When I first met Alex (fictitious name), he was absolutely convinced he was unemployable. The ream of meticulously compiled spreadsheets, which slid out of his folder and onto the desk, was testament to over 200 unsuccessful job applications made within the preceding 18 months, and without attracting any interviews.
My client had recently secured his PhD in IT, had over 15 years extensive local and international experience in education, new business development and management. Needless to say, the months of fruitless job searching, whilst in the last throws of completing his doctorate, had taken their toll.
Convincing Alex on a structured course of action was no easy task, his self-confidence was low, but through discussion, and guiding his thought process to contemplate and reflect on specific areas of his career, then further exploration of those chosen experiences, a dynamic, strong and exciting story emerged.
The resulting tightly honed, brief résumé, with a covering letter of application, showing a few carefully chosen career achievements and results, catapulted Alex into the job market at lightening speed. Within two weeks he had two significant job offers in the corporate and tertiary sectors.
It is important to note here, that at both interviews, the position, which Alex had applied for, was superseded for a far more senior position.
Careful preparation and discussion about important aspects of Alex’s career and the results he obtained, boosted his confidence, promoted him effectively to prospective employers and recruiters, sharpened his focus, which also prepared him for the interviews. So much so, that although still tentative at interviews, he made such an impact, as to be considered worthy of a higher prize.
The work that went into the preparation of the résumé, the client collaboration, plain speaking and writing, exploration of achievements, lateral and positive thinking and the choosing of relevant facts and results got Alex both jobs.
It’s a ‘whole deal’ situation! We cannot assume that only one or two things get a person the job. We need to look and think more holistically about our clients and their objectives in order for them to win. This way we help them to get noticed with recruiters and prospective employers.
(Name and some details have been changed for privacy reasons).