I read a really interesting post yesterday that evoked a number of thoughts/emotions. Pretty ranty today :p
Kimba Green is a project manager who is in transition. She writes that 8 months into her job search she…
had the good fortune to be “made over” by some of the leading experts. I was over the moon!
The makeover, however, wasn’t a makeover, it was a critique. You can read her reaction and thoughts on her post: I survived a resume massacre!
I’m reminded by a friend who went to a job interview and came out completely deflated. The fourth-generation owner of the company lectured, insulted and bullied my buddy to the point where he questioned his ability to do anything.
As a job seeker I’ve been in positions where people say things, give advice, give feedback, that is really quite hurtful.
Now, I haven’t listened to the resume critique show (you can hear it here), but I’m going to stick up for the critiquers for just a minute. I’m asked all the time for advice. For some reason, perhaps I just have no tact, I’m quite honest and direct with my advice. Today’s post on my LinkedIn blog is a great chance for me to open-mouth-insert-foot and do this very thing.
I don’t do it to hurt, I do it to help. But I don’t dance around the issue, especially since I’m usually not paid for the advice and I don’t want to spend an hour making sure you understand that you are okay.
Perhaps these critiquers thought they had limited time (which they did) and wanted to be sure they communicated the problems with Kimba’s resume (as they saw them… which Kimba appropriately contends towards the bottom of her blog post).
Perhaps they understood their role differently than what Kimba understood (she thought she was getting a MAKEOVER, with SOLUTIONS, not just “here’s all the reasons why it sucks”).
Having said that, let me switch over to her side.
EIGHT MONTHS is a long time to go through a job search. Mine didn’t last that long only because I gave up (and decided to do my own thing). But the time I spent there SUCKED. Getting rejections from temp HR employees making minimum wage was very discouraging.
And then, getting outdated, out-of-touch advice from neighbors, friends, family, people at church, and unfortunately, even volunteer staff at career centers and networking events, was very, very discouraging.
Reading those little “DO these Four Things Right Now and You’ll Land Your Dream Job” articles were a punch in the face. I envisioned some salaried person who had never been in a job search in their life writing that crappy fiction. None of it applied to me but I saw it all over the main websites.
As job seekers we know that most of what we hear doesn’t apply to us (it didn’t to me). Much of what is written is for the $11/hour worker… not to sound elitist but when you have to make $60k or $90k or $120k (for various reasons, including prior financial commitments), that low-level, common advice JUST DOESN’T WORK.
When a volunteer career center person gives me a list of job postings and says “here are some jobs to apply to,” without any regard to the age-old, principle-based concept of “go out and network,” I want to throw up. Are they that out of touch with current job search tactics?
Job seekers think they are unique… some are. Much of the advice doesn’t apply (much of the principle-based advice DOES apply!).
Don’t let it deflate you. Don’t let the critiques wear you down. Don’t let this stuff affect you to the point where you are “injured,” because that will have a negative impact on all that you do (from time management to networking and interviewing). I wrote a popular post on this titled I Smell Blood!
Ignore much of the crappy advice. Understand the principle-based advice. And move on. People are well-intentioned but might not have the best communication.