You’ve been in touch with loads of agencies, sent out your resumes to half the planet so what’s gone wrong? No, there are still jobs out there but you simply have to work smarter to find them.
It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “I’ll never get another job!” Certainly it can be very depressing scouring the Classifieds, or web sites like this one, and feeling a bit ‘Lost’. I remember all too well the depressing trek to interviews with various domestic staff agencies only for the phone never to ring.
In fact when I would ring them back to ask for progress I pretty soon got tired of the, “Sorry, nothing available at the moment.” I’m sure that they got fed up with me too! On the odd occasion i did get a first interview with a potential employer or their representative I too often found that the job was not what I wanted.
So what was I doing wrong?
After chatting things through with some friends and family members and doing a LOT of research I discovered a few unfortunate truths!
- As time passed I was increasingly throwing my generic CV, resume at anyone who’d have it.
- I had ceased to be ‘pro-active’ and was expecting people to find me.
- I was playing the ‘short game’ of only being prepared to accept the ‘perfect’ job offer.
- I was turning down interviews if they weren’t exactly what I wanted.
- I was spending too much time running down dead-end avenues where I had no chance of a job offer.
- I had given up on my presentation techniques
and on, and on. It was a rude awakening, so how to fix?
OK, here’s a break down of what I did:
- I went to a Careers Advice Center. It was a real eye-opener to find out how much free advice was out there. Maybe I was just lucky but I had a really helpful lady point out (nicely!) all the things that were wrong with my CV and why I needed more than one.
- On her advice I created a concise 2 page resume targeted at ‘selling’ myself to an employer and not simply a boring list of where I’d worked and been to school. Instead I focused on what I reckoned the client was looking for – I had to be the answer to his problem. If he wanted to know my education background I could tell him at the interview stage!
At the same time I tidied up my original CV – the one giving all my previous job details, attached copies of references etc. but this also was shortened down and included a short ‘achievements’ section after each job. I promised myself that I would, from now on, only give this out, on request, at an interview.
- Next I went to a pal who was a keen photographer and got him to take some photos of me, looking very presentable, in front of a plain background (we found a nice set of steps outside a cathedral!) he took over 20 shots and I picked the best one. In our business, I was told, prospective employers do like to see a ‘full body’ shot rather than the usual passport ‘mugshot’! I ran off a few dozen copies of the best shot at my local supermarket’s Kodak print machine.
- I then chose the three staff agencies that I’d had the best rapport with. I ditched any that did not seem 100% professional or didn’t have a proven track record of placing staff. I gave them each a copy of my new resume AND updated ‘big CV’ + the full body photo as well as the standard passport photo. I asked them if they would like me to send the resume and photos as an email attachment too – they all said yes.
What else did I do to escape the Island of Unemployment? You’ll have to wait for part #2 – ” I Was Lost But Now Am Found” – coming soon!