I have often helped many of my family and friends to apply for jobs, editing resumes and cover letters, configuring content for statements etc
If I told you I had written hundreds of resumes and then I told you they were all mine, how would that make you feel?
When I went to university and got my Bachelor of Arts in communication, I had good marks and I excelled, I had a full time job borne out of my participation in the university’s mentorship program. My future couldn’t have looked brighter!
But something happened when I had to apply for my media officer job.
I wasn’t successful.
What had gone wrong?
No one taught me about writing resumes or statements. No one taught me about preparing for an interview that would entail a work task.
No one told me about the thing I couldn’t change “I needed more experience”....
I was young at the time - a graduate of 20 years of age. What did I know about being employed in my field of education?
I knew zilch. I only knew what I had learnt. And what I had learnt was theoretical. My practical knowledge was as a result of my participation in the mentorship program and renewed short term contracts where I did work full time.
Little did I know the experience they were looking for was field and industry experience. They were looking for journalist of x many years and I wasn’t that. They were looking for someone who would come onboard and add value not a student who would need to be babysat.
Look I didn’t know this at the time and so it was devastating for me because when you complete your degree there is just so much pressure upon you to get a job in your field, and if you did, at the time I thought it was the gauge for “you succeeded in life”.
I went on to apply for hundreds of jobs. This is where I trained myself in tailoring resumes and facing rejection with no replies and feeling like I had failed and was a failure.
Back then I didn’t realise I had a blank canvas in front of me because I was operating from my upbringing and society’s programming of what success should look like.
Which is essentially:
Get a job
Climb the ladder
Make more money
Get more qualifications
Repeat the above again
If you couldn’t find a job that matched your skills knowledge and abilities then you were doomed?! How else was I going to make money?
So I moved states. Bigger city = bigger opportunities. Great so where do I start. I said to myself I just need a job! I need a job and I need money and if I’m lucky the job will help me grow and develop.
This job had nothing to do with my degree. It was an entry level role and I did in my heart of hearts think hmmm I’ll be starting from the bottom but when I was successful of course I grabbed it with both hands.
There were many things I learnt but I’ll save those stories for another time. Relevant to this story is I refined my ability to apply for and be successful in acquiring roles in my organisation. I had unleashed the how.
So I successfully climbed the ladder, I stayed there for a while but it wasn’t bringing me joy, it was starting to bring me angst.
I reached a point where I was stuck in this line of work and could then only apply for roles similar in title and or industry. I had done the worst thing I possibly could have done to myself. I had done what actors normally try to avoid doing, actors normally avoid being typecast! You know what I mean here like Meg Ryan for a period was always in romantic comedies or chick flicks. I had put myself in one role, one lane!
If I was going to maintain the same level of financial reward, I would have to keep applying for jobs of a similar industry and similar role. So that’s what I did but I still felt stuck with nowhere else to go.
You know you’re capable of more. You know you’re capable of anything. You just need an employer who is willing to see past the typecasting and can see your true value in the employment market.
But if you don’t clearly articulate who you are in the market, how will they ever know who you truly are?!
There are just so many places where things can go wrong.
1 the way the employer describes the role or the role description or the advertisement
2 the way you highlight your skills knowledge and abilities and the way you respond in the application
3 the way the employer reads/assesses the application
If you think about it in really pragmatic terms, a resume gets you in front of them, an interview gets you to explain who you are beyond the pieces of paper.
So if your resume doesn’t sparkle, you won’t get the opportunity to show them who you really are.
What’s more is the resultant job going to be what YOU really want?
Are you willing to wait to find out? Another few years and hop on that job hunting cycle again?
What if there is another way?
Here is the crunch if you’re willing to hear it....
The level of effort you put in to writing your resume will be the same level of effort you put in to pinpointing your purpose and determining what value you can contribute to society by becoming your own employer.
It may seem unrealistic at the moment but that’s why I’m here to show you how it is possible.
You can rewrite your future.
You don’t have to be a square in a round peg.
And my promise is you will sparkle and shine like never before.
You won’t need to wait for the right industry or right employer or right job to magically appear exactly when you need it to.
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Hi my name is Angela. I have loved writing since I was able to hold a pencil in my hand. I soon learnt I had a gift of connecting with my ancestors through writing before my 30th birthday.