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A Wake Up Call for Job Seekers: On Paper You Look Like Everybody Else

2020-2023 was my 3rd volatile job market as a headhunter (previously 2002 and 2009). I constantly get messages from professionals back on the market after being suddenly laid off. I pay it forward any way I can; helping with résumés, making introductions to my contacts, even encouraging candidates to apply directly to companies that I know use their skills, but don’t have contracts with me.

When mass layoffs happen in an economy, employers are hit by a huge wave of average talent. From experience, I know companies won’t want to invest in people they don’t think can help them.

Here’s the slap in the face. Most unemployed technology, marketing and finance job seekers all look the same on paper. You throw your résumés out into the world, going on and on about your responsibilities; the vanilla bullet points of your day to day. In times like these, what worked before won’t get you hired when there’s so much competition.

If you want to land a good job, let alone an interview, before someone else in your same situation, it’s critical you start emphasizing where you affected change. Start thinking hard on what you’ve done over the past few years that really impacted your employers. Make the company the winner as you articulate where you achieved massive results with limited resources, or how you introduced culture changing processes.

It could very quickly become dog-eat-dog in your line of work. How easily you found your jobs in recent years is not going to work today. Stand out as someone who gave blood, sweat and tears to ensure their company’s success and you’ll make it.


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