What’s Your Handicap?

This is a common question in the game of golf. Any player who wants to improve his or her game knows his/her handicap.  Being aware helps the player get better.  Golfers are encouraged to practice their game to decrease their handicap. This concept can apply in your job search as well.  Here’s how.

If you have been searching for the perfect job but just can’t seem to find it perhaps you need to discover your handicap. There are many factors which contribute to difficulty in landing a job: the downturn in the economy, high levels of unemployment, lack of necessary experience or lack of appealing positions. However, sometimes we might have better luck if we weren’t ignorant regarding our personal job search handicap.

Unfortunately, unlike in the game of golf, the job search handicap is not a simple calculation, easy for anyone to figure out.  In the job search, we have to do some serious introspection and depend on friends and relatives to come up with our handicap. It would be great if interviewers would share with us what our handicap or issue was but that generally doesn’t happen in the real world.  Wouldn’t it be great if instead of the usual, “We are sorry but we are going with another candidate”, we would be told, “We didn’t feel that you researched our organization well enough” or “You didn’t convey a feeling of confidence in your expertise with xyz” or even, “Tone it down a bit. You came off a bit arrogant.”

If we had honest feedback from those who reviewed our resumes or interviewed us we would be able to focus and improve on what’s been holding us back.  The next best thing is to get that feedback from practice interviewers.  Just like in the game of golf, to improve you must practice.  Sit with family members, friends, colleagues or a professional interview coach and practice, practice, practice. And then, accept the feedback you are given and work toward decreasing your handicap.  Don’t let a job search handicap prevent you from moving your career forward!

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