You are here: Home - Unemployment

Unemployment

  • job searchIts dangerous when one’s technology grows faster than he ability to responsibly manage it responsibly. No, I am not talking about nuclear warheads or automatic weapons. I am talking about the almost instantaneous proliferation of social media into our mainstream existence, and how it affects your job search and can be keeping you unemployed.

    Don’t get me wrong. Social media has provided us with some extraordinary capabilities that we did not have in the past. In the 21st century, you can send a kid off to college and communicate as though they in the next room. Small businesses can reach large numbers of potential customers through engagement.

    But as I peruse some folks’ social media profiles, I can only hope they are self-employed or work for family. Because with some of the content in these profiles, they are making themselves unhirable and ruining their job search.

    (Hey, before anyone lights into me, this isn’t about the “should-or-shouldn’ts”, its about the “is-or-isn’ts”)

    Social media communication is like talking in public where the room is bugged. And hiring managers are in another room with a listening device. Before you hit “post”, pretend a potential employer is standing over your shoulder. If you’re good with what they can hear and see, then by all means go for it!

    Now, before you all go patting yourself on the back about your privacy settings protecting you during your job search, perhaps you should read this:

    https://storify.com/sarahhazell829/are-my-privacy-settings-really-private

    Let me be clear, I am personally all for people being able to say and post anything they want to on their social media accounts. Your account, your business. But when one does, one should just be able to accept the fallout, whatever it may be. And that includes hurting their job search by creating a negative perception with employers.

    There is a lot of debate (and some litigation) going on as to whether it is right or wrong for an employer to use social media in their hiring decisions. But if you are looking for employment TODAY and your rent is due TOMORROW, one needs to consider the impact of their posts as the hiring environment currently exists, whether or not one agrees with the merits of it. As they say:

    “Freedom of speech is not freedom of the consequences OF that speech”

    Now, let me get back to this cat video.

  • professional resumeAs professional resume writers, we can always tell which of our clients is most serious about their career trajectory. The answer usually lies in the first question that they ask when calling. Usually, if the first question that come out in an initial inquiry involves the price, this is a sign that they may not be fully versed on just how important the document is. This is not to say that one should pay any price for the product. This is still America, and everyone loves a great deal. But if you are making a decision on whether or not to seek professional resume services based upon the cost, then you may not truly understand its impact on not only your frequency of securing interviews, but also the opening offer from the employer.

    Now, when a caller is first question is about finding out if you have what it takes to get them into the interview door, this is usually someone who understands the purpose of the exercise. These individuals see professional resume writing as an investment in their career, advance, and net worth building. When one is only concerned with the cost, your decision is made from a position of short-term viewpoint. Have you ever considered what the actual cost is to you up and ineffective resume? I once had a client who try for 18 months to get on with an employer who was in the door within 3 weeks after the completion of her resume. Now, how much money did she lose over the course of those 18 months?

    First, let’s make no mistake. When it comes to a resume, you are always better off with professional help than without it. Just think of the numbers. The average corporation receives 250 resumes per opening and you likely need to be in that top 3 to 5 % just to get into that interview door. So do your due diligence and find someone who understands how to market someone on paper. Next, when looking for someone to prepare your resume, the most important factor is that they have the skills to properly frame your experience, training, education, and skill set for hiring managers. Regardless of how expensive cheap the resume, if you are not convinced that the professional resume writer possesses the skills, then any feedback they are asking is too much. I don’t know about you, but even if you find someone willing to take a crack at it for $65, if it does not achieve the objective, didn’t you just throw away $65?

    It is time to change how you view and categorize your resume in your mind. You should not see it as some expense to get a hold of a piece of paper. If your head is on straight, and you are taking your career seriously, you will see it as valuable investment that optimizes your interview frequency, resulting in finding employment sooner and getting the best offer that you can get.

    And isn’t that what it is all about, ladies and gentlemen?

  • resume writingMost people would like to believe that something as important as one’s resume has a standardized approach. Sorry, but that could not be farther from the truth. If there is one thing an experienced and successful resume writing expert will tell you, it is that we operate more with guidelines that we do standards. The reasoning is quite simple. Different circumstances require differing strategies and approaches. That is also not to say that more than one approach can get the job done.

    Throughout the years, advice has been passed down through various professionals and educators with regard to resume writing. Some of it is good, but a lot of it erroneous. This faulty advice has often locked applicants into imaginary boxes that yields poor results. And we are not  just talking about any professionals. Many job training  agencies and career professionals happen to be the biggest culprits when it comes to passing along  dated and erroneous information. Here are three of the most common myths that you should get past in order to unlock the true power of your job candidacy.

