Editor note: This blog is Part 1 of a three-part series of stories with career advice explaining the business of “YOU” and dealing with the challenges of a job search. To read part two, go here.
Recently, I was speaking with a job seeker who was having lots of issues updating his resume. It was keeping him stuck. This man had a background as a professional musician and happened to be what most would consider physically attractive.
I asked him, "Have you considered doing a video resume?"
He looked shocked, as if the idea had never occurred to him. "No, I haven't."
I replied, "Well, you are obviously used to performing on camera and you are attractive. Why not use these things to your advantage and in a way that may feel more natural to you?"
"I LOVE it!" he exclaimed. "That also feels so much easier for me to do because I am just so stuck on my resume, and it's tearing me up."
He then hesitated, "But don't most companies want written resumes?"
"Who cares?!” I exclaimed. "Some companies and platforms encourage a video resume. Even if they do not, 99% of companies won't even be responding to the traditional resume in the first place. Why not do something that feels good to you, and aligns with your strengths?”
I continued, “This can help you build some positive momentum and might even differentiate you in a positive way from the hundreds of other job seekers who submit boring, traditional resumes. At least, you will begin moving forward."
Challenging Resume Myths
Recent conversations about job searching and resumes with job seekers such as the example above have opened me up again to a fresh perspective when it comes to running the business of you and your job search.
Many people lack success in their job search because of the major changes that affect the landscape of the modern day search.
Another major factor is that most people simply lack a sense of creativity and authenticity when it comes to their own approach of how they land their next job.
Being Your Own Individual Business
This is where the perspective of "being your own individual business" comes into play.
For most of us, the modern day job search has been quite humbling and an eye-opening experience. We spend many months, and sometimes years hitting our heads against the wall.
We start discovering how things that seemed to work for us in the past, no longer work for us.
Hitting Rock Bottom in Your Job Search
We finally ask for help only after coming to a place of frustration and desperation. We start wondering what the heck is really going on and if we have lost our appeal altogether. If we are fortunate enough to speak to leaders who specialize in the modern day job search, we may learn things such as how and why recruiting doesn't work the same way as it did in the past.
We learn why resumes do not carry nearly the same weight in helping us land a job as they had before. We learn that approaches that many people market as "good ways" to land a job, such as online job boards, often yield a horribly low response and success rate.
Realizing these things come as a major relief to most job seekers. However, it turns the job seeker’s world upside down when they begin feeling polarized and normalizing many things they had been experiencing for so long, such as not hearing back from hundreds of jobs they applied to or dealing with recruiters who come off as much less involved in helping them land a position.
And getting your resume straightened out so that it represents “YOU” is only the beginning. Figuring out how to run your job search as “YOU” requires dealing with much more.