I have several clients who are looking for work at any given time. Under my guidance, they check the appropriate job sites, target resumes and cover letters and send them out, and sweating and worrying whether they are ever going to get a job. Job hunting is stressful, and I find that most of my work involves keeping them in the game and keeping them from giving up too soon. “You never know,” I tell them. The next interview could be for your next job.”
“Baloney,” They say. “You’re not helping and your strategy isn’t working. If it weren’t for you and your constant hounding me to change my resume to fit the job is actually keeping me unemployed. You should be the one not working, not me. ”
Actually, I have spent long periods of tome being unemployed. Over the years, there have been regular ups and downs in the economy. Sometimes there is a job seeker’s market, and sometimes there is an employer’s market. Right now there is an employer’s market, so the job hunter needs to keep emotionally cool to survive the interview and land the job.
Here are four tips that I’ve picked up along the way.
1. Change your mindset.
Many people, I find , look at the interview process as a form of confrontation. They go in with a chip on their shoulders the size of an elementary school and literally dare the employer not to hire them. This is the wrong approach. I tell my clients to view the interview as a conversation where they get to meet someone new in a field you know something about.
Keep your interview skills fresh and impress the interviewer with your knowledge of the job. Convince them that with your energy, compassion and knowledge you can solve their problems, get them to love you, and you can learn to love them. What else is there?
2. Work your network of contacts,
Are you sure all your friends know that you’re looking? Are you keeping your references in the loop? Are you sure they’re looking out for you? Do your relatives know? Has anyone besides me adjudicated your resume an d cover letter?
3. Expand your network.
It is never too late to write a profile about yourself and posting it on a place like LinkedIn. You can contact others in your field, and also get some hot job leads. You can also use it to get your name out as someone who really knows the stuff. You can join interest groups and contribute to them. These actions can help you become known.
4. How married are you to your field?
Over the course of life, change is a constant. Before I became an archaeologist, I was a volunteer social worker. When I wanted to leave archaeopogy, I reverted back to social work, and now I’m somewhat of an expert on helping people find work. Each step of the way, I picked up different skills. Often these skills transferred nicely to solve problems in different fields.
Whoever thought there would be value in being a professional dilettante?
Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.