Keeping It Fresh

For too many job seekers, the search is a lengthy experience and seems to ebb and flow dependent on the current tide.  That tide being everything from the season of the year to the motivation of the job seeker.  It is imperative for those in transition to keep it fresh at all times or you too can fall into a routine with no semblance of an ultimate conclusion.

Fresh has a variety of meanings, please consider the following definitions as a motivator for your future:

new to one’s experience; not encountered before

*  novel; different

*  recently made, produced or harvested

*  Bright and clear; not dull or faded

*  Untried; inexperienced

*  SLANG:  Excellent; first class

With Labor Day fast approaching and what historically is the start of the fall hiring season, it is important for job seekers who have seemingly been at this forever, to “freshen up” your approach to employment and give a new spin on your candidacy.  If you have been using virtually the same resume or cover letter template since day one, it is now time to start over and strengthen it with action words and a greater emphasis on your talents and less on where you have been.

Rewrite that resume with results in mind.  What have you been able to provide to your employers in the past?  Increased income?  Greater participation?  Increased Exposure?  Tangible results are vital for a successful resume.  Make sure you take credit for everything that was a positive for your former employer but never accentuate the truth.  As a team member, you can take credit for it’s accomplishments but be careful not to acknowledge actions and deeds that you had very little involvement in.

Make sure that you update your resume; no employer is interested in somebody whose last entry is 12 months ago.  Post your volunteer efforts and consulting that you have done since your last employment; just make sure that there aren’t any holes in your resume.  Create a LLC for your side business, it has become the expected activity for those between jobs.

With more and more articles being written in business journals and daily newspapers about companies which would rather hire those currently employed than those within a search – you need to give the impression that you have kept yourself busy, you have improved your skills and that your creative juices are still overflowing.

Your Cover Letter needs to be much more flamboyant!  You need to gather the attention of recruiters who make an instantaneous decision upon receiving your “ordinary,” run of the mill document.  I recently wrote an entertaining and thought-provoking Cover Letter for a position that I really wasn’t qualified for, but got an interview anyway.  It is the unexpected that will get you attention and interest.  Do keep it professional – but put some effort into making it fresh.  Though I wasn’t ultimately offered the job, I did make a contact with the headhunter and have kept in touch with him since.

If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn Profile recently – it is now the time.  Those recommendations you currently have are dated (not meaning that they are old as much as you haven’t received new recommendations recently) – if you haven’t asked for some new recommendations from friends and associates in the last few months, this is now the time.  Make sure that your pertinent information on your resume is in sync with your LinkedIn Profile – this is not the time to confuse a potential employer.

If you haven’t already, it is vital to include your LinkedIn Profile address on your resume and in your Cover Letter signature.  It is a wonderful means to promoting yourself beyond the one or two page resume.  Those recommendations can be quite valuable in determining whether you should receive an interview.

Finally, it is also time to freshen up your attitude.  Sure you have been at this for awhile but that employer who needs your skillset is right around the corner.  With the right attention and intention, this fall might be a new beginning for you and your career.

Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his career.  He is one of only 230 Association Executives worldwide who has been granted the prestigious designation of Fellow by the American Society of Association Executives since 1986.  He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words or 100 blog postings on the topics of job search and career transition.

Copyright:  MMXI.  Reprint of this article is permitted if the above paragraph is included.

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