By Jack Mulcahy, ACRW
Jack Mulcahy Resume Services
It’s amazing how many job seekers do not realize the way the employment system works. They will come in with a resume that shows how smart they are; how well educated; how many years they worked at a particular position or company. Occasionally, one or two may even have had the good sense to include an accomplishment or two on their resumes.
But their resumes, for the most part, are filled with job duties, rather than accomplishments. And as we know, companies don’t buy duties, they buy accomplishments.
So I try to explain this simple fact to the job seeker, and invariably s/he will come back with, “Maybe so, but I’m different. When they see what I’ve done, they’ll realize how smart I am, and they just won’t be able to resist hiring me.”
When I explain to them that the employer doesn’t care how smart you are, only what you can do for him/her, most of these people stare at me as if I had lobsters growing out of my ears. “I spent four years at [name the prestigious school]!” they’ll tell me. “How could they not want someone like me?”
In my resume practice, I have actually had job seekers come to me in various states of depression because the world didn’t have a job waiting for them! These people were convinced that all they had to do was put their names out there and employers would fall all over each other trying to get them.
This, dear readers, is called entitlement, and it is one of the biggest mistakes people make when seeking work. Entitlement is a road that will lead you to the edge of a high cliff with nowhere to go but down.
What you need, if you are laboring under the illusion of entitlement, is a strong dose of reality. And the reality is that no employer in the world exists simply to give you a job.
They aren’t waiting for a smart person like you to come along and save them. Employers exist to serve their customers and make a profit by doing so, and they will hire the person whom they judge will do the best job at helping them achieve those ends.
Without customers, the company will not exist; without a primary mission of serving those customers, there will be no customers. Thus, by extension, the business you are seeking to work for is your customer; unless you approach the business with the express purpose of serving the needs of that business, you won’t have a customer, either.
Check your entitlement at the door, please.