So many times I hear job seekers say something like: “If I only had a great resume, then…” The … can be any number of things from “I would get the job”, “I would get noticed”, or “they would give me a call back”. None of those statements are actually true. Resumes don’t think, feel, talk or produce anything. Resumes are just pieces of paper (wood or electronic) that many job seekers use as a crutch. NEWS FLASH: Resumes Don’t Get You A Job!
Blaming your resume is just an excuse to not finding a job. You don’t need an excuse anymore. What you need is a swift kick in the butt. So what is a resume good for anyways? Here are the top three things a resume can do for you:
1. Provide background information on your experience level AFTER you make initial contact. This is one of the biggest things job seekers ignore. A resume should be used after you speak with someone, after the initial call/discussion. The reason it is used after is so it can support your conversation and support the goal you are trying to accomplish with that person. If you are talking to a hiring manager about a particular job opportunity, you can tailor the resume for the requirements of the job. This type of resume showcases your depth of experience in a particular area. If you spoke with someone who is going to pass your resume along to a hiring manager at their company, you would need a more general resume to demonstrate your breath (wide/general) of experience. The main reason is you don’t know what the hiring manager is looking for.
2. Resumes are good if there is no other way to introduce yourself. Some online postings only allow you to submit a resume and there is no contact information. This is a time to submit your resume that is very specific demonstrating your depth of experience based on (relevant to) the job description. Never send a general resume to these postings otherwise you are wasting your time. You might be wasting your time anyways because you should be out looking in-person or meeting people (networking) first. Sending a general resume (the kind you always send) doesn’t get you noticed. You need to demonstrate a reason for the person on the other end to contact you to talk.
3. Resumes are good for hiding behind if you are scared to get out and meet people. Don’t ever use this excuse anymore. I have called you out so you can stop hiding. Go out and meet people doing things you like to do or want to learn. Learn how to introduce yourself and ask good questions of other people. Learn about what they have done to find a new job or their current one. Ask what they like and hate about it. Help them out if they need it. Genuinely invest in other people and they will invest in you.
A resume is your experience packaged in a one or two page overview. It is not what you are good at, what defines you or how you think and feel. Resumes can only lay there and look pretty…you need more guts than that.
Stop blaming your resume on why you are not finding a job. Go hunt for jobs with a big gun…your mouth.
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