I consulted with a recent college graduated last week. I’ll call her Jane. Jane recently graduated with a communications degree and is just starting the process of looking to begin her career somewhere, anywhere—doing something, anything.
That is how she is approaching her first career marketing campaign. She had some ideas of the types of jobs she could realistically expect to be considered for, based on her limited experience, but beyond that and a whole lot of well-meaning, but misdirected “shoulds” about resumes she heard from others, she had no direction.
She didn’t bring herself to our consultation. Her first words to me were about what “others” told her she should and shouldn’t do in preparing her resume. She kept our consultation focused on the resume and the jobs she “could” pursue. If I hadn’t directed some of the conversation back to her, she wouldn’t have revealed anything about herself: Who she is, what she likes to do, what motivates her, what her dreams and desires are.
Not only did the real Jane—the one behind the fear—not show up in our consultation, but she was nowhere to be found in her resume. And if she is nowhere to be found in her resume, she certainly won’t show up for her first interview.
What I heard and felt from Jane was confusion, fear, and a sense of unenthusiastic resignation about her first post-graduation job. This made me sad, frustrated, and angry.
Have we failed the promise of our future leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and creatives by scaring them into having not just an ATS (applicant tracking system)-compatible resume, but ATS-limited vision?
Have we encouraged them to explore who they are—with courage, not conformity?
Have we taught them that what makes them unique and different—and what excites them— is what will power them to career and life success?
I think the answer to these questions are no, not enough. I consult with many different types of people of different ages, in different careers, and different geographies every week. I ‘smell’ the same fear in many of them, as I did in Jane. Typically those who are about to make a career transition, those recovering from a recent negative workplace situation, those 50 years and older, those reentering the workforce, and students like Jane.
Are we doing enough to help them unearth, connect with, or rediscover their desires? It is obvious to me that we are not. How can we help them? I think the first step is to make a vow to help.
If you are a mentor, parent, friend, teacher, coach, career counselor, resume writer, or other career professional, make a promise to scare less and encourage more.
Try not to use the word “should” or any other absolutes.
Try to partner with the jobseekers in your life in a way that helps them reconnect with and promote who they are, not who you think they should be—or who others think they should be!
Want to know more about YOU Branding? Contact me to schedule a complimentary 30-minute behavioral and resume consultation.
Wendy Haylett, CPBA, CPRW
Certified Behavioral Analyst * Certified Professional Resume Writer * Career Coach
www.DISCareer.com | www.AboveAllResumes.com
1-585-387-0276 – PHONE
I was intrigued from the first moment I read the bold claim accredited to Socrates that "the unexamined life is not worth living" and it has been a touchstone throughout my life. And, through the power of hindsight, I see its influence powering many of my career choices and life activities.