Misses on your resume? Your attitude as an applicant is decisive!
Are you one of those applicants or employees who are ashamed of certain “missteps” on their résumé? Many applicants warn me about their résumé before sending it to me in advance of a coaching session. Yes, and rightly so! Because anyone who has not at least passed a 1.0 high school diploma, has been promoted from clerk to manager in 5 years is really a damn hard case. And to blame for it are those stupid missteps, for which you must be really, but also really! ashamed, if they also deface your resume. And because I have such a good heart, at the end of this article I will tell you how you as an applicant can still make it into your new job successfully.
For those of you who have not noticed it or are here for the first time: Warning, this text may contain traces of irony!
8 missteps that really spoil every resume:
You wasted a ton of time raising children
How could you look after your children! Don’t you know that, especially as a woman, you can only have a career today if you give your children all-day care right after they are born? Child or Career – that has always been the case and will never change with a women’s quota or stove bonus. In today’s fast-moving world, nobody can afford this downtime. Once you have been out of the job for 2 years, no one will take you after that! You have forgotten everything and no longer know what real work means. Do you have any idea how many software updates have taken place in that time ?! And with changing diapers, counting to 10, or reading stories, you have not exactly acquired skills during that time that you will ever need again at work later. I say yes, a waste of time!
You have changed employers far too often
Your résumé is four pages long and have you changed employers ten times in the last 25 years? Well, it is immediately clear that you won’t be able to take it anywhere for long. And then it doesn’t matter that you have been terminated seven times due to bankruptcy or takeovers. That’s your bad luck! Well, you have seen many bosses, repeatedly familiarized yourself with new topics, and even moved a few times for the job. But that’s worthless because after all you are left with nothing like every two years. So it’s best to find an employer who will shut down in two years so that at least that is a constant in your life!
You have been with an employer all your life
You have been there since your training. Next year you would have celebrated your 25th birthday and given a day of special leave. And now the resignation is on the table. Yes, if you can’t hire direct competition, you don’t stand a chance. Flexibility is required today and that doesn’t seem to apply to you when I look at your résumé. No employer today wants loyal and loyal employees. Not that you’re too comfortable at work. Whoever leaves will be replaced. It’s easy!
You studied the wrong thing or dropped out of your studies
How can you! To start something and then not finish it. Didn’t you know beforehand that this is not for you? You should have inquired better. And simply giving up doesn’t show perseverance. Even if you noticed that you couldn’t see any blood, you could have finished your medical degree so that you could at least have a degree under your belt. Breaking something off is a clear sign of weakness. Or you out there … how could you study ancient Greek and philosophy! Your parents always told you that you couldn’t score points in business. Once you have studied the wrong thing, you will only ever be a stooge for those who have chosen a proper degree or a prestigious education.
Don’t you have a high school diploma?
Your high school diploma from 1980 only shows a 2.2? You definitely have to cover this up when you apply for the next position! Because if you were such a lazy pig back then, nothing has changed until today. And anyway: employers now only select strictly according to grades, sometimes this even works automatically as soon as you have uploaded your certificates. If you are not among the best of the best in the world, there will always be another applicant in front of you and selected who has better grades. No chance. You should have thought of that as a teenager!
You are too far down the career ladder for your age
Excuse me – at 35 you are not a senior manager or at least an executive? Shame yourself! How could that happen? Take a look at the positions of your peers on XING and hold your job title against it. Yes, you are a total loser in this position and it doesn’t help if you actually love your current job and your colleagues, have the best boss in the world, and are happy with your salary. And as you know, by your late 30s, the career train has left for you anyway. From the age of 50 at the latest, as an applicant, you will never have chances on the job market again, unless you follow my tips here.
Your last employer has a bad image
Your employer had a major product recall last year? Or did he make the headlines because of mistakes in top management? – Yes, it is definitely not a pleasure to work for such a company. Everyone on the street is still staring at you about it today. And your family and friends are also wondering how this could happen. The fact that you actually process incoming invoices in accounting no longer matters. As an applicant, you will be associated with this scandal for the rest of your professional life. You have to put up with that for better or worse!
