When Times Get Tough
Written by Mike Vickers
It’s no secret; our industry is in rough shape right now. For the last few months I have been following job boards, job postings and people looking for work as I help people obtain jobs in our industry. I refuse to sugar coat this, our industry is now saturated by workers without jobs applying to companies and recruiters for positions they see on a daily bases. Companies are being flooded by resumes by the hundreds for single job positions, making it very hard to find work right now.
A big concern to me right now is the way some people have left themselves. They have been working a certain job their entire life and gained the experience from years of hard work and not a lot of education (training) to back it up. When someone sees two workers resumes side by side; one of which has 5 years’ experience followed up by a page of different training courses and the other with 7 years of the same work with no training certification, it’s simple… The worker with the training courses is widely more looked at. I know we all hate the thought at adding more “training” to our schedules, but I strongly encourage all of you to take advantage of this off time you may have to further yourselves. In the end, training is education, education is knowledge… and knowledge is power.
Another, the way people are presenting themselves online. First, ensure you have an email address that looks professional; firstname.lastname@example.org imposed to email@example.com. This may sound un-realistic, but I’ve seen a LOT of people with horrible email addresses send resumes to a company and wonder why they never get contacted back. Your email is the first thing that person sees when you send the email, that and your name; ensure your email is set up displaying your first and last name.
Next thing you can do is ensure your resume is fully up to date and lists full contact information, very detailed work experience, any or all education that you have went through and all of your safety and training certifications. You can find a great article of how to build a great resume HERE and samples of resumes and cover letters HERE. After your resume is looking nice and professional and you think it will set you above others on that stack of resumes on their desks, it’s time to work on developing your cover letter. A cover letter should be just that; a letter. A Letter designed to quickly catch the readers focus on you and only you. It should be a cover letter that you have created yourself for each job you apply for, this way you can go into detail of how you are best for this particular position. I see all too often people use the same cover letter and send to 100 different companies, it’s too generic and doesn’t highlight any details on why they should be the right fit for this position. You can also find a great link to help you create a detailed cover letter HERE.
Ok, so you sent your newly developed resume and cover letter over to a recruiter for a job you were looking at, what’s next? Following up, of course give it a few days, then pick up the phone to call that person you send the email to and engage in a conversation with them about that position. Ask if they are still looking for someone, ask about the details of the position and if the person sounds like they are well rounded in the scope of work… engage in discussions about it. At the end, ask if they have seen your resume and cover letter, usually if the call went good they will even look for it and go over it right then and there. Remember not to be pushy or sound desperate, you have to keep in mind you’re essentially trying to sell yourself to this person that you’re the best for this position at hand.
Last but not least, I highly encourage you all to get into social job networking. It’s something that you will be seeing on a rise a lot more in the future (especially when we integrate that into our site). It’s something where you can make connections or reconnect with people that you may have linked up with in the industry over the years, you will be amazed at how many old work buddies are on there now a days. Remember to make it as professional as you can because a LOT of recruiters go over social job profiles daily.
So even though times may be tough right now in our industry, let’s take a step back and take the time to further ourselves in the industry… Let’s make ourselves more desirable. Markets will rise, it will just take a bit of a time (at least a year from now you will see an increase again, is what I expect). Until then, re-prepare your resume, obtain more training and get more active online in the job world while having fun doing so. We hope soon to be able to help you with all of the above, so remember to keep checking back with us
Side note – If your looking for work, be sure to add your resume to the website by clicking here.