Are You Fixing What’s Truly Broken?

A dear friend of mine is on the umpteenth version of her resume. She’s constantly tweaking the content. She’s been looking for a job for several months now and keeps feeling the need to make changes. Everyone is weighing in on what could be different or better.

What’s interesting to me is she hasn’t really had trouble landing interviews and connecting with people. Since the resume serves as part of the foot in the door process, my bet is that she is fixing something that isn’t broken. The best indicator your resume needs work is the absence of interviews. Since she’s doing fine in that area, something further down the line is likely causing her problems. It could be any number of things. The key is identifying where the problem is in the process and focusing on correcting likely causes. Investing time, energy and resources repairing what is already working well for you in a job search won’t change the outcome.

Another friend has been working very hard on interviewing techniques. He’s read many books and attended a number of workshops on the subject. Great idea, but he has the opposite problem of the friend I described previously. He rarely gets called for interviews. Though it’s valuable to refine interview skills, for him he probably needs to devote more time to improving his flow of job leads, his resume and his introduction to companies. His ability to interview well won’t amount to much if he doesn’t repair whatever is preventing him from having a chance to show that skill off.

So, how do you know what to fix? Break the process of landing a job down into categories and figure out where you are coming up short. If you aren’t getting interviews, perhaps your resume and means of identifying job leads are failing you. If you are getting plenty of first interviews, but aren’t being invited back as a finalist, something may be wrong with how you engage the decision maker, show your relevance for the job and address the questions asked of you. If you get to the final stage and aren’t getting acceptable offers, you likely are fine in the resume and question answering department. Your attention probably needs to be directed towards your efforts to close the deal. Perhaps you are lacking in negotiation skills or in the way you highlight how your strengths translate to bottom line value for the company. Another unfortunate possibility is that your references are causing a snag. Something to think about.

In a nutshell, there are things job seekers need to fix along the way. Keeping an open mind to how you or your strategy should change is important. Make sure you are fixing the part of your search that is actually broken, however. Focusing on the wrong things just adds to the frustration one feels when putting forth a lot of effort with minimal return.

No Comments

Comments are closed.

RSS feed for comments on this post.