Why Your Job Search is Not Opening Doors


These days no one needs to be reminded how little control we have over our lives…especially our work lives. Your career can be thrown totally off-track by a corporate merger, a new boss or a pandemic! In our small stature as individuals, we can’t prevent war, we can’t stop world hunger, we can’t even influence our daughter’s boyfriend selections. So how can we begin to control our job search? We must begin assuring we have an out-performing resume. The impression we present to the world is actually within our control so why don’t we control it and increase out odds of success? The reasons are intriguing.

We continue to adopt a philosophy of entitlement.

This is an amazing phenomenon that while we as Americans are often accused of I can testify that this is a global misconception. We qualify, therefore we are entitled. We paid the price of the MBA, we gave 20 years to the last employer, we traveled, we relocated, we learned Java Script and we increased sales. Therefore when we apply we are entitled to a job offer. It’s absolute pure logic. With this thinking of entitlement how can we possibly be passed over without even an invitation to interview? Perhaps because we are among many others who are equally or more qualified? Perhaps we are unaware of the competitive climate due to the sheer numbers of available candidates? Without question!

We do not realize or we are in denial that because the economic climate has changed the job search game has changed.

Every second person that comes into my office can barely look me in the eyes as they explain, “I’ve never needed a résumé before.” What they’re really saying is they’ve never needed any help before. They expected their very presence to open doors much like they do at the mall with the touch of a toe on the black magnetic floor matt. They are threatened with the reality that their value has diminished because the ease of entry into a company for a mere chat has seemingly become impossible. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We do not realize the importance of the résumé.

Somewhere in some classroom we were taught that if the employer wants to know more about you, he will invite you in to find out what your “sneak preview” didn’t express. Résumé practitioners know better. The ability to successfully craft a resume that actually surpasses mere vocabulary, sharp graphics or elegant paper lies in one word….strategy. A strong résumé has a well-thought out strategy, specifically based on the best message any one candidate can deliver to drive an employer to action. A strong résumé is not a list of where you worked, what you did or even what you did well. It is a document meant to send a message of strong future performance based on indicators of expertise and meaningful scenarios. Most candidates with whom I meet are failing because they either don’t know or can’t accept the fact that they have to outperform in their search. One of the two biggest causes of job search failure is a bland résumé. I know superb executives who will never be granted interviews based on the poor résumés that precede them. That’s life-defeating and unnecessary.

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