I’ve determined recently that I don’t know how to be a grown-up. I wish they’d required a class in high school or college called “Grown-Upping 101.” That would have been extremely useful now. Instead, you’re left to gather important information haphazardly as you go along. Sure you could read books and study cases online, but you almost need to take a class on how to determine what is worthwhile information on grown-upping and what is just a sneaky way of someone trying to steal your money.
If you’ve read my blog “Waiting on the World’s Approval” then you know I’m job searching. But then I’ve been saying I’ve been job searching for about a year and a half now. The only thing that really changes is my level of desperation and feelings of defeat and hopelessness. However, now I have reached a peak point of desperation where my life in general, not just my job, are not to my liking, and to get to the place I want to be, it requires a new job in a new place. So here I am writing resumes and cover letters and salary histories and demo reels and work portfolios.
I hate it.
Everyone I talk to says they hate it too so at least I’m not in the minority, but I also feel like I’m bad at it. Like I’m an incredibly creative person, but resumes and job searching call for a certain level of formality that I can never quite decipher. But on the flipside of that, for someone working in the entertainment industry like me (or at least the fringes of it), I can’t just list my experience and personal information in Times New Roman black and white text. I mean, I could, but I feel like my likelihood of getting a call back would diminish even more.
So then how do you create job-catching resumes and applications without driving yourself insane? Everyone online has their own answer. Do this. Don’t do this. Use this font because it’s professional. NEVER use Comic Sans on anything. (Okay, that’s actually good advice). Make sure you ALWAYS include this (which varies from source to source). Don’t be too girly. Don’t use red because it’s intimidating. Don’t be too bland.
Ugh! There’s no end to the “advice.” One of the few things I’ve really taken away is that you have to decide what you want to stress and commit to it. A jack-of-all trades resume isn’t really all that helpful. You have to show that you have a very specific skill set that basically matches exactly what they’re looking for to even get a call back. What happened to hiring people who might not have everything they’re looking for but have a proven record of learning fast and exceling at whatever they do?
Also, writing multiple resumes—basically a different one for each job—is necessary. This one I can’t argue with that much. If you have a wide range of skills, tailoring them specifically to each job makes sense. But I tend to run into the issue of time constraints and lack of confidence in what I’m adding to my resume. When I have to redo my resume every time I apply, I get burned out and discouraged really fast.
My overall problem is that I hate job searching. I hate resume writing. It destroys any bit of self-confidence I had previously built up for myself. And I can only do it for so long without any responses before I go insane (aka quit job searching). And that’s the opposite of what I want to do! I need to get into a rhythm and keep applying until I successfully find something! Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. Resume writing and job searching is always going to be a struggle for me. It’s always going to be a vicious cycle of building my confidence up only to tear it down only to need it built up again to successfully snag a job. I feel like I go in endless circles. THERE IS NO ESCAPE!
I mean I hope there is an escape. Life is much more awful than I realized if there isn’t. But it still feels hopeless at times. So how do you survive? How do you deal with job searching and resume writing? How do you not go insane?