It’s somewhat mind-numbing to read 1001 job-search tips and still find yourself in the job-market. Frustrating as it might seem to send applications for nearly every job opening out there and get no response, I’ve read and heard different stories of job-search experiences and the truth is, yours might be a lot better. You are not alone.
This is not about how you should track your résumé or job search – there are ways to do that – but this is more about controlling your destiny by making the best of your job search.
Mind you, this is not a “wave your magic wand tip”; it may take longer, you may find it more or less interesting than the other reader of this article; but whatever you get out of this, hold on to it.
Quick to the essentials.
Know what you want. Take this first step before you send out your next résumé. In our time and economy with fewer jobs and more hands willing to grasp them; and with job security as ever unstable, in your best interest, discover what you really want out of life and trim it down to your career. This is harder in practice than in theory. I mean, not many people find their calling – that thing they really want out of life – until they’ve tried many jobs or businesses and made many mistakes. The harsh economy sometimes forces you to take up or apply for jobs you never woke up thinking of five years ago. So really, it is tough to know what you actually want.
But a rather simple way to do this is to ask What? – What are you here for? What have you learned outside the four walls of school? What makes you different from the next person? What were you five years ago and who are you now? What can you do with all you know? … it goes on and on, just keep asking what until you get a clear picture of what you want. A Job? Great. In what field? Banking maybe? Close enough. As what? You don’t know? Then start finding out the roles you can fit in, places in the banking industry that require the skills you have. The word Anything is definitely not the right answer to the questions asked, kill that urge to say any job, any field, any role. It stifles your progress, leads you nowhere near the job of your dreams or any job at all.
Find people who can help. These are like the giants in your career and life. These people don’t have to be mentors or Godfathers, they can be your friends, friends to a friend, an acquaintance etc. note that the point here is not to overwhelm these people with your depressing stories and to tell how desperately in need of a job you are but rather to present the value you can offer with every element of confidence and specificity.
Say you are having a conversation with a friend and you want to discuss your job need, don’t tell them you need a job and then change the topic. That won’t stick, your audience probably hears it everywhere and is perhaps well aware you are unemployed, but if you get specific about what you can do, present an obvious need or a problem with your solutions, and tell a story of the things you’ve done that exudes excellence at what you do; it shows how serious you are and stands you out.
Make it your business. I’ve come to believe that nobody cares about your life more than you do, at least nobody in this world; because we are all innately selfish beings. No matter how altruistic a person might be, something within still fights to care more about the individual than anybody else. That said. With every step you take in the job search process, you have to do it with all enthusiasm; if you give up on yourself, then you’ll lose the fight because people only stand for you when they see you’ve still got a fire burning.
The world had gotten too busy to let people truly care for one another, technology has made communication easier and less cherished since people no longer have to be in the same place to converse. Our chances of making good first impressions have grown slimmer with these developments and it only takes a few typos in your application to send it into the trash can.
So write a résumé that resonates with what you want, read your cover letter through the eyes of a recruiter who knows nothing about you. Build a strong network of people, create a lasting impression every time you meet someone new. Care enough to solve people’s problems as much as you can; someday, they might return the favour.
I’m only stating the obvious to say this is your business and your life. Control it.