Age, choppy career paths, self-employed, disabilities, history of incarceration, women who are returning to the workplace after raising children, job gaps, weak education are all career issues that need to be addressed.
Overcoming Career, Job And Employment Problems
Let’s face it, in the real world, when it comes to getting the right job, we are either too young or too old. We don’t have the perfect job history, or we don’t have the right experience, or we lack current training or knowledge of specific technology applications to justify the hire.
Sometimes it is a lack of staff/team management responsibilities, other times it’s that we haven’t made significant budget decisions.
We might have pot-holes or work gaps, legitimate or not. The point is that there are nearly always problems that need to be solved in order to have a powerfully compelling resume.
The key to trouble-shooting your career problems is to define your contributions so clearly that people will take the risk of calling you for an interview. Think of it this way, if you were a professional baseball player that lacked speed, you would make up for it with hitting skills.
In a like manner, if you lack industry expertise, you need to define the challenges you’ve met in your career field and the actions that you took to meet these challenges as well as the results you delivered well enough to impress or wow the potential interviewer.
EXAMPLE – Overcoming Career, Job & Employment Problems
A client of mine wanted to work in the rather exclusive world of pharmaceutical sales. What she was up against were candidates with degrees in biology, chemistry or molecular science (her B.A. was in Political Science). In addition, she was competing with medical sales professionals and other experienced pharmaceutical sales representatives. Not only was the competitive arena tremendous, my client didn’t have the right work history. She had sold before, but the service she sold was called foil stamping. That is a very small subset of printing (foil can be added to a logo on a business card, for example, to make it standout).
The problem she needed to smooth over was the lack of specific industry experience and proper education. When she submitted her resume to Baxter Healthcare and received a call for an interview, she was told the following. “You don’t have the right education, the right experience and lack valid industry knowledge, yet we were so intrigued by the challenges, actions and results in your work history that we felt we had to at least give you an interview.” What happened? She was as good as her resume and won the job out of 1,200 candidates. She is now a territory sales manager for Baxter’s plasma product lines.