Raise your hand if you hate writing cover letters.
(Anyone not raising your hand, please tell me your secret. I crave enlightenment here.)
A few years ago I worked with a career counselor who, to my great benefit, introduced me to marketing by suggesting an internship I could apply for. While I can’t say my career has skyrocketed since then, I can say that I’ve taken significant steps in becoming a more confident and effective part of the workforce.
Now that I’m job hunting again I have a lot more experience and qualifications to work with on my resume… but that’s always been a hard thing for me. I don’t know, I think there’s something about my brain that gravitates towards writing fiction so much that writing non-fiction is a bore and a chore and a pain. At the very least, I have not always been very good at being my own advocate.
So I thought I’d share this for anyone who feels they’re in the same boat. I recently shot an email to that same career counselor and he recommended I fill out this questionnaire adapted from BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus. I had the most trouble with the second question, because I could only think of nine really interesting things I’ve done or have happened to me, but it’s a really great worksheet and resource. Here’s an example of one of my answers…
12. In what ways are you making a difference in people’s lives?
By working with [a small organic snack food company] and [a small wholesale family bakery with nationwide distribution], I’ve played a part in the movement towards greater healthy food awareness. The latter especially, as the brand has a wide social media reach and resonates with both the vegan community and non-GMO enthusiasts.
I also think that my blog does inspire other writers. I try to be active within the blogging community and comment on other posts, partly because that’s good social networking but mainly because I have found a great deal of inspiration there. If someone has put something out there that changed the way I think or opened my mind to new ideas, I want to let them know that they made a difference, they are having an impact on the world, and their efforts are appreciated.
When you put positive things out into the world, you get positive things back. I hope this helps at least one person out there, and it doesn’t have to be job search related. Being able to acknowledge your own achievements and other cool things that you’ve done is important.
And now that I’ve finished this worksheet, I’m going to sit back and enjoy a nice cup of tea.