You can kind of do everything, but nothing really
You have already done so much in your life and you are simply interested in anything you can get your hands on. From programming language to composing music to distant countries and cultures. Well, I’m only an economist, so half a business and economist, but neither of them really. So I know what I’m talking about! Yes, such jack-of-all-trades and generalists will have an increasingly difficult time, because companies are now only looking for specialized specialists. If you don’t finally commit yourself to one area, you will get bigger and bigger problems when you have to explain what you can really do.
(irony mode off)
So is life? – It’s your life!
You probably smirked at some points, maybe you would have liked to contradict me loudly here and there. All eight examples come from reality and are not isolated cases in the applicant’s mind. Many are stuck in their shifted image on their own résumé. Perhaps it is also a form of self-sabotage to justify why the interview invitation just doesn’t work.
Why is it so hard to acknowledge: That’s life. – This is my life!
Are we not allowed to make wrong decisions in our life because we did not have better information at the time of the decision or simply believed it was a good way? Are we not allowed to take new paths that at first glance are not linear? Can’t situations arise in life that we did not expect and that turn our previously strictly planned résumé upside down? Shouldn’t a CV also have gaps, because changing jobs and looking for a suitable employer take time now?
Does this make us bad workers? Are we showing weaknesses that have no place in our society? As the boss of our own lives, are we not allowed to decide what is good for each of us? Do we have to align our course of life with undefined norms and “That’s not how it is done!” And do we actually have to justify deviations from them? Who actually thinks they know which is the ideal résumé for a particular job? And where do so many applicants get the certainty that they know exactly what they are doing wrong or that they will never have another chance on the job market?
As long as you are ashamed of your résumé, see yourself as a failure, or call yourself a “Failed Existence” title, you will not get even the blindest recruiter in the mood to take a serious interest in you. You radiate this attitude towards yourself – and that already in your cover letter.
Try to regain an appreciative attitude towards your (professional) life:
The fact that you dropped out of your studies at that time shows consistency and self-reflection. The fact that you have invested time in bringing up children or caring for relatives makes your personal values clear and you will have gained a lot of important experience in this phase as well. You cannot help that you have been given redundancy so often for operational reasons. If you have felt at home with a company for many years, congratulations! That you are not as advanced as your fellow students from before – so what? But you have experienced and learned other things. Versatility, flexibility, and a thirst for knowledge show that you are broadly interested as a generalist. Who wouldn’t want that?
Yes, I know that if you as an applicant have been searching for a long time and have had to take a lot of rejections, then your own doubts about your CV will get louder and louder. Many applicants come to me and want to know: “Is there something hidden in the CV that disqualifies me?” My answer is usually: “No” – even if there is always a little potential for optimization here and there.
What disqualifies many applicants, however, is their attitude towards themselves and their life. Would you hire someone ashamed of their résumé and secretly sees themselves as a hapless failure?
How to adopt a good demeanor as an applicant
This is neither about pink whitewash nor high acting. You will not change your posture while sleeping overnight. This is work on and occupation with yourself and it can be quite exhausting.
Take and give yourself the time. Go through your curriculum vitae and think about for each station what you have experienced, achieved, and experienced in your job and life as well.
- Is there anything you are also proud of at this time?
- What experiences from back then can you still use today?
- What has contributed to your professional and personal development?
- What small or large successes do you like to look back on?
- What have you taken away from mistakes or personal strokes of fate for your life? How did you manage to overcome difficult times?
Think especially about those sections or points in time for which you were just ashamed, whether in retrospect you can see something good for your life from them. If you can’t think of anything, ask yourself whether this time from the past is even important today to do a good job tomorrow.
If you don’t get on with all of this, ask you’re good friends what they appreciate about you or let them rate your résumé “neutrally”. And then there should be coaches who don’t just change the font and typing errors in yours Correct your CV, but above all work on your attitude as an applicant.
Because success in the application is a matter of attitude.