    Resume Writing Myth #1: Your resume should be structured in certain ways for certain professions

    I can’t blame you if you fell for this one. After all, we always want to assume that there is one ideal solution. “All IT resumes should be structured like this … all Engineering resumes should be laid out like that.” A very common question professional resume writers receive is “How should a (enter profession here) look?” Well, the real answer is that it depends upon many factors, not just the profession. For example, if Applicant A has 18 years of experience as a Project Manager with several major solution implementations under their belt, their resume should look drastically different than Applicant B, who may have relevant experience, but none within the past 6 years. How many positions are being included in total? Is the client’s background accomplishment heavy or does their candidacy leaning more on training and certifications? Don’t get wrapped up in looking for the standardized box in which to drop your resume.

    Resume Writing Myth #2: Keep your resume at one page no matter what

    This one is usually learned very early on, but the reason is understandable. Most people receive their first instruction on resume writing in high school or college. It is here they are instructed to keep the document to one page. But let’s remember that most new high school and college graduates have very little job experience to communicate. As such, it is usually beneficial in this circumstance to keep the document to one page. When your resume will be competing against dozens, maybe hundreds of others, you do not want your reader waiting an extra page of meaningless fluff. But the problem is that at some point, your experiences grow and and your resume needs to grow with it. A two-page resume is acceptable in most cases. In fact, since we are in the age of databases and applicant tracking systems, removing too much content from your resume will hurt its search strength. While brevity is always the goal, you do not want to bite off your resume’s nose to spite its face (in a manner of speaking).

    Resume Writing Myth #3: Communicating how well-rounded and diverse I am will be great for my candidacy

    Big mistake here. Unless you are seeking a position as a consultant, your reader generally does not care about your entire breadth of experience. They are looking to solve a set number of problems with the new hire. Your resume should be targeted and communicate (as quickly as possible) how your skills, experiences, training and certification will help to meet those immediate needs for which they are hiring. Now, once you are in the interview, communicating to the employer your other skills can set you apart from the other position finalists. But if you want consistency in securing interviews, be sure that you are resume focuses on specific skills, experiences, education and training needed for the targeted role.

  • sanity at workWhen No One Else On The Job is Invested in Being Great

    Not every place of employment is populated with high-energy, motivated champions eager to step up and lift the organization to greatness. This is no mystery, nor should it be. If by definition most people are “middle of the road”, then if follows that the organizations employing them will be mediocre as well. The problem comes when you have been hired under the pretense of playing a major role in helping to raise the company’s performance, but you seem to be the only one who is pursuing that mission. This is compounded even more when management and ownership are counted in this number. The result for you is daily frustration, as minimal gains are achieved due to consistently having to swim against the current. Here are a few tips for keeping your sanity at work in the face of such wide-spread complacency.

    STEP 1: Ramp Up Your Network Chatter

    Let’s face it, the worst-case scenario is that you may have to leave. Eventually. Networking and personal contacts have always (and will always be) the #1 way jobs are landed. If you are doing as you should, you would be doing this year-round BEFORE you need them. If not, start now, because you may need them soon if things begin to go south with later steps.

    STEP 2: Get Your Resume Together

    Why? See Step 1. If the time comes to fly the coop, you don’t want the added hassle of trying to get a resume written during what could be a trying period. This, as well as the step involving reaching out to your network, is emergency preparation.

    STEP 3: Decide Your Course of Action

    When the organizational environment has been poisoned to wholly accept underperformance, you have some decisions to make. You can:

    • Begin plotting your exit strategy in hopes of landing someplace where they care more about the job and direction of the organization.
    • Decide to take your case to management and see if there is hope for a turnaround. Perhaps there is a housecleaning coming soon. Of course, if you don’t like what you hear, see Bullet 1.
    • Say nothing, but change your perception of your job so as to reduce your ownership of the results in your own mind.

    Now, bullet 3 is the tricky one. What you are essentially doing here is lowering your expectations and psychological investment in the results of your efforts to keep your sanity at work. On the surface, this seems a bit irresponsible. But if you are stuck in this position due to circumstances and don’t see the environment improving, you have to keep your sanity in some way. Perhaps the job pays great comma have excellent benefits, is close to home comma or has favorable hours to allow you family time. These reasons maybe why you don’t pursue another option in mediately. So in the meantime, you will want to keep your stress levels low.

