/* Are you making the effort? : */

Are you making the effort?

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WARNING: READING THIS MAY CAUSE YOU MENTAL ANGUISH

Looking for a job is hard work.  I don’t think anyone would disagree with that statement.  To stand out in the current competitive job market is a daunting task.  I encounter a lot of people that seem to do the minimum amount of work and “hope” that they get a job, despite the odds.    These people blame their lack of success on the shortage of jobs, the competition, or even their age.  That is much easier to do than taking a long look at what you are in control of and can change. 

Let’s start with one of my favorite topics, the resume.  When is the last time you seriously looked at your resume to see what you can do to improve it?  Your resume is a living document.  It can always stand room for improvement.  Very few people have exemplary resumes.  Why is this?  I think it is because a resume must be about selling yourself and few people are naturally good at this.  Selling yourself on your resume requires a lot of effort to think and reword what you “did” at a job to “what problems did you solve” or “what did you improve”?  You can pay someone to write your resume, but you will still have to come up with the details for them to use.  I wrote some tips on this in a previous article.  Here is the link: http://www.hireaustin.org/2009/07/7-common-sins-of-a-resume/

  1. The easy thing to do is simply list your job duties.  The hard thing to do is list your accomplishments.

Another area I see where job seekers might do some self-evaluation is their attitude.  How do you project yourself to others?  Do you whine whenever you can about how hard it is to find a job?  Do you complain to whoever will listen?  It is a scary time, but your attitude reflects a lot about who you really are when you meet people.  Negative people are not fun to be around.   One suggestion that might help is to stop referring to yourself as unemployed or that you lost your job.  These words scream negativity.   Alison Roberts, who founded Low Tech Happy Hour, used to refer to members as “job free”.  Or, you could tell people you are “between opportunities”.  Theses phrases sound much more positive, which will help your attitude. People gravitate towards happy, positive people, not whiners. 

2.  The easy thing to do is wallow in your misery.  The hard thing to do is appreciate what you have and put your best face forward.

The majority of people look for jobs by scouring the job boards and sending in their resumes to posted positions.  This can work, but the process could take a long time.  Some people feel it’s a numbers thing (Vegas, anyone?), and the more resumes you send out, the better your chances are.  They figure eventually someone will open their resume and somehow be able to tell that they are a perfect candidate for the job posted.  It could happen, but not likely.  This is what I call being a passive job hunter.  To be an active job hunter, you should start thinking of yourself as a solution to a company’s pain.  Build up your network by making more people aware of you and the skills you possess.  Research companies you want to work for and want someone like you.  Use your network to gain contacts in these companies.  Volunteer whenever you can to meet new people.  Help someone out with your knowledge and see how you are rewarded.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  Get out of your comfort zone to increase your odds.

3.  The easy thing is to apply for jobs and hope for the best.  The hard thing is to be pro-active and create opportunities for yourself.

I will admit that I am guilty of all these things myself some of the time.  Do I admit it? Yes.  Am I working on changing this?  Absolutely!  Is it hard for me?  You have no idea.   My mantra is “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.  What about you?  What are you doing that kicks you out of your comfort zone? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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