Let’s get a few things out of the way right now, shall we? You haven’t changed. The world of finding a job has. Before we tackle what to do about it, a little venting needs to happen.
- Civility is dead. Maybe it’s not that bad, but what happened to common courtesy, such as returning a call when promised (even returning it all!), informing candidates that someone else has been selected (or a hiring freeze is in effect – just some communication about what’s going on!)?
- Step away from your phone/tablet/laptop. What does it take to get someone’s attention nowadays? Competing with clickbait (who came up with that word, anyway?!), eye contact apparently no longer matters, attention spans somehow reached minuscule proportions when we weren’t looking.
- Everything’s moving too quickly. By the time I hear about the latest app, something new has replaced it. There’s a bootcamp for that, you say? What the bleep is a bootcamp? Furthermore, if I have a clear foundation of skills, why do I have to race to keep up with something that will be obsolete tomorrow?
If this tirade sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Most of my clients agonize about what’s changed in the landscape of securing a job while they had their heads down, attending to their jobs and the rest of their lives. Now that they’re in a job search, whether it’s planned or unexpected, it’s tough to get their bearings.
It’s important to recognize that they (and you!) have done nothing wrong here. Keeping up with the rest of life mattered. None of us have been sipping Mai Tai’s in Tahiti for the past 20 years (well, we might have been watching a little Netflix, but that doesn’t count as a time waster).
To get in sync with the current job search landscape, use these simple tips:
- Rest on the foundation of what works: networking. Talk to former colleagues, neighbors, people in your faith community. Nothing beats good old-fashioned face-to-face communication. Search on the term “networking” right here on this blog.
- Learn to use LinkedIn. It doesn’t take long (and there are many handy blog posts here on CDI’s blog as well as on YouTube). A well-written profile combined with an outreach strategy will take you places.
- Amplify your strengths and address your challenges. Make sure your resume is market-ready with current practices (get rid of the Objective, don’t state “References Available Upon Request,” and make sure your branding is solid and keywords are optimized (search on “Resume Writing” on this blog for more tips). If you need to brush up on your tech skills, check your local public library or workforce center for classes and also check out Lynda.com (many public libraries offer free subscriptions).
Remember that it’s not personal when you don’t receive a response to a submission you labored over. Don’t let it sting and don’t let it stop you. You’ve got amazing skills to offer, so take the plunge and you’ll find your bearings in no time.