1999 and was updated once in 2009 for a promotion) needs to be redone in a more modern format and focused on positions he now qualifies for in new companies; that he needs to update and optimize his LinkedIn page and start networking; and most of all he needs to stop feeling sorry for himself and badmouthing his former employer.
What is a sad fact of life for this man and others like him is that you cannot make decisions that affect your job search when mired in a negative funk. You need to focus on the light ahead and not allow the darkness you willingly surround yourself with to influence you.
In my career as a resume writer, coach and recruiter I have seen time after time how people who are positive, forward thinking, open to criticism, and willing to expend whatever it takes to succeed in their job search are the people most likely to achieve success. Conversely people who justify a defeatist attitude, resist constructive criticism, and find reasons not to invest in their future are the people who most often end up being underemployed or staying unemployed for a disproportionate amount of time.
No matter how long you have been out of work and the circumstances that put you there you need to adopt a positive mental outlook from day one and make your decisions based on what they mean to your future. Forget the darkness of the past and dwell on a brighter future. If you remain mired in the past and dwell on negative thoughts and allow them to influence your decisions you are doomed to failure.
So if you feel lost in the dark I suggest you change your focus and concentrate on the fabulous opportunities that lie ahead for you and temporally forget what you had in the past; that part of your life is over and no matter how hard you try it will not return.
As always I am happy to critique U.S. resumes and LinkedIn pages at no cost. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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