All too often, and especially with the economic ups and downs of recent times, we’re seeing job seekers who are frustrated trying to find a job or advance in their career. They send out endless resumes (often to positions for which they are not qualified), and truly believe they are working hard to get a job. But their efforts are unfocused and misdirected.
The economy has played a part in giving job seekers an identity crisis – a trend of rebranding themselves to fit a particular position – even if they’re stretching it a bit (or a lot!) It’s a common situation for those frustrated with their job search or looking for a career change.
Creative, marketing and interactive professionals are typically very aware of establishing their brand and their professional identity. And sure, some companies look for versatility in the roles they’re looking to fill (i.e., Art Director/Graphic Designer who is “hands-on”), but that doesn’t mean being everything to everyone is going to help your career.
While it is important (and often very necessary) to ramp up the job search or make a career change, it’s not ok to emphasize minimal skills or experience to re-brand yourself to fit into another role.
To help you stay on track and remember just who you are…
- Don’t apply for a senior role when you just don’t have the experience. A company asking for 10+ years of experience isn’t looking for someone with 4 (or vice versa).
- Customize your cover letter and resume for each position.
- Ask yourself if the “must haves” for the position align with your top skills? If not, it could be a stretch. Touting your proficiency in a particular skill when you’ve only used it briefly is not fun for anyone, especially when your manager discovers this in you first few days on the job.
- Be honest with yourself. Don’t lose sight of who you are, what you’re capable of and what you’re looking for during the job search. Otherwise, it may come back to haunt you if you get the job or apply to another position within the same company in the future.
Remember, it’s a competitive job search landscape. The more you focus and remain true to your brand, the better your chances of landing that position that will be the next step in building your career.