    If you have done all you can to help the team meet its mission, set some boundaries and do not let the lack of accountability from others encroach upon you and your peace. If you have been stressing out trying to “pick up the ball” everyone else has been dropping, stop. Answering late-night calls or emails as a result of the rest of the team’s proper functioning? Don’t. Have you executed your duties to the best of your ability but others around you not putting forth the effort? Document, document, document. Be sure that when things hit the fan and projects fall through, you can show where you performed to task and then some. If that major presentation falls through because everyone else on the team did not get the job done, you should not be expected to physically OR psychologically carry the entire load when management and ownership won’t.

    But for long-term career satisfaction, you should still plot your departure if the environment seems set in stone and you are looking to stay engaged in achieving personal career heights. Maintaining one’s sanity at work is key to keeping the rest of your life on track.

  • short term employmentWhen To Include or Not Include Short Term Employment Entries In The Resume

    A resume that is going to achieve maximum effectiveness does not follow a formula. Every applicant has a different mix of skills and qualifications, so their resumes should be adjusted accordingly. But even for any one individual, every situation will be different. How to handle short-term employment periods can cause headaches for novice resume writers. But did you know that in 2013 approximately 40% of employees who left their jobs voluntarily did so within 6 months of their start date?

    Before your resume writer decide to include or exclude your short-term employment stay within the resume, you and they should be sure to consider all of the factors to determine its net effect. First, consider the overall hole that it will leave in your resume if you remove the position. If you had employment immediately before and after a three-month role, then leaving a three or four month gap is not a big deal. But what if removal of the position leaves you with a 17-month gap? Then you may want to reconsider. Another factor would be where within the timeline the position appears. What’s this position within the last year or two, or was it 12 years back? If exclusion of the position from the resume causes a notable employment gap more than a decade ago, it will be less relevant to the hiring manager than if that gap happened within the last year or two.

    Also, consider how the position aligns with your employment goals. Was this a 6-month “pay-the-bills” job that in no way aligns with your career path for the position you are pursuing? Depending upon how the rest of your professional experience on the resume lays out, you may not want this non-relevant roll sticking out like a sore thumb near the beginning of your resume. But perhaps it was a temporary job that perfectly aligns with your career that was followed by a long-term role. This is likely a situation where you would include the position, perhaps with a note regarding the temporary status of the position (so that your reader doesn’t assume you were released for any performance issues or that you abandoned the post.)

    As with anything else, what you do and do not include on your resume, as well as where you include it, is governed by one rule: how it will affect your reader. When your resume writer approaches any strategy element to your document, every final decision should be based upon this strategy assessment. Short-term employment tenures do not have to be resume killers if you take the time to consider the big picture.

  • job searchGet Your Hustle On! (That Job Search Won’t Manage Itself)

    You just received your degree, your company is closing, or you are just tired of your most recent employer. Either way, it’s time to begin a job search. But before you do, Let’s be clear on one thing: no matter the economy, jobs rarely just fall of the tree. Now, there are exceptions to that rule. You might be in an industry experiencing a talent shortage. Perhaps you are a high profile commodity within your profession. But if neither of these is true, you need to be ready to “shake a tail feather”.

    Perhaps it is a sign of times, but job search persistence seems to be in short supply these days. It is a bit myopic and self centered to believe that using an average resume to apply for an average number of position using an average methodology is going to produce results. Forbes Magazine once reported that the average number of applicants to apply for any particular job was 118, with only 20 of those getting an interview? So, your middle-of-the-pack effort using your middle-of-the-pack tools would mean you likely won’t even sniff an interview in this scenario.

    To ensure optimal success, your job search efforts need to be put into overdrive! Have your resume professionally written. Then, plot your job search meticulously. Look for any and every entity that hires people with your skill set, not just the ones with posted openings.

    • Have you tapped all of your friends, family and colleagues for their contacts?
    • Are you on LinkedIn? No, are you REALLY on LinkedIn? Is your profile optimized for search and visually appealing? Are you using enough of the character limitations to give the search algorithms something to hold onto?
    • What about your other social media profiles? Have they been sanitized, free of “hot mess” of fight videos, incessant complaints and personal spats?
    • Do you put in a full 8+ hours of effort every day on something toward employment?

    The period of unemployment is no time for a lack of intestinal fortitude. There are going to be moments of self-doubt and disappointment. But expect it. And then fight past it. Trust your job search strategy and stick to the plan, regardless of how you feel.

Back to top