As it’s now the mid-point of October, the calendar will roll into 2015 in 2 1/2 months. Now is the time to start thinking therefore about the connection between that event and your resume.
So why now you ask? Well if you are unemployed at the moment, or your hopes of landing a job different from the one you have at present haven’t been yet fulfilled, it could be that your resume isn’t as strong as it could be. One of the reasons might be a lack of current training, experience that’s too far in the past, and even a lack of references. In short, you need to do something about these situations instead of just putting the same resume with the same issues in front of different employers and hoping.
Those 2 1/2 months are going to come and go pretty quickly; you have a chance at the moment to look into upgrading some of your current skills therefore, or acquiring new ones. Whether it’s a night course at a College or Adult Education Centre, returning to school part-time or full-time, or even taking short-term courses like First Aid training, you should look into these things now.
Okay for starters, let’s say you’re only interested in taking a WHMIS class, a First Aid and CPR course or getting your SMARTSERVE certification (responsible alcohol service). If you look into those courses now, you might find places running those programs within a month or two, and you can update your resume before the end of the year. This gives you the chance to hit 2015 with valid, current certification on resume; ahead of others who are waiting to start fresh in the new year.
On the other hand, suppose it’s a return to school you are considering, possibly including night classes, part-time or full-time. If you wait until January to look into these things, you might find courses started in January and you missed the chance. Now you might have to wait until late Spring or early Summer admissions open up. Many orientations and admissions are going on now or have in fact already been done and you might already be too late. Surprised? Don’t be. Those institutions plan things in advance, need to get people registered, hire the teaching faculty, give administration time to hand out funding applications, review the applications they receive and notify students.
The goal here is simple and straight forward; you want a stronger resume as soon as possible in 2015 that demonstrates to an employer you’ve got recent and current academic experience. Why then wait for 2015 to be here before you look into upgrading which could take a big chunk of the year before you can say you’ve successfully passed a class? Don’t think it too much of a stretch to get in a class now and not even complete it until 2016 or 2017 depending on the course and how many classes you can handle at once. Yep, act now and you might have a good resume for the year 2017!
But what if a return to school isn’t in your plans? Could be that what you lack is experience. Your faced with that problem of not getting hired because you lack experience but you lack experience because no one will hire you. That’s not a new problem; people long before now have faced and overcome this problem.
A couple of suggestions to get experience on your resume quickly come to mind. First and foremost, volunteer your time with a non-profit organization. While it might be best to volunteer doing something exactly like the job you are looking for eventually, it can also be rewarding to volunteer with an organization who has a good reputation and is supported by the company or companies you wish to eventually apply to. If you can demonstrate that the skills you acquired in your volunteer position are transferable to the job you eventually want to apply to, this can help you feel your time isn’t being wasted, and it will strengthen both your resume and those previously tough interview questions.
The second suggestion is to take what one of my colleagues calls a, ‘survival job’. This would be short-term work outside your desired field that puts the present on your resume, raises your self-esteem, gives you some pocket-money, and strengthens the resume. Survival jobs could be taking a seasonal retail job in the mall when your long-term goal is actually working as an Addictions Counsellor. Maybe you see your future behind the wheels of an 18 wheeler, but for now you apply to work in a factory producing nuts and bolts.
These two suggestions; volunteering and a survival job, put 2014 on your resume, and if you are still there as the calendar rolls over, in January you have 2015 on your resume when others won’t have that luxury. That could be your edge in 2 1/2 months time over others. Employers like applicants with recent training, work history, education and experience. This demonstrates to them that you are used to routines, are dependable, and ‘work ready’.
So visit a school on-line or in person, meet a Guidance Counsellor for advice. Look into volunteering in your neighbourhood and offer your time. Contact a First Aid provider and get certified as a responder because that can be useful anywhere. Do any of the above or some other upgrading but do something and get going on it now!
Did I mention that now is the time to get going?