Confessions of a job seeker


Recently, I joined the crowd of job seekers out in the market. Looking to find a new home. A place to belong. Where I can make a difference.

For a long time, I struggled with the hunt. I looked at my skills and experiences and thought, “I’m an experienced marketer. I should know how to market myself in a way that makes me look like the next best thing since the iPad.” And, “I’m a copywriter who creates taglines and copy that sings. Words that paint pictures in heads with different images depending on what the communications goal is. I should know how to write to sell myself.”

None of those thoughts were particularly useful in building interview-getting CVs. And I wondered why. It was also getting demoralising spending hours crafting CVs and cover letters to fit the job and getting zilch in response.

A different perspective

Then recently, something clicked in head. A smidgen of an idea that grew in shape. I didn’t recognise it for what it was until my subconscious finished working it out. And then I started writing what I knew to be true for me. Writing it out in my head as I went about my day.

That something? I had worked out that I had to look at it from a different perspective. Recruiters and hiring managers probably weren’t ‘judging’ me thinking, “hah, this guy says he’s got writing skills to persuade and I ain’t persuaded” or “this guy’s a marketer and I don’t see how he’s marketing himself to me”. They would be just screening and thinking, “would he fit into my team and help achieve my goals?”

A puzzle to solve

When that mindset shift happened, something clicked about how I could approach this job hunting exercise. Each job description is a puzzle waiting for the right person with the right tools to crack it. If a job didn’t fit me then I just didn’t have the right tools (skills/experiences) at the time.

I imagine a puzzle like The Incredible Machine, a Rube Goldberg-like system where my skills/experiences are tools in the puzzle, and I need to find the right ones to achieve the result I want – which is to get my CV considered for the job.

And several job sites I’ve read talk about the right CV is whatever it takes to land the job, so don’t get so hung up on the how. I needed to focus on the ‘product’. Me.

A product to market – me

When I thought about how to market myself as product, my mind started thinking about the little word hooks I could use to arrest attention, even if it’s just for a second. I also thought about how I make my CV a story. A story of growth and challenge. A story about what drives me. What is my goal? What is my purpose?

Sure, I can write about my purpose being get a new challenge at a large company. But it wouldn’t be very interesting. And it wouldn’t be from the heart. My best writing, even if it’s not perfect on a technical level, comes from the heart. When words combine together to paint pictures from my imagination.

A thank you to you, dear reader

It’s not going to be the same thing for everyone. Even you, reading this. You might have a different way of approaching CV writing or a different way of landing other jobs. And that’s just fine. As long as you’re getting good results, why change for someone else?

But if you aren’t, like I was, a mindset shift could be just the thing to tip the scales and have recruiters think, “maybe I’ll read just a little bit longer”.

If this little post spoke to you, please share it. If it didn’t, well, thank you for reading this far anyway. As a writer, every word is precious. The fact that you read more than one word already causes invisible choirs to sing in my head.

It’s better than a ‘like’ on Facebook or YouTube.

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