Monday, April 11, 2011

Attitude! It will make you or break you!

Attitude is critical when you lose your job, become ill, lose a loved one or face any other adversity. Fortunately, what attitude you choose to take, positive or negative, is entirely your choice. 

In the case of job loss, understand  the importance of your choice: if you choose to take a negative attitude, statistics say you’re probably in for a long, difficult recovery.

What are four things you can do to develop a positive attitude, if that is not your natural demeanor?

1 – First and most important, avoid contact with people who have a negative attitude.

2 - Befriend people who have a positive attitude. One common trait of successful people is that most of them surround themselves with people who have positive attitudes.

3 - You’re out of work. But really you’re not. You have a new job entitled “Find a New Job” and it may be the toughest job you ever held. It might include a variant called “Find a New Career”. But whichever it is, work hard at it and play hard as a healthy diversion. You need to be focused on the things that will get you employed again. And you need to release some of the tensions by allocating some time to doing the things you love to do.

4 – Work at forcing your emotions out of the recovery. Start by organizing your search campaign. Developing a good search campaign does not have to consume much time. And the tactics you use to implement it can be prioritized and re-prioritized to suit changing conditions. One thing that will not change, however, is being ready to submit your job search documents (resume, cover letter) quickly to positions you find that you want to apply to.

So start your new job by getting your resumes and cover letters in order. I put this in the plural because one version of each will not do it. Each must be tuned to what the hiring manager wants, so be ready to tune both documents to be responsive to a specific situation.

Very Important: Don’t start writing your resume by writing your resume! I've written another blog post dedicated solely to this topic.

If you’re going to tune your resume for specific jobs you’re going to want to know every project you ever worked on at every job you’ve held (ok you’ll probably never be able to do that – but try). You’ll have to recall what you did for the project and what the result was. It’s your results that are the benefits of hiring you. You want to align your results with the hiring managers' needs.

Create a 3-column table of Projects – Your Accomplishments – The Results.  Once you have done so you’ll be ready to create the most important part of the resume, your accomplishments, selected and prioritized (tuned). You’ll also be in position to select and prioritize a few results that address the specific job in your cover letter.

And there are other critical parts to work on: your brand, your objective and your education and other credentials.

Once the resume is in order and a draft cover letter that commands attention is prepared (both will need tuning) you can start thinking about the campaign strategy and tactics and consider the pros and cons of each:

Will you broadcast or target your submissions?

Will you post on job boards such as Monster, Career Builder, Dice, The Ladders and others?

Will you apply to jobs posted on company websites? On other on-line services? On LinkedIn for instance.

Do you understand ATS? Can you tune your documents for ATS scanning?

Will you network (of course!) and how and where will you network?

Will you allow someone who works for a company to “present” you or will you present yourself after you find out who to contact?

Will you use recruiters? How will you select them? Do you understand the varieties of recruiters and how they work?

And of course there’re always more things to consider, but this is a long list of “prep” work to keep you occupied and keep your attitude focused on the positive things you can do.

Find out more about Job Searching by visiting or by emailing me at

1 comment:

  1. Whoa- this is useful- especially the part about checking your attitude. It's hard to be flexible and optimistic when you are out of work and searching for a job. But you are right that it's our choice about how to respond in any given situation. Thanks for the reminder.


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