“I don’t know why I didn’t get that job!”
I’ve heard this so many times before. If I’m honest, I’ve uttered this exclamation myself a few times in my working life.
What I don’t want that phrase to turn into is, “I’m just not good enough. I should’ve had a job by now.”
That is so not true. You might not be a “perfect” fit for everything you’re applying for, but damnit cut yourself a break! You do have some skills that someone will find value in. I believe that everyone does. It’s all about tapping into that.
That’s why I’m writing this blog.
I’ve had too many friends tell me recently that they just don’t understand why they’re not impressing potential employers, and I know these lovelies are more than qualified to find and keep work. They have skills. However, when they asked me for advice on how to “pump up” their presentation, I did see some moment where I thought a little bit of tweaking would help.
It’s my personal opinion that the American workforce is way more cutthroat than it was when I entered it in 2008. I’m not just talking about my experience in radio either. I’ve had jobs in restaurants, custodial work, as a front desk clerk, web design, radio, and as a social media contractor; all of those industries have since done what they can to “cut costs” and bend over backwards for clients in order to please and keep them. It’s a “bass-akward” (or “ass backward”) way of doing things if you ask me, because I think having the proper tools to complete work in a timely and stunning manner is a more consistent way of keeping clients – but, I digress!
My point: companies are getting very picky about who they bring onto their “team.” They want to get the most of their employee that they can, for as little as they can (literally and figuratively) – and they’re not playing when they hire.
So how do you catch their eye and make sure you’re treated fairly? It’s not easy, but I’ve got some ideas.
Let me know what you think about these tips…
- FULL PEACOCK STANCE: It’s your chance to really show them what you’ve got! I’m not talking about full-blown embellishing or lying on your resume or website, but I am saying back your experience up with numbers. If you taught 500 students, or brought in 500 clients, or 500 likes on social media within a month – say that! It’s tangible proof that you’re good at what you do!
- ANALYTICS ARE YOUR FRIEND: Why? because that’s how you’ll score the information I just mentioned previously. This is literally tracked in spreadsheets, documents, or insights (on social media) – again, take screenshots of that stuff and use it to your advantage! Keep copies of those stats for yourself.
- PRESENTATION: It does matter. I’m not necessarily talking about a cute/professional outfit (although that does help) to wear during the interview, but I am saying that it’s worth making sure your website/resume/portfolio is presentable. Make sure it looks like you’ve invested some time and thought into it. Look at it as working for yourself! I love using Canva for designs that help me present my work.
- WORDPRESS AND TEMPLATES ARE YOUR FRIEND: Not an expert in design? That’s okay! You don’t have to be! Sites like Canva, WordPress, and built in templates on your Mac (via the Pages app), or apps on your phone can help you easily (and cheaply) put together a clean and professional aesthetic when you’re not a designer yourself. Use them!
- CONSISTENCY: While you might not able to take that phone call at that moment, or text back right away, let your website/portfolio/resume speak for you. Get consistent on updating them. Your information will be current, employers will learn that you care about how things are presented, and you’re providing things for them to look at while you might not be able to respond to them directly yet.
I truly do hope these tips help! It’s my belief that you really can rock this nutty American workforce, and make it work for you.