The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Are you looking for a job? If so, there are plenty of factors that come into play in getting the job. You may apply for a dozen jobs and get lucky enough to receive at least one call back. You go for the interview and you get told you’ll be called, but never receive a call back. You even call back a few days later and they inform you they’ve hired someone else. So what’s wrong?
The very first thing you want to make sure you do, especially if you haven’t gotten a single email or call back, is to check your resume and update it. You may want to consider eliminating anything that is not really relevant to the jobs you are applying for. Think about all the skills you’ve acquired and update your resume to reflect those skills as it pertains to the jobs you’re applying for.
There are plenty of sample resumes littered throughout the Internet. You can find any resume you desire, from chefs, to retail associates, to professional gym trainers, to liquor store clerks, security officers, registered nurses, or bartenders. There is a resume out there for you and you should get ideas from a sample resume in order to design your resume.
Your resume should reflect your personality and who you have become. Your resume should be around one or two pages and give enough information about you so that any employer will see you as a desired employee. It is the only thing an employer knows about you, other than your name, and having never seen your face before, they’ve already made some judgements for or against you. If you’ve been a job hopper, you should aim to hold a job for at least a year.
Your resume should show who you are and who you aspire to be. It is the most professional and organized thing you have in your life. Whether your life or house feels out of your control, the best thing you can still gain control of is what your resume looks like.
Get your friends and family to help you out and give you constructive feedback on any changes you can make to your resume in order to present yourself as the most valuable asset to any company over the next guy’s resume. Remember, there are many unemployed people looking for jobs. Every company has their choice of candidates. You want your resume to stand out above everyone else.
If you’re not very outgoing, friendly, or never laugh at anything. You may want to rethink your life and behavior. Honestly, get a sense of humor and learn to laugh at yourself. If you have been or you currently are anti-social, than start with your family and be social with them. If you can, go find and make a friend. Hang out with them once you’ve got your social skills well enough to communicate with someone without stuttering or staring at them in awkward silence.
You’re an adult. In a social world, you really can’t afford to be anti-social. You can be anti-social and introverted when you go home and you have a few hours to yourself, but that is time for yourself. The rest of the day, you need to grow up and learn how to behave in public and around groups of people. You need to be extroverted when you leave your house. Stop caring about what others think about you. However, accept constructive criticism from them. For example, if someone offers you gum or mints, you may want to start buying those and keeping them with you. They are letting you know you have bad breath.
If you have a few friends and they suddenly stop hanging around you, evaluate your own behavior and what you are doing. It’s probably not them, it’s you. So learn how to treat others with respect, but also command that respect too, without letting anyone try to take advantage of you.
Personality will go a long way in getting you any job, regardless of your experience or education level. You could have very little knowledge, but someone who likes will hire you and train you because of your personality. Personality is the most important aspect of your life, so make sure to develop it and use it your advantage.
Skills and Experience
If you know what you’re doing and you apply for the job, especially if you have the experience, you are likely to get the job, regardless of your education level or personality. Skills are important to have in any field, and the less an employer has to pay for your training, the more potential you have of being hired, and value you give yourself.
Being well-rounded in anything and acquiring skills in any area will help you further advance your career and allow you to demand a higher salary. If you have the skills to be a chef, auto-mechanic, computer technician and programmer, fashion designer, or artist, you are that much more attractive and valuable to your field if you have experience. Most professions require at least a year of experience, so whatever you’re interested in, stick to it for at least a year of learning the traits of that profession to develop your value.
Always be willing to learn something new.
Remember, rejection is a fact of life. You will get rejected many times throughout your life. Don’t get depressed or swayed. Never see your rejection as failure. Rejection is the chance to grow yourself, change yourself, and seek new opportunity.
Apply to many jobs all at once and want them all. You will never be disappointed if you don’t get the one you want because you wanted them all. If you just apply to a few jobs and get no responses, you may get disappointed. If you apply to them all, and still get no responses, you may want to re-read this article again. Everyone is employable so long as they can follow a few instructions, work well with others, and have a somewhat likable personality.
If you screw up at your interview, practice with a family member or friend. Accept your mistakes and move on. Life is too short for you to get angry, upset, depressed, or mad at yourself or others. Accept responsibility for your own actions and learn from your mistakes. Your persistence will eventually pay off and you will find the job or career you will love.
Here is an infographic covering what it takes to land the job you want in 2013.
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WHAT IT TAKES TO LAND THE JOB YOU WANT IN 2013
About 1/3 (36%) of job seekers are confident they could get a job in an industry where they had little experience.
Unemployment bias exists
56% of hiring managers agree that companies often times refuse to consider a candidate for a job if he or she is unemployed.
THE RIGHT SKILLS
17% of hiring managers say nearly all or most job seekers have the skills and traits they seek.
Managerial Level = Largest Gap
For those hiring managers with responsibility for managerial level candidates, approximately 1 in 5 (20%) say very few job seekers have the necessary skills and traits.
58% of job seekers rely on their own experience during the job search rather than seek advice from other people including career counselors or instructors.
Critical Future Skills & Career Development
Both hiring managers and job seekers identify skills that are becoming more important in the next 5 years:
Ability to be cross-functional
Hiring Managers: 78%
Job Seekers: 77%
Basic understanding of technology
Hiring Managers: 83%
Job Seekers: 62%
Hiring Managers: 54%
Job Seekers: 62%
Using social media as part of one’s job
Hiring Managers: 70%
Job Seekers: 60%
Many job seekers and hiring managers believe there are certain skills that can only be learned through experience in a professional environment:
Hiring Managers: 46%
Job Seekers: 53%
Hiring Managers: 31%
Job Seekers: 47%
Ability to network effectively
Hiring Managers: 32%
Job Seekers: 46%
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of hiring managers believe employees should be mostly responsible for professional development needed to be successful in their job , with some support from employers.
Job seekers (36%) believe that employers should be mostly responsible.
Seventy-two (72%) of job seekers are either currently engaged in or considering enhancing their skill set in some way.
Job seeker’s strategies for enhancing their skills
24% developing their network of individuals working in their field of interest
23% getting an undergraduate degree
23% earning a professional certificate
EXPERIENCE & INSTINCT
3 in 4 (77%) hiring managers talk to those who directly supervise employees in [the open] position.
74% rely on instincts and experience to decide what skills would be most important.
less than 20% (17%) of hiring managers at Fortune 1000-equivalent companies use benchmarking to help sort through the applicant pool.
91% of job seekers spend time reading the job description to make sure they would be a good fit but 63% only practice interview responses.
In order to determine what to put on applications or resumes, more job seekers…
58% would rely on their own experience to decide what to include rather than 42% seek advice from others including career counselors, instructors, or others
When applying for jobs, more job seekers…
66% include skills or experience specifically mentioned in the job description rather than 34% using descriptions of skills or experiences that can be broadly applied to many types of jobs
The Job Preparedness Indicator study was conducted online between July 10-24, 2012 among 541 adults age 18+ who are looking for work, and 516 hiring managers at companies with Fortune 1000-equivalent annual revenue. For a full methodology, including weighting variables, please visit www.careeradvisoryboard.org/research.
About the Author
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.