Career Survival Skills: No Evidence, No Credibility
by Michael Mayher

The good jobs, the ones we all strive for are fewer and harder to get than ever. This means, conversely, that you need to be better prepared than others, more on your game and at your best. If you do not recognize this, you obviously haven’t been in the current jobs market or you’re simply going through the motions with your fingers crossed, or, you think you’re extra special and a good job is going to find you.

Regardless, any claim you make about your employment history, duties, accomplishments and anything you put on your resume needs to be verifiable. I am not talking about a job you had for three weeks that you selected not to put on your resume; this is trivia and unnecessary minutiae, in my view. But let me share an easy example. I read an article recently that suggests if you haven’t worked in a while, simply get some business cards made and award yourself with the business title of consultant and “voila”, problem solved and gap accounted for. Some people do, in fact, consult while between jobs or as an extension of their work, so this is not an indictment of those actually doing this kind of work and, why not, if they have expertise from which they can leverage or profit. However, I’m a long-experienced headhunter and I can identify and shoot down BS very quickly. I would simply ask them for examples of their clients and what they’ve done for them – in other words, show me the evidence. Trust me -- any experienced interviewer knows to do the same.

This goes back to the point about what I am writing today. Any claim you make on your resume must be backed up and provable; it validates your claims. And by doing so, by being prepared and ready with facts, figures, active references and/or reference letters, you will have more confidence. Combined, these things will set you apart from most people, who either cannot or don’t bother to take the interview process as seriously. Oddly, for such a serious endeavor the vast majority are doing nearly nothing except sending resumes and crossing their fingers. Not everyone is a top-ranked sales person, employee of the month, or an award winner – but, you don’t have to be. In reality it doesn’t take too much effort to separate yourself from the crowd. Sometimes the difference between mediocrity and excellence is marked by small things, which taken together make a difference; therefore, just be prepared so that whatever claim you make can stand up to scrutiny.

About the Author: Michael Mayher has been an international direct search recruiter on two continents for over 22 years. A consultant, published author, lecturer and blogger, he re-introduces professionals to critical Soft Skills lost in our digital age and necessary to effectively navigate their careers. You can find more information by visiting his blog and website.)

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