For most of us, that first real job or even a new job is both exhilarating and terrifying. It’s exhilarating to finally hear someone tell you, “You’re hired.” And, if you’re like most people, before you even start the job you’ll be plotting to buy a few things you think you’ll need or you’ve always wanted. If you’re ambitious, your head may fill with ideas about how to change things.
Unless you started an internet company and sold it for millions, or found a cure for cancer, putting together a resume before you’ve found your first real job is the task most young people hate more than any other. It is the most important first step, yet the one most often flubbed. I’ve seen many resumes and there are some basic mistakes that just about everyone makes:
My favorite story is about a guy I refer to as Quiet Chris. He worked with us over a winter break and never said a word the whole time. He was so shy he could not quite look you in the eye. Yet, somehow, he sold a couple of thousand dollars of product in a few weeks before school started again.
Quiet Chris was just one of many and I probably would have completely forgotten about him if his mom hadn’t come in to the office one day and asked to speak with me. Most employers don't want to talk to parents. It's better for parents to allow their children, especially their adult children, to speak for themselves. But this time was different.
“I want to thank you because you gave my son the one thing I’ve never been able to give him.” She was emotional, teary-eyed.
“Confidence. I don’t know how you did it, but I overheard him on the phone talking to someone in a way I’ve never heard before.” I almost cried myself.
What we did was teach Quiet Chris the secret that everyone’s favorite subject in the world is themselves, and to ask a lot of questions about them and their home and their children. What these insecure or introverted young people learn in a few weeks of working in sales opens up a whole world to them. They get so good that they can talk to anybody anywhere about anything.
We hear all the time that they go back to school and their friends notice the difference. They’ll say things like, “I can tell you grew a lot over the summer,” or, “I can really see a big difference in the way you talk to people, the way you carry yourself.”
That’s why I think I have the greatest job in the world, taking kids who were wall flowers in high school and making them into rock stars. That's what sales did for me. As a fellow introvert, I went from being the guy at parties that nobody got to know to the guy cracking jokes in an elevator full of strangers. That’s why I tell people I haven’t “worked” a day in more than twenty years.
Taking a mental break and in the mood for another great blog from author John Wasserman? Check out 6 Awesome Reasons to Choose a Career in Sales or 5 Interview Questions You Need to Know. A new blog is posted every week.
Oh...and check out my book No Shorts, Flip Flops, or Sunglasses: How to Get and Make the Most of Your First Real Job - proceeds go to a great charity, Children's Dyslexia Centers, Inc. Thanks! You Rock!!
Suppose you were a miniature person trapped inside a salad bowl. How would you get out?
This is way more than your average, cookie-cutter book on how to write a résumé and find a job.
It’s a personal journey of discovery that I hope will inform, inspire, and empower. I’ve been sharing my journey for more than twenty years with small groups of college-aged men and women, showing them how to get a head start on their professional and business lives and have fun doing it.
From how to look your best to how to deal with rejection, it's all here in this breezy, fun tutorial on the essentials that will give you an edge when you head out to start your full-time career. Proceeds go to a great charity, Children's Dyslexia Centers.
by John Wasserman
Proceeds benefit Children's Dyslexia Centers