If there’s one thing I really can’t stand about unemployment, it’s the condescending holier-than-thou tone of job search articles. We've all read them, and can spot their well-worn formula. They start with some snooty line about how you're doing it all wrong. That's the premise of these things: "So, you thought what you're doing right now is enough to get you that job? Hah! Silly, stupid job seeker. Let me set you straight."
And that's only the beginning. Everything in your life right now, everything you are doing or have ever done, is bad for your job search. That picture of the melancholy feline you posted on Facebook last week? What's a prospective employer going to think when they see that? Or how about that tweet from two days ago - Im so hapi 2 b here pepl! Not only does this candidate waste online resources on non-fundamental core competencies, but he can't even spell!
Your resume, or resumes in general, are gifts from the employment article gods. No matter how well-written, well presented, well designed or professional-looking you think your resume is, it’s wrong. It’s stupid. You honestly thought you could catch an employer’s eye with that?
The thing is, both the writing and reading of a resume is entirely speculative – there are very few rights and wrongs. One employer might like a detailed account of your job history, while others will want a one-page bullet-pointed list. Some like left-justified text, and others feel that centered text is the way to go. Have an Objective line. Don’t waste an employer’s time with an Objective line! Keep the details of your work experience brief. How can an employer know what kind of work you did if you don’t explain it in detail? Keep every job you’ve ever had on your resume – your time at McDonald’s tells an employer you are dependable, trustworthy and a good team player. Why did you put your McDonald’s experience on your resume – are you stupid?
Any point of view on resumes can be made to seem valid, as long as you sound (or read) like you know what you’re talking about. That’s easy to fake – add a dash of arrogance to whatever you think you know, and you’re there.
And then there are articles that throw in something like this: just because there’s a recession on and the economy is bad, that’s no excuse to slack off in your job search. You just have to work harder, dig into the hidden job market to ferret out those unposted jobs. Hidden job market? Are they making this up? Unfortunately, no. Most jobs, as they’ll tell you, don’t get posted. It’s one of many reasons why job searching sucks. The article writers are right about this one, but they don’t need to be so smug about it. Yeah, maybe I am a lazy dope who hasn’t dug in and explored the options and opportunities hard enough. Or maybe there is a recession on, jobs are scarce, and I’m having fantastically bad luck!
I know, I know, making excuses won’t land me a job. And a prospective employer might read this and think, this person is leveraging his inadequacies onto a slippery slope to a non-proactive attitude! This incumbent needs to utilize his deliverables on a going-forward basis if he is desirous of achieving synergy with our company’s strategic vision. I just wish that the writers of employment articles would resist the urge to add insult to injury. We get enough of that as it is!