Don’t have a perfect resume?

Advice for getting a job (without a perfect resume)

I’m a little jealous of my wife’s perfect resume. She’s known she’s wanted to be a children’s librarian since high school. When you look at her resume, she is the obvious choice candidate since all of her experience is applicable. When she first was applying for jobs as a children’s librarian in Austin, she got an interview for every two jobs she applied for.

Most of our paths are not that linear. Most adults will switch careers 5.7 times according to Zippia. This can leave us feeling unqualified for the positions that we’re applying for or force us to make some pretty tricky career transitions with regularity.

What can you do if you don’t have a perfect resume?

Network like it’s your job.

It’s estimated that 75% of all jobs are NOT posted online. You can often make these career jumps thru the networking you do. That way, they see your resume but know the story behind it and make you less embarrassed by your resume.

When networking, focus on making both peer-to-peer connections as well as hiring manager connections. Your goal is to know multiple people in the company who can advocate for you if your resume isn’t the most obvious choice.

Follow up after you apply.

Yesterday I attended a job fair/career panel with 100+ job seekers in attendance. I had 1 person follow up with me afterwards. One.

Following up allows you to connect with people and share your story to overcome barriers, such as not having the perfect resume.

Do some creative writing.

That experience in fast food was not wasted. It probably taught you customer service skills, to work on a team, manage inventory, and even cash handling. You might have even managed people! Sometimes, it’s all about how you frame your experience.

Have someone else look at your resume.

We’re not all strong writers and sometimes our embarrassment comes from grammatical and spelling mistakes. You can have someone else read your resume and provide editing and feedback–this is a great way to help perfect your resume.

If you don’t have someone who can read your resume, at least read it out loud yourself. This forces you to slow down and catch more mistakes.

Seek out resources.

You don’t have to do this alone–there are many local resources to where you’re at (here are a few Austin resources).

Austin Community College offers a free job skills and strategies class where you can work on your resume and interview skills. Workforce Solutions Capital Area offers free job coaching and various other services to help you get working fast. And join a job club such as Launchpad Job Club where you can meet with peers who are also looking for work–use this to grow together and overcome your embarrassment with a support group.

Own your experience.

What inspired this post is yesterday I was talking with a job seeker who seemed to be embarrassed because of her many years of experience working for a multilevel marketing company. While many may not agree with MLMs business practices, that’s not a reflection on you, the “employee.” I think most of us have experience in an industry that gets a bad rap (I used to work as an email marketer.) Also, you still gain valuable skills in sales, marketing, and recruiting–you’re running your own small business! Own your experience and speak positively about the skills and experience you gained from it 🙂

Need help looking for work?

We’re happy to help and are actively hiring! Check out our many jobs here!

Job Search Recommendations and Referrals

Job Search Referrals

Ask around for job recommendations and referrals when looking for your next job.

When I first moved to Austin, I needed to find a dentist. So I asked my co-workers and friends. Who do you use? After talking to a few people, I found one who was in my area, covered by my insurance, and well-regarded by multiple co-workers. And they’ve been great–which is especially valuable to me since I’m afraid of going to the dentist!

The jobs we see online are typically the ones that are best advertised. After all, Indeed and Ziprecruiter make a lot of money through paid advertisements.

These jobs may not be the best one for your skill set…or the best paying…or even the best company. They’re simply the most visible. Perhaps ABC Dentistry is going to treat me and my smile right, but I’d feel a whole better about it if someone I knew recommended them as opposed to them just popping up in my Facebook feed.

Ask for Job Referrals and Recommendations

Are you looking for work? If so, call up your friends and colleagues (past or present) to ask them:

  • Do you know anyone who is hiring?
  • Can you get me in touch with someone to discuss the job and the organization?
  • What kinds of organizations in the area could use my unique skills?

Then seek to build relationships with each new person you meet and ask them these same questions. This core to your networking strategy!

Most people want to help you. Even if they can’t think of any job referrals right now, they may help you keep an eye out for future opportunities.

Want to know what people think of us? Check out our testimonials page or visit our listing on Google.

Networking your way through the new year

Tips for Networking

Happy New Year from all of us at Peak Performers employment agency!

It’s the start of another rotation around the sun, and many people are full of resolutions — to eat healthier, to exercise more, and maybe even to make the world a slightly better place.

My guess is that most of you haven’t thought much about networking.

Schmoozing can seem intimidating for some, but we’ve got a few unconventional tips to help you excel in your job search and perhaps be a better person in the process.

Get to know your neighbors.

According to a report last year from City Observatory, about one in three Americans say they have never interacted with the people right next door. When you’re buried deep in the throes of the job hunt, it’s important not to isolate yourself. Why not start with sharing a meal with the folks across the street? They might even know a few hiring managers.

It’s tough looking for work, and it’s even more uncomfortable asking other people for help. But you never know when the right connection can lead to your perfect job. Surrounding yourself with a small community of close friends, neighbors and family can go a long way for your emotional and mental support.

Be a good person.

Muhammad Ali once said that service to others is “the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Volunteering can be an excellent way to make new connections in your field while keeping your skills fresh and filling any gaps in your resume. It’s also the right thing to do.

Check out volunteermatch.org for a searchable list of opportunities with organizations in Austin, or catchafire.org for a list of projects and skills-based opportunities across the country. Additionally, it’s important to treat everyone you meet like a potential hiring manager. A stranger today could eventually become your boss or client down the road. More importantly, we should treat everyone we meet with respect, whether or not they can useful to us (#NoteToSelf).

Keep an open mind.

Networking is a lifelong process, and it can take some time before you see any practical benefits. But if you’ve been attending the same job club for ten months, and it hasn’t led to anything constructive, we might suggest that you try something else. If you’ve been tweeting and posting online with few results, you might consider a new strategy.

If it’s not working, do something different. Set up informational interviews. Join a new trade association, alumni group, job seeker network, or job club program. Keeping an open mind, even if networking isn’t your thing, can go a long way towards finding the right connections.

As you march onward into the New Year, we wish you a lifetime of new connections, fresh job leads, and renewed inspiration. Our vision remains the same: to help professionals with disabilities get jobs.

Are you a stranger or an acquaintance?

Being Friendly to Expand your Connections

Recently, I heard about a rule that the Mariott hotels make their employees live by. It’s call the 10 and 5 Staff Rule.

It’s a pretty straightforward rule: if a guest passes within 10 feet of an employee, the employee is required to make eye contact and smile in a friendly way. If a guess passes within 5 feet, the employee must also greet the guest.

Imagine: what would your life look like if you lived by this rule?

Expanding your Network

Studies and surveys have repeatedly found that the key to getting a job is knowing the right people. How do you get to know these people? “Networking” is the catch-all term that we apply these days, but exactly how does one “network?”

In a nutshell: you talk to people. The only difference between a stranger and an acquaintance is that an acquaintance is a stranger you’ve had a conversation with. Experience shows that, aside from a greater likelihood of landing jobs, acquaintances also get “better” jobs than strangers do.

So it turns out that one of the best things you can do to help your job search is simply talk to people. Take a chance on talking to that seat mate on an airplane, or the person standing next to you in line at the grocery store. You might even get a job lead out of it.