I had to do a double-take on the newsletter article from Peter Weddle, titled Your Resume Won’t Get You a Job. Is that really true? I thought the resume was super-critical in my job search. In fact, when I got let go I took the entire week to get my resume ready. That’s what I would use to apply to jobs oniine, present in interviews, mail to companies, etc. It was critical in getting me my job, right?
Yeah, it is a critical tool for your job search. It’s not the only tool, but it’s a critical tool. In his article, Peter Weddle says:
Your resume is a ticket to nowhere for most employers.
I can’t agree with that. That’s like saying “a business card is a ticket to nowhere for most professionals.” I think both are tools, both have their places, and both are sometimes used wrong. I do agree that:
- The resume is NOT a silver bullet.
- The resume can misrepresent who you are, and what you bring to the table (your value proposition).
- Most resumes STINK.
If resume stinks, or misrepresents you, and you think it is your silver bullet, then I can agree with Weddle. It’s easy to get this resolved, though:
The resume is not a silver bullet. I thought it was, and combined with the other silver bullet (recruiters), my job search would be a cake walk. If you think that, you need to do some reading to understand what a successful job search consists of.
The resume misrepresents you. This is a really hard one, and it was my biggest problem. My resume had big titles (CEO, VP, general manager), and I was applying to different levels of jobs. The hardest part of this is giving up your professional identity… do you have to paint yourself into a corner as a business analyst when you are really a project manager or programmer? Does customizing your resume limit your professional capabilities, and the benefits you bring to the company? Perhaps… but check your ego at the door, because if you put EVERYTHING on your resume, like I did, with no regard to postings you apply to, you’re resume may end up in the garbage.
The resume stinks. My resume didn’t stink… in fact, many people thought it looked outstanding! A resume writer should learn about you and be able to provide some advice, and customize the resume for your goals. But let’s go back to that stinky resume… About 8 out of 10 resumes I see that are done by the candidate need improvement. A professional resume writer will help with formatting (easy, I know, but you wouldn’t believe the formatting I see), key words (stuff you’d never think of), and overall current resume best-practices.
Not spending a few hundred bucks to get my resume up to speed meant, for me, months of lost income. Ouch.
Oh yeah, let’s wrap up the “your resume won’t get you a job” idea. The purpose of the resume is to get you a … you know this, right? … an Interview!