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Verbal Dexterity: Talking the Talk » 2009 »

Archive for February, 2009

Botox Your Resume & Career: How To Look Attractive In The Job Search Marketplace

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Mid-career job hunting is like a person in their 50’s dating after a divorce: It’s hard for others to see past the wrinkles and younger alternatives are all over the place.

However, you can do a lot to re-focus their attention on you (and isn’t it always all about you?) as well as what you can bring to their table.

I know it has been awhile since you have been “in the market,” so (just between us) here are some valuable tips:

  • RE-DO YOUR RESUME NOW. Take your time and be thoughtful. This vital document needs to be young, fresh and illustrative of what you can really do. Download samples from the Net, buy a book of resumes and most importantly, have at least two business-savvy friends read it and critique it. Irrespective of their job or background, people in the business world have a good instinct in detecting value vs. bull. Use high quality paper (24 lb+) and proof-read it with others at least 4 times.
  • TAKE OUT YOUR ROLODEX. (or your Outlook/Blackberry address book or those napkins you doodled on). Grab a notepad and jot down the name of every single person that you know, have met or are aware of…and then compose a massive networking e-mail. Explain your background, strengths and goals. You want to ask people to introduce you to others and/or forward your CV. The more people that you deputize as “agents,” the greater the likelihood of a nibble. You will be amazed at how well that “six degrees of separation” concept works.
  • GO ON A DIET NOW. Sure, you are stressed out…but now is the time to make each day count. Working out and eating better gets the blood flowing and increases energy. Even if you go 4 weeks without a single job bite, you will feel better if you lost 10 lbs in the process (and you will look so much better when you get that interview).
  • REVIEW YOUR WARDROBE. When you finally get that call for an interview, you want to look your best. Clean, attractive, well-kept outfits get noticed and help you radiate confidence.
  • PRACTICE TALKING. If it’s been a long time since you have gone through an interview, you really should practice. Ask a friend to role-play with you. It’s really important to hear the timbre of your own voice. Less “uhms” and better articulation and content can make all of the difference.
  • NETWORK YOUR REAR-END OFF. Ok. you have made enough excuses. Now, you need to go out and mingle with the masses. With a set of business cards (even if they just contain your home/personal contact info) in your pocket, you need to go to community events, trade association events, lectures, chamber of commerce seminars, etc. Making a personal connection can lead to others. Goodbye shyness, hello Mr/Miss Personality!
  • RADIATE CONFIDENCE. Whether it is on the phone, in-person or even e-mail, you need to radiate self-confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself, the listener sure won’t.
  • SET A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT. Job searching is its own full-time job. Set a quota for yourself regarding how many calls you will make, letters that you will send and events that you will attend for each day or week. The more you put into this (and the wider that you cast your net), the greater the likelihood of success.
  • DON’T GIVE UP. That next opportunity could show up at anytime. Always be “on” and keep your eyes and ears open. Keep at it, for as long as you can. No pity or looking backwards allowed.

  • Today’s Tip: Updating and freshening up your “employment appearance” is hard work…especially, when you have to supply your own “Botox.” There is no magic shot that will magically improve your occupational attractiveness. It’s all up to you. So? Shut-up, drink some coffee and get to work on looking for work. Transform your outward image and your resume attractiveness. It’s time. You really do need to do this. You can’t use antiquated smoke signals in a text messaging world. Time to get back in the game…but as the “new and improved” model.