The "R" Word (No, Not Resume)

When I started my writing company, I could not understand why it was so challenging to get people to send me their existing resume? Many of my clients would “prepare” to send their current resume even though the entire purpose was for me to help them to make updates!

I would hear things like, “be honest with me, its terrible right? Or “go easy on me” or “tell me the truth, its bad”.

What they didn’t realize was that they were safe with me, that I understood.  See, I helped many talented new graduates, mid-level professionals and business executives just like them who were completely overwhelmed at the concept of taking years of work and reducing them to a few words on a page or two for a total stranger to decide the next step in their career.  I mean, who wouldn’t be intimidated by that?

It soon became very clear to me that the very act of searching for a job, starting with a resume, brought people face-to-face with the “R” word:


The fear of rejection is a threat to most of us as we seek to gain acknowledgement and acceptance from others at a basic human level.  Take our human code, add in going out on a limb to a potential employer to say, “I think I am the best candidate for the job” only to receive a gut-wrenching decline email and you have the ingredients for a total job search nightmare.

Let’s be honest, you can understand if a company decided to go with another candidate, it’s their decision ultimately, but not when you’re the one being rejected.  And that feeling that lingers, that looping whisper that you hear that silently mocks you saying, “You were not good enough to join our company!”?

Unfair. Ridiculous. Depressing.  Over-eat all weekend, grow a beard, and ignore everyone depressing.

Before you decide to enter a dark cave after a rejection letter, consider the following scenarios that I have recently confirmed that have NOTHING to do with you at all.

Some companies struggle to write an effective job description.

With the best intentions, many companies list an 8-point type crammed dissertation of all duties and responsibilities.  Unfortunately this can often leave job applicants feeling overwhelmed with information and unable to understand the core responsibilities of the role.  Even worse, some companies may provide too little information.  With either scenario, you may be at a disadvantage and inadvertently you may leave out important aspects of your work experience on your resume that would have made it totally clear that you were a good fit for the role.

The job is no longer available.

Not receiving a call back from a potential employer may not mean that they went with another candidate. It may very well be that there was a last minute budget cut or the position was eliminated before it was even filled.  In this case, you have seriously dodged a bullet and avoided being dismissed weeks or months into your new role.

There was never any intention to hire an outside candidate.

Some companies post to public sites and even go through the interview process without ever having any intention of hiring outside talent. It could be that their internal policies require that every job be posted and that a certain number of candidates be interviewed to validate that they have the best internal candidate.

Any of the reasons listed above may provide you some valuable insight as to the inner-workings of an organization and more importantly how they regard people.  So before you take on the full burden of rejection, consider that it may not be you after all.  In today’s job market, the way that a company handles recruitment is often times a reflection of how they handle their employees.

You might even end up better off than you think!

Spend less time searching for how to write a resume, sifting through free resume templates or trusting your career to an automatic resume builder. Bragsheet | Certified Professional Resume Writers

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