Last week I was declined entry into a university program I very much wanted to gain admission to. What the heck! I have a college diploma, certificates, and numerous university and college Continuing Education courses; I also have the years of work experience required for the field.
I was dumbfounded by the denial of my application. I sat on it for a few days and a funny thing started to happen, I saw things from a different perspective. That is, through the eyes of the Admissions people. In reviewing the entry level program requirements the discipline asked for a specific educational diploma; grade level; and work experience. I had a diploma and certificate requirements in a peripheral field and eight years of work experience in a direct field. The long and short of it was I didn’t sell myself. I needed to make a better case for myself. I assumed the Admissions people would see the ‘big picture’ and figure it out.
In analyzing my own situation, I realized I was not unlike the clients I serve who are looking for work. Sometimes we are so comfortable, or embedded, in our own self-worth we can’t see beyond that. We think the resume speaks for itself; our education; our job title, or salary level, or former employer reputation makes us invaluable to the outside world. I cannot tell you how often my clients tell me a job came up that was a direct fit for them and they didn’t even get an interview.
This experience has humbled me and reminded me that being declined (for anything worth looking forward to) chips away at our self-esteem and can discourage us. For me, it is time to regroup and get back to appealing the decision and putting the necessary work into my application. I’m fortunate, I have the option of doing that. When job searching, if you miss the opportunity to shine on paper and get invited into an interview, there is no appeal process. As a job seeker, there is no better way to do this than through the cover letter and resume. No longer does the fact that you have a diploma or degree in a related field mean anything to the employer. You had better show them that you are their next shining star and get noticed the first time.
– Kym McCreary-Stewart
Career Consultant Certificate ’09/Writing for Publication ’08