I saw an email from another resume writer and coach a few days ago that mentioned 3 elements many coaches consider essential for a successful job search. They are
- Have a positive mindset,
- Tell the best story, and
- Establish and continue great job search and work habits.
The coach that sent this email had her own ideas about mindset, story, and habits. The thoughts below reflect my ideas based on experience with clients as a resume writer and as a career advisor in workforce development programs.
Have a positive mindset.
Attitude is everything. Clients that do not have a positive mindset do not make progress. It does not matter how great their resume and LinkedIn profile are, or that they have valuable experience and training they could be sharing at a new job. They wake up every morning and say to themselves “there are no jobs. I won’t get a job today.” Then they came to my classes or coaching sessions and said they were not getting a job. The reason they were at my meeting, they explained, was because unemployment, public assistance, or their mother told them they had to “get a job.”
Those people did not get jobs. At one program where I coached, taught, and wrote resumes, many of the “won’t get a job” folks were on the rolls from the day I started working there until the office closed 8 years later.
On the other hand, I recall one client that told me of his business experience in the Dominican Republic, his home country. He was having difficulty finding work in the United States, perhaps because employers in New York were skeptical about whether his experience was transferrable to our market.
His attitude was positive, he spoke eloquently about his work, and he collaborated with me to build a resume that made him shine. Then, he disappeared from my classroom and office.
About 10 years later he looked me up on LinkedIn and said he needed an update because he was ready for his next challenge. Now, he had experience as a marketing executive in Brooklyn that we added to his resume.
Once again, he got another outstanding job. According to his LinkedIn profile, he landed a position with a remote team company during the Pandemic.
Based on my experience with the marketing man and other clients, a great mindset contributes landing to a great job.
Tell a great story.
It is important to tell a strong and consistent story to prospective employers and your network of contacts. An inconsistent story during your job search, I’ve found, creates a strategic issue that will cost you opportunities. For example, several years ago, I was brought into the interview process when I told a supervisor that a candidate she had an appointment with was a former coworker. My former co-worker identified herself as a job developer on her resume although she was the office receptionist when we worked together.
It turned out during the interview that her experience was consistent with the receptionist work she did when I worked in her office, and not with the job development work she detailed on the resume. The inconsistency in her message meant she did not move forward in the selection process despite knowing me and others at her prospective employer.
Another candidate I had worked with in the past did land a job. The story he told at his interview with my manager was consistent with his resume, and the information about him that I provided to the hiring manager.
Your message has to include strong accomplishments, as we have suggested many times in this space. It also has to be consistent across all your media—resume, job search letters, emails, LinkedIn profile, and other social media profiles.
Establish and continue great job search habits.
It is important to establish a solid job-seeking routine if you are in full-time job search mode. In other words, treat it like a job. Set regular “office hours” for yourself and stick to them. It’s tough for those of us that are not accustomed to being entrepreneurial, but it does work. After a while, these hours will become a “habit.”
This does not mean you should spend eight hours per day clicking out resumes to online job sites. Most of us still get jobs the “old fashioned way”—through our network of contacts—so build business relationships with key contacts offline as well as online.
A job developer that trained me told his students and clients “any job search technique you can do in your pajamas is too passive.” This is still true in my view. Dress for work, even if you are doing Zoom meetings from your dining room table or den.
A job search program for downsized professionals and executives that I worked with required clients to arrive on time at career workshops, and to wear business attire. Our clients told us, in a customer satisfaction survey, that this was one of the best aspects of our program because it motivated them to get dressed and leave home for the day. It felt good to be in a business setting.
My clients that treat job search as a vacation tend to stay on vacation. A few have come back two years later trying to figure out how to fill the long gap that now appears on their resume and LinkedIn profile.
Coincidentally, having a positive mindset, great story, and excellent work habits will also help you be successful when you land a new job!
We can’t clock you into the job search every morning, but we will partner with you to write accomplishments that will improve your mindset and help you deliver a great story to prospective employers and industry contacts. Then we can create consistent and clear messaging for your resume, job search letters, and LinkedIn profile. Begin tomorrow morning with one of our complementary consultation appointments.