Staying Positive in the Job Search

It seems to me that each time I read a career-related article lately, it laments a group's limited, dwindling, or seriously compromised prospects in securing employment.

Women have trouble getting ahead, new Canadians struggle to land jobs in their fields, young people cannot gain traction, and in this weekend's Globe Careers the title reads "The plight of the middle-aged white guy."

Apparently no one is landing jobs or is happily, productively employed.

Obviously I am exaggerating and the articles all have sound statistics to back up the proposed premise. But one cannot help but wonder how so many sectors struggle.

My suggestion is to not allow yourself to dwell on the many limitations and restrictions that might impede your job search; rather, keep those rose coloured glasses firmly perched on your nose and to quote a popular British saying, Stay Calm and Carry On.

Along with the above-mentioned demographic challenges, my clients often admit to feeling "less than" due to any number of challenges related to having "enough" education, experience, skills, knowledge ...

Truth is, many people achieve than 100% employability perfection - however one defines this word. Nonetheless, Canada is built on a strong workforce and there are many young people, old people, new Canadians, women, and "middle-aged white guys" gainfully employed.

Yes, there are strategies that one can and should use to overcome barriers to employment - for one's own self-confidence as well as a way to get beyond flaws in perception of perfection. If you need help with these, New Leaf would love to be of service. We balance our rose-coloured optimism with practical steps.

If you're in a job search, it's a good idea to ignore those "dooms-day" articles that tell you why you might not land a job. You can choose to join the ranks of successful job hunters. Let New Leaf show you how!

Why you can't get a job

One of the LinkedIn job search chats to which I responded linked to an article of very sad job search statistics. Paragraph after paragraph, numbers revealed the pitfalls of today's job hunt.

The fellow who posted it admitted to feeling quite discouraged by the facts, for example, that 427,000 resumes are posted on Monster alone each and every week; that only 25 resumes posted to a job opening will actually be reviewed by a human and of these only 4 to 6 will be interviewed; that study after study shows that recruiters spend 5 to 7 seconds scanning a resume and based on that they either trash it or choose to review it more thoroughly. "Let's just give up now" was the feeling I was getting!

But those who know me also know that I am full of hope, and more importantly, that I back the hope up with an action plan!

Here is my reply:

Those statistics are quite telling. Perhaps rather than let it get you down, think about what you need to do to overcome the challenges. As a resume writer, my clients DO get past all those hurdles and I don't have clients who are all top CEOs etc. Most of my clients are skilled, licensed professionals or management level, with some entry level as well and include electricians, IT, finance, marketing, admin assistants - you name it!
Here's what I apply to help them succeed: training in resume and cover letter strategies; up-to-date knowledge of how Applicant Tracking Systems rate resume content; and additional resources, customized to each client's need or situation that catapult my clients to the top of the heap!
It's possible. It takes either self-study or investing in a professional's assistance.
Self study, if you're interested, might include these topics: how to write a powerful and succinct summary, how to beat applicant tracking software, how to coin strong bullets, what other documents might I write to stand out. The info is out there, but always make sure your info is coming from a bonafide expert, and always apply the litmus test of common sense! It's not about being outlandish. Many of the ideas I use are quite practical and almost traditional, but they work.
I like to think that I also "sell" confidence and hope!
Don't let these statistics leave you frozen, deer in the headlights; rather, use them to your advantage. Put the odds in your favour!

If you'd like the read the article in its entirety, here is the link.

- writing masterful resumes that cut through the statistics! - Stephanie