Using The Right Tools

Ever come across a loose screw, say in a kitchen cupboard hinge and reached for a knife instead of going to the basement to get the screwdriver? The force you use to make it work and the damage you do to the knife – maybe even the injury you do to yourself if the knife slips – well, maybe it would have been better to have just gone to get the right tool.

Or another truism; you have a screwdriver but it’s not the right kind. Do you head to the garage and get the one with the right head? No! You go ahead and try to manipulate the thing although its slips continuously; only giving up when you’ve frustrated yourself.

Whether you’ve done the above or not, you have probably found yourself using the wrong tool every now and then, either out of necessity, laziness, ignorance etc. Necessity and the lengths we will go to in adapting something to meet our immediate needs shows great ingenuity and creativity. That of course is a testament to our brain power.

Laziness on the other hand – which most if not all of us are guilty of from time to time – well that’s not such a positive thing. We should as you know, head on down to the basement or the garage and get the right tool. It probably will save us a lot of time in the long run. The only thing worse than using the wrong tool of out laziness is opting to ignore the problem altogether, which only results in a bigger problem down the road.

Ignorance is forgivable to a point. After all, if you don’t know the right tool in the first place you can’t be blamed for not using it. Depending on the tool it may be that the experience required to use it is beyond your level of expertise and the result could be a disaster. However, your problem-solving skills should be employed to find out the information you lack.

The key when we lack at hand the tools we need, is to locate what we need  and ensure we never repeat the problem. In this case, we could use our brain power and put a multi-head screwdriver in the kitchen drawer for future use so we don’t ever have the problem again!

So what’s this got to do with jobs? With careers? With employment advice? Well have you ever caught yourself churning out 40 copies of your resume on a photocopier and then mass distributing it? That is so much more time saving than actually making a resume for each job isn’t it? Absolutely. However, it’s more than likely going to lead to massive frustration when that generic resume gets you nowhere.

If you’re doing this, you’re either lazy and know better, or you’re ignorant of how to go about applying for jobs by targeting your resume which is going to save you time, be more productive and frustrate you much less because it will actually work.

Do yourself a favour by the way and cease using templates for your cover letters and your resumes. Templates have tables built into them which make them difficult to edit. A template also can cause you problems when a company scans your resume using applicant tracking software and the software misreads the content of the table and scores you a big zero in what you believe are critically important and relevant skills that match the job.

These templates are examples of what people thought was the right thing to do, or the easy thing to do. I get it seems so much easier to copy and paste a cover letter and plan to change the information on it as needed. Invariably, someone who has to rely on a cover letter template will lack the skills necessary to change it in all required areas. The result will be a cover letter with the wrong employers’ name, an incorrect date, or worse yet, something like, “insert the employer name here” still on the finished piece!

We’ve just uncovered the basic problem though haven’t we in the above; there are a lot of people who just don’t have the tools to write an effective cover letter or make a good resume on their own. Look, it stands to reason that we can’t be good at everything in life. You’re probably much better in whatever it is you do than someone who is on the first day of their job. Your skills are more developed; you’ve learned from your mistakes.

Yes there are a lot of people who are just trying to navigate their way in life and lack the skills to actually apply for jobs and interview for jobs to the best of their ability. They haven’t got the right tools in their toolbox and until they acquire those tools are going to continue to do the best they can with what they’ve got. Left to their own, it’s going to take years in order to gain the skills needed just to get past the application process and get hired.

You would be wise to add some skills to your own toolbox by seeking out the help of someone who has the tools you need in their toolbox. Learn from them and you add a thing or two to your own.









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