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Resilience over Resumes: The Difference Between Job Openings and Opportunities

January 25, 2018

 

 

One question I am often asked is if my virtual assistant work has "any job openings?"

 

I'm always a little perplexed by this question, since I don't hold a position with a company - I own my own business as a virtual assistant, independently contracting with clients.

 

The things I love about being a virtual assistant are far too many to mention here (though maybe in another blog post), but for sure one of the top five is the plentiful opportunities out there to serve clients by doing work I love.

 

There is ample opportunity for me to write, help clients stay organized, even speak - all while working as an independent contractor from my home-office.

 

One of the many things I've come to appreciate over my years of being a virtual assistant is it's not about the perceived strength of my resume, but about the importance of my resilience.

 

Rather than job openings I compete against others for, there are opportunities I seek to fill.

 

Granted, when I first started as a VA, I submitted my resume with my application. The woman who reviewed it complimented my resume. I remember her exact words being, "You've got a great resume. It's really impressive."

 

I wish I could remember what it was - that was several years and an entirely different computer ago. 

 

While my resume made a great first impression, however, it wasn't what landed me the opportunity.

 

Resumes are important, and they're a great initial indicator on whether you're a potential fit. But it's how we back them up that matters.

 

My resume didn't tell my story, which at that point in my life was on the heels of the biggest tragedy I've ever experienced.

 

My resume didn't show I had buried a child, started a non-profit to help bereaved parents, or changed messy diapers in the middle of the night without ever opening my eyes (seriously a marketable skill, in my opinion). 

 

My resume didn't showcase my love for writing, or for networking, or my knack for finding creative solutions, nor did it make mention I adore public speaking.

 

My resume listed tasks I was asked to do by others in a brief history of the work I had done up to that point.

 

But my resilience? My resourcefulness? My mad knitting skills? (Just seeing if you're still paying attention...) Those came through in my interview, and aligned with the character traits my first client was looking for.

 

I didn't land my first client because of what my resume said. I landed them because of what I said, honestly and forthrightly, during my interview.

 

Don't get hung up on job openings. Don't build text on a piece of paper to align with a job description you're not crazy excited about.

 

Rather than seeking available openings, broaden your search to the endless opportunities.

 

Showcase your resilience. Showcase your passions, your purpose, and your outright determination.

 

Then grab the opportunities by the horns, and make them work for you.

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