how to be mr. or ms. right (for the job)
“The employer just doesn’t care.”
This sentiment comes up often in resume books and online job (re)sources. Oh. How helpful. Right?
Is that supposed to make you feel better or worse? To me (and really who am I?) it lacks some real insight that would inspire anything other than despair if I went around really, truly believing that people don’t care.
I just don’t buy it.
To be clear, they claim that the employer is “busy working” and that taking time out of their day to do anything related to hiring is “a pain in the butt.” I might be taking liberties with the use of the word “butt,” I think they really mean “ass.”
You’d think that getting a job was next to impossible except that it happens every single day to lots of somebodies, everywhere.
What if, like really, WHAT IF, we just interpret the behaviour as uncaring.
What if (wait for it) this supposedly uncaring employer is looking and waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right to walk through the door?
They don’t want Mr. or Ms. Right Now.
(Yes, the dating analogy is intentional.)
Here’s the sad part: What if you’re Mr. or Ms. Right?
“Butt” you present yourself beyond recognition on your resume? How are they supposed to recognize you Mr. or Ms. Right?
Is that your real self on your resume responding to their post (aka dating ad)? Or are you impersonating someone that you think you should be? Someone you think they want?
Let’s check just a few things:
1 :: What do you think about the presentation of your resume? Yes, I’m asking for your own opinion of your own work. “No likey” is code for: I wouldn’t want to meet me either.
An employer cares very much about meeting someone that loves their very own “work of art” – a “word portrait” that showcases what they love to do for work because then it’s an easy relationship. Since you know yourself best though, they’ll take your word for it.
2 :: Is your resume cluttered or at all unfocused? “Yes” is code for trying to be all things to all people. A conversation with a people pleaser is no fun.
The employer cares about meeting someone that is eager to do the actual work rather than someone who does their work motivated by being liked or trying to be good enough.
3 :: Is what you’re offering actually a match to the job? “No” is code for “I just want a job, I don’t care what job.” Well, the employer really, really cares about who they’re hiring, so it’s best if you two are just passing ships in the night if this is the case.
4 :: Is your resume a list of tasks? “Yes” is code for no awareness of what you have to offer or contribute. And the employer really cares that someone can come in who knows why they’re there.
5 :: Is your experience ‘translated’ (meaning you don’t expect the employer to figure out how your past and the work they need help with ‘fit together’ – you’ve done that and it’s apparent in the language used on your resume)? “No” is code for not having an awareness of yourself.
If you’re expecting the employer to figure out how they fit into your future, forget about it. The employer really cares that you understood why you’re applying, so that together you can explore a future together … like at the interview. You know more about them than they know about you when you apply so do your part to make the connections obvious.
So WHAT IF the truth is that the employer cares a great deal about who and how they spend time with candidates. Maybe, like you, they want to meet someone worthwhile. Someone that understands their needs and wants to collaborate on the process of getting to know one another to talk about a longer term commitment.
Maybe you could just be yourself. Mr. or Ms. Right. Right now. Because the bottom line at the end of the day: It has to feel right. For you and for them.
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