Job seekers: Take a personal inventory

My mother used to say, “If you’re going to be a ditch digger, you need to strive to be the best ditch digger you can...

My mother used to say, “If you’re going to be a ditch digger, you need to strive to be the best ditch digger you can be.” Her point was do your best at every level.

I’m sure there are a lot of PR pros out there wondering if they’re the best they can/should be. I get resumes and phone calls from them every day. Wondering why they were flying high at a large agency or organization and can’t seem to land after the fall.

After speaking to several colleagues who are in the position to hire, I believe that it may not be the economy holding these job seekers back, but rather their skill set and perhaps an inability to take a hard inventory of what they’re worth to a potential employer.

Most have been in the game for a while, yet are just starting to network. Many are great professionals, but haven’t made a media call or run an event firsthand in years. Several claim to be “strategic” communicators, yet are just now figuring out Facebook and Twitter. All of them need a big salary to keep up their lifestyle.
Addicts will tell you that one of the most important steps in any recovery is the ability to make a searching and fearless inventory of yourself. Take a hard look at what a potential employer needs (not what you need), what the market will bear and ask yourself if you are more flash than substance.

The folks who are conducting the interviews are afraid you’ll sue them if they tell you what they really think, so it’s up to you to ask for a critical review and learn from it. Have friends and mentors conduct interviews, review your resume and give you some tough love. It might be exactly what you need.

Ann Subervi, president and CEO, Utopia Communications

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