You are panicked.
You lost your job. People aren’t hiring. Millions of people have lost their jobs and are out there, hunting for new ones. You are one of those people. You spend hours online, searching for your next position. What begins as a slightly scary but exciting opportunity becomes a depressing, mind-numbing process that seems to have no end in sight. Will you ever find a job again?
So you create a resume that you believe appeals to as many people as possible. You keep it safe, using the formats your colleagues use and using as many power words as possible. You make sure your resume looks professional, without any bells and whistles. You post it everywhere, and you keep checking your cell phone for missed calls (even though it hasn’t rung all day). You go online again. You get depressed.
When you panic, you begin altering the message you send to employers. What began as a brave, unique statement of intention gradually becomes more generic in hopes it will appeal to a wider audience. Under “Objective”, you started out writing how you hope to work at a start-up, since you have many entrepreneurial skills and crave the excitement of a small company. Then, you start second guessing. “Hmmm… well, nobody’s calling me, so maybe I shouldn’t be so specific.” You don’t want to limit yourself, so pretty soon, the Objective portion of your resume is vague or taken out all together.
It Only Takes One.
People do this when they’re dating, too. If single too long, they start changing their “message” to attract, well, pretty much anybody. This is a mistake. You aren’t looking for 10 bad dates. You’re really looking for one great one, that will hopefully lead to a long-term romance.
You don’t need everyone to love your resume. You need only one – the right one.
So don’t be afraid to say what you really want – and hold tight if the phone doesn’t ring right away. Stick to your guns and stay true to your real goals and ambitions. The economy is struggling, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a great company or individual out there who needs your unique skill set. It also doesn’t mean that you have to stop dreaming of bigger, better things for your life and your career.
Go on. Be specific. Say what you really want. Do you relish the opportunity to work in a small company that’s just getting started? Do you have a passion for helping other people and want to work for a company that inspires you? Don’t cast an impossibly wide net, and don’t sell out if you don’t have to.
Say what you want, state your intention, and then get offline for the rest of the afternoon and relax. And who knows – that special someone could be reading your resume and smiling.