More than 50 percent of Americans are unhappy at work, according to Forbes. Low pay, meaningless duties, and personality conflicts with superiors are just a few of the reasons that contribute to a vastly unsatisfied workforce.
If you’re one of the millions who have said “I hate my job” and want to do something about it, read on for tips and resources that can help you find a new position you’ll love.
1. Identify the keywords you need to succeed
Whether you’re looking to change careers or simply find a different job in your field, a great resume is an absolute must. This crucial document is the best way to convey how you’ll help your next employer achieve their goals—and it’s how you’ll make your first impression.
However, it’s not enough to have a polished, professional resume. Because the typical job posted online receives hundreds of applications, most employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) in order to manage the hiring process. An ATS is set up to weed out candidates who don’t measure up—or candidates who don’t include the correct resume keywords. If your resume highlights your experience with customer relationship management (CRM) software, and the job posting specifies knowledge of Salesforce as a requirement, your resume could get overlooked if you don’t mention Salesforce by name.
Take some time to consider what you hate most about your job—and why. Do you enjoy your tasks, but hate the setting? Would you prefer a nimble startup to a large, staid corporation? Come up with a list, and then search for positions that are more appealing to you.
Once you have identified some jobs you’d like to apply for, use Jobscan’s resume analysis tool to see how your resume stacks up to each one. The better your resume is targeted for each individual job, the better your chances of getting past an ATS. Keywords can vary even for very similar jobs, so don’t assume that a one-size-fits-all resume will get you noticed. Jobscan will identify the most important keywords in a job posting and tell you which ones you’re missing and which ones you should emphasize to better match your resume to the job.
2. Determine what your resume is missing
Keywords are, well, key to an effective resume—but they aren’t the only thing you need. Consider the following:
- Measurable accomplishments. Anyone can list off duties they performed at a previous job. What prospective employers really want to see is what you achieved in each position on your resume. They want to know how you’ll be able to help them achieve their goals. Streamlining processes to save money, reducing time spent on projects, and increasing profits are all examples of how you can showcase your positive impacts. And remember to quantify your accomplishments whenever possible. “Consistently exceeded sales quotas” won’t get the same response as “Exceeded sales quotas for 6 consecutive quarters.” Measure and demonstrate your impact.
- Education and training. For some roles, it doesn’t matter what your degree is in—or whether you have a degree at all. For others, you won’t even be considered if you didn’t major in the right field, or earn the necessary licenses, or pass specific exams. If you find that the majority of new positions you’re drawn to want education or credentials beyond what you have, perhaps it’s time to go back to school. If your education is your strongest selling point, you can lead off your resume with your education section. If your graduation is well in the rearview mirror, you can list it at the end.
- Hard skills vs. soft skills. Hard skills refer to programs and processes you have experience with, such as Six Sigma training or Joomla. While soft skills (“motivated” or “organized,” for example) are important, employers primarily need to know that you have the base qualifications for a specific position. Companies do often consider cultural fit when hiring, but the majority of your resume improvement efforts should go toward incorporating hard skills—because anyone can list any soft skill on their resume, these subjective traits are given far less weight by employers.
3. Seek out targeted career advice
Career advice that may be perfect for a social media manager won’t necessarily do a mechanical engineer any good. And if part of the reason you hate your job is because you no longer want to be in that field, you’ll not only need career advice targeted toward your new field, but overall advice on how to change careers.
For brainstorming and research help, Jobscan has compiled a collection of resume keywords for specific career industries. Check out the list below of and learn about what words you’ll likely see in your search!
Customer ServiceSoftware Engineers
Social Media Professionals
Also, consider turning to an expert for advice. A career coach could help you work through why you hate your job, and what you need to look for—and avoid—for your next one. Jobscan partner Lisa Quast is a former Fortune 500 executive turned professional career coach. Whether you read her best-selling book or sign up for one-to-one coaching sessions, she’s certain to help you through your transition.
Finding a new job or changing careers might be hard, but dreading going to work each morning is hard on the soul. The more you know about the kind of job you want, including how to present yourself as a great candidate, the sooner you can eliminate the phrase “I hate my job” from your vocabulary!