By Liz Ryan
Years ago it was much easier to get a job than it is now. It was a straightforward process. You had one resume that you would send out in response to every job ad. You could only have one resume at a time back then because you had to type a whole new resume on a typewriter if you wanted to make one word change.
When you could finally afford it you went to a print shop and got 100 copies of your resume delivered to you in a box.
It was a grown-up moment to get those typeset resumes and say “Yes! I am a Business Professional now, people!”
You could choose cream, white, ivory, grey, pale yellow, buff or pale pink resume paper when I got my Box-O-Resumes in 1982. I forget which color I chose but I still have some of them in my garage.
Nowadays that colored resume paper is out the window. Don’t use it in your job search! Give it your kids or grand kids to scribble on.
When you wanted to apply for a job back then, you sent your resume in the mail. You sent a cover letter with each resume, in the same envelope. This was the principal way to get a job. You could also walk into the office or warehouse or factory with your resume in an envelope, chat with the receptionist and leave your resume. That worked. You could get a job that way.
Your friend who worked in the company could bring your resume into HR and literally drop it on someone’s desk. You can still get a job that way now, but it will work much better if your friend knows the hiring manager would be your boss if you get hired.
If your friend doesn’t know that person and can’t start a conversation with him or her about you and your awesomeness, then you’re better off sending that manager a Pain Letter with your Human-Voiced Resume, just like in the old days.
No one gets business mail addressed to them personally at their desk anymore, apart from spam mail. It’s very nice to open an envelope and see that someone is writing to you about you and your issues — everybody’s favorite topic!
It was easier to get a job years ago than it is now, but all that tells us is that now we need to develop new tactics to get a good job! There are not-so-great jobs everywhere. Only the pressure on those employers created by the departure of their best employees will get them to change.
If your job is a so-so job, you can launch a stealth job search at night and on the weekends and see what better opportunities are around.
The flip side of the disappearance of the old corporate ladder is that we are all running our own careers now. No one is in charge of your career except for you. You can’t and won’t have another boss who knows more about your career and your goals than you do.
The CEO of your career is you.
Anyone else who plays the part of Your Boss at any job you ever have is a partner to you as you move along your path. It’s still your path.
Here are ten job-search mistakes to avoid but don’t worry — there’s a remedy for each mistake on our list, below!
- Don’t restrict your job search responding to only job ads
- Don’t use an outdated resume
- Don’t forget your LinkedIn profile!
- Don’t brand yourself as ‘all things to all people’
- Don’t send the same resume to every hiring manager
- Don’t rely on online job application portals
- Don’t go to a job interview unprepared
- Don’t act too desperate or too submissive in a job interview
- Don’t bash your last employer (or any past employer) in a job interview
- Don’t stop job-hunting too early
Job ads are only one part of your job search activity, whether you’re a full-time or part-time job-seeker.
I want you to reach your specific hiring manager with your Pain Letter rather than responding to a job ad through a Black Hole automated recruiting portal.
When you do respond to a job ad, those responses should only take up about one-third of your available job search time and energy.
The other two-thirds of your resources will go to outreach to hiring managers on your Target Employer List, and networking.
You can update your resume every time you use it, and lots of job-seekers have three, five or even ten versions of their Human-Voiced Resume saved on their hard drive for different job-search situations. You might have one version of your resume for IT Network Technician jobs, one version of it for IT Security jobs and one more edition of your resume for IT Telephony Engineering jobs.
You know that you can do all three of those jobs with no problem, so you’ve created three versions of your resume to highlight whichever facet of your background a particular job opportunity requires.
Read Page Two of this Article