Three questions to ask yourself if you’re not getting any job offers
The job search often feels like an exercise in futility and a test of how much rejection you can endure.
If you’ve been sending out resumes and even attending interviews and still not getting job offers, don’t despair. You can turn things around.
Start by asking yourself these three questions and answering them honestly.
Are you communicating what you have to offer? You know the job search isn’t about you, right? What it is about is communicating the value that you will bring to an organization. To spell it out for you: you need to communicate how you will help them make money. That’s the bottom line, and practically all that matters. You do this by listing your accomplishments. Use numbers and action words like “increased,” “delivered,” “saved,” and “initiated.” If you aren’t communicating the value you will bring, you are not going to get hired. Make a list of all the ways in which you can demonstrate this then add those things to your resume and cover letter. Convey everything through language of what you can offer rather than what you want or need. No one cares what you need until they’re lining up to hire you.
Are you communicating all the other awesome things about you? On top of how valuable you will be to the company, it’s helpful to communicate that you are likeable, fun and generally just fantastic, which, of course, you are. Is your tone warm and personable, or do you sound boring or arrogant? If you can communicate that you’re both valuable and likeable you’re demonstrating that you are the whole package. List social initiatives or volunteer efforts, and make sure to be friendly and warm in person, and show a genuine interest in others. Find a connection with the hiring manager in the interview if you can. Workopolis VP of HR Tara Talbot says that for her that is the thing that will set one candidate above another.
Would you hire you? Be honest with yourself. If the answer to this is no, the why the heck should anyone else? What you are looking for is someone to give you a job. That means this person has to like and trust you and understand how you will make them money. I recently asked someone this question and his thoughtful response was “Yes, but I guess not the way I’m presenting myself right now.” He knows that he is a keen and able learner, that he is reliable, and that he will work harder than anyone else to make hiring him worthwhile. But nothing in his resume or cover letter conveyed any of that. So, I told him to go and fix them. I have yet to see the result.
The trick with all of these is to be honest and do some real reflection followed by some real work.
I’ve looked at a lot of resumes and LinkedIn profiles over the years and can tell you that most people cannot answer “yes” to all three of these questions, so if you can you will be far ahead of everyone else.
From there, it should be just a short step to your next job.