If you’ve been out of work for more than six months and your resume submissions only seem to result in silence, there are a few phrases you’ve probably heard over and over again… In some cases, you may need to be institutionalized if you hear them one more time. Do these sound familiar?
- “You should have updated your skill sets.”
- “We can’t hire you because you’re overqualified. We can’t afford you. And you’d be bored here.”
- “Your generation is so entitled. You aren’t just GIVEN a job….you have to earn it!”
- “Too bad you chose the wrong major.”
- “Too bad you didn’t work harder at your last job.”
- “Maybe you should rely on your network. Just call a close friend who happens to be a hiring manager in your field and who has an open position available.”
- “Maybe you should edit your resume and remove all the typos. Employers hate typos.”
If comments like these are pushing you past the limits of sanity, here are a few reminders (consider them survival tips) courtesy of LiveCareer.
1. Every skill you’ve gained—through coursework, professional experience, and life experience—has value. Your skills are vital to who you are and what you have to offer. And they’re rarer than you might think. But all the same, your job search strategy has to operate on two separate fronts at the same time: One, you’ll need to leverage the skills you have. And secondly, you’ll need to stay tuned in and receptive to new skills. Even if it means mastering a new software platform on your own, asking a friend to teach you something, signing up for a class, or pursuing a new certification.
2. Over-qualification isn’t the end of the road. But if you’re burdened by this stigma, you’ll have to a work a little harder to convince your employers that if you’re hired, you’ll stay…and you’ll strive to think and act like a team player.
3. Who cares what people think about your generation?You’re not a generation, you’re a person. You’re not “entitled.” You deserve to work, you deserve to be paid for your work, and you’re willing to work as hard as anyone else. End of story. Don’t be baited by this kind of nonsense. Just keep moving forward and attending to the demands of your own life.
4. You chose the right major. And at your last job, you gave everything you were willing and able to give at that point. All of your life decisions were the right ones at the time, and they’re in the past now. Find a trusted person (friend, therapist, cat, parent, spouse) and explain to that person what you learned from these decisions and their outcomes. Sometimes when you hear these lessons enumerated in your own voice, their true value reveals itself.
5. Rely on your network.But recognize that for most people, “network connections” are not close friends—they’re remote acquaintances, old professors, friends of friends, and frosty former bosses. These people aren’t in a position to drop everything they’re doing and rescue you. One of them might throw you a rope. But you’ll have to grab that rope and do the rest of the work on your own.
Your Resume Is Still Your Most Powerful Tool
Editing your resume is—and will always be—a valuable exercise. On the first day of your job search and on the 500thday, there are still aspects of this document that can benefit from a closer look, a few tweaks, or a complete retooling. No matter how many times you’ve gone through your text, there are still typos in there that you haven’t found, and there are better and tighter ways to frame your message and present your credentials. Visit LiveCareer for a Resume Builder that can help you find and address these areas of potential improvement.