What Snowstorms Teach Us about Resumes & the Job Search

While half the country digs out from under one of the coldest, snowiest winters in history, we can’t help but notice a few of the similarities between a long winter and a long job search. And we’re tempted to get a little philosophical. Career success often depends on a person’s ability to learn from adversity and bounce back after difficult experiences. In that spirit, we present five lessons that snowstorms can teach us about creating a strong resume.

1. They both require some commitment and elbow grease.

Waking up to four feet of snow on the sidewalk, and waking up to day one of a long job search can inspire similar feelings: resignation, excitement, determination, and maybe a spirit of fun. In either case, the blank resume page and the snow shovel are ready and waiting. And in both cases, we sometimes need to cancel or revise whatever other plans we had for the day.

2. They’re a different experience for everyone.

Snowstorms may be more fun if you live in an apartment and don’t have to dig through a snow bank to reach your car. Your enjoyment of the experience can also vary with your age, your location, and your reliance on public transportation.

Resumes also vary from person to person. Some advice applies across the board, but at the end of the day, the qualities that make a great resume vary by industry, geography, experience level, and hundreds of other factors. In fact, a single employer may find a certain type of resume appealing today, but in a different mood and different frame of mind, the same person may respond to different qualities.

3. Look up now and then.

Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to take your eyes off the relentless job search or the stretch of icy sidewalk right in front of your shovel. If you look up and take a break now and then, you’ll see a few things you may not have noticed otherwise: first, there are others around you facing a more difficult task than you are. And second, even the most miserable snowstorm turns the landscape into a temporary wonderland. Things may seem hard right now, but sometimes a little struggle helps us appreciate the larger world and the beautiful life that we’re struggling for.

4. Teamwork and support can mean the difference between success and failure.

When you’re snowed in, there’s no shame in asking for a little help to dig your way out. And when you have a helping hand to lend to your neighbor, it feels good to put your own schedule on hold and pitch in. Snow brings people together, and like so many other endeavors in this life, a little support from a friend can make all the difference.

The job search is also far easier when you reach out for help instead of tackling the process alone. If you can provide some feedback and resume assistance to a network contact in need, do so. What goes around comes around.