Some thoughts I’ve been having about resume strategies and a couple of things to toss out there for your consumption.
The job market will getÂ better.Â It may notÂ come back or recover quite the way as it has in the past, but jobs will start gearing up.Â The cycle is the cycle.Â This one has been far more brutal than previous ones but it will come around.
Your task is to be ready and to have your resume sitting on top of that pile on the hiring manager’s desk, when it does.
Oh and to be clear, I’m no guru, I’ve helped a few people get jobs but I claim no special insight here.Â I am simply someone who has done some hiring, seen a lot of resume and been through the grind a few times myself.
Still, what I suggested was that you get ready and to get your resume on top of that pile.Â What I did not suggest was to spend time crafting the perfect resume.
You know, I get that there is a whole industry out there dedicated to creating the “perfect resume” for you.Â And they are good people and they do good work.Â Many of themÂ can point to a whole lot more people that they helped get hired than I ever will.
But here’s the thing, you can get to Boston from New York in a used Saturn just as well as you could in a brand, spanking new Bemmer (that would be a BMW for you Dan)
But, But – don’t get me wrong, please. A resume needs to be well written and needs to paint a compelling picture that you are the person that can fill the employer’s needs. And that is the key. It is the employer’s need and wants that matter.
The pitfall with focusing on getting that resume beautiful and perfect is that you run the risk of losing sight of what matters – the employer’s needs.
The resume is a tool, a vitally important tool, but a tool nonetheless. It’s not the tool, but rather what the company (where you want to work) wants and why you are the answer that matter. Your objective is to…wait for it…get hired. And it is not necessarily about getting your resume into the top five, but rather, getting you there.
Okay, so how do you get that resume – you – to the top of the pile?
I can think of at least 3:
A Great cover letter.Â Let’s face it, too many reduce the cover letter to an afterthought.Â Once the resume is looking sweet and hot – slap a form letter on top and away we go.Â That’s terrible – a form cover letter.Â It’s why David recommends not even bothering with one in his articel, Best Cover Letter I Ever Received.Â I disagree.Â
Your resume is past.Â Your cover letter can be the bridge to future.Â With great programs like Phil Baker’s OneClick – just no reason not to send a sterling cover letter.
Networking.Â It’s the 6 degrees of separation paradigm to getting you to the decision maker.Â In the military, we’d call it a force multiplier.Â Toss a name here and there; your cover letter and resume takes on new meaning.
By the way, though, be careful.Â You have to be a giver. You cannot be a user.
Contacting all your friends, family, and former colleagues for information or help with names will tag you as a user. Frankly, they already know your situation. They would help if they could. You forcing them will not help.
Instead you’d be better off networking by becoming a volunteer. Your paradigm for networking should what you can contribute versus what you can get out of it. It is an important distinction.
Follow-up:Â You must follow up and follow through. Some think follow up is waiting for the phone to ring after an interview. Follow up is an active verb. Sending a brief thank you letter after an interview that recaps and reinforces your interest in the job will put you on the top of list.
So write a good resume and get it to the top with a great cover letter, by networking with a giving heart, and with active follow up.
And please, share what you know and what your experiences have been by commenting below…thanks,