I am of mixed minds when it comes to resumes. (oh by the way, this is basically my thoughts on Kevin Donlin’s Guerrilla Resume, a review if you like – but click here if you were just looking for the Guerilla Resume Website)
But bear with me for a sec, while I digress for a bit.
I remember writing my first resume back in 1987. The only experience I had was in the army, so I got some templates and used a chronological format, I think. And then I ended up getting a job straight out of the army for a company specifically looking for ex-military that had lived overseas.
Frankly, I’m not even sure they looked at my resume or whether it was really a factor or not.
Between that job and 2002, I had basically had 4 jobs. Two of them paid well. One of them not so well (can’t win them all). My resume really played no part in getting any of those jobs. For all those jobs, my resume was an afterthought. I got all those jobs through networking.
The third job was actually with the same company as the first job. After I left that company for the first time, I kept in contact with one of divisional managers (actually just a yearly Christmas card). He called one day and asked if I wanted to come back. I negotiated a much better deal and came on as a “hired gun” for 5 years. A good time.
In 2002, because I had read all the propaganda on the need for a “perfect” resume; I had a writing service write one for me. I think I paid a 100 bucks or so. It was definitely a beautiful resume. It basically combined a summary qualification with a chronological format; but it made use of font sizes, lines and bullet point graphics that just made it look beautiful.
Since then, I’ve tweaked the content a lot but the great graphics – still there. How much has it helped – well, it still looks great.
So, what am I driving at, and what does it have to do with Kevin’s Guerrilla Resume program?
Well, like cover letters, I will always contend that it is who you send it to and not what you send that counts. Let”s face it, a typical job posting count generate hundreds (thousands?) of applicants. How does an overworked, overwhelmed HR specialist pick out your resume from that pile?
The answer is – not in your favor.
My experience with job hunting has always been with leading with me first, not my resume. By that, I mean networking until you find the decision maker and then proceeding with a great looking resume. That’s the strategy.
Your task is not so the writing of your resume or crafting the perfect resume, it is determining who to send it to and why. Because frankly, figure that out and the rest will fall into place.
By the way, some suggestion on who to send it to and how:
- You send it to the hiring manager and she forwards your resume to HR specialist and says, “Take a look at it.”
- Your resume arrives via a referral (hopefully to an unpublished listing).
- You overnight your resume to HR specialist, whereas everyone else mails or emails it.
- You address your cover letter to the HR specialist with targeted content to what she is looking for (versus the dear sir/ma’am approach).
As for the why, if you have not digested these books:
- What Color is Your Parachute, by Richard Bolles
- Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door , by Harvey Mackay
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
Please head to your nearest library and check them out. It will help you tremendously.
Assuming you know who to send it to and why – you should make sure your resume is top notch (no sense in taking chances). As I mentioned earlier, the vast sameness of all the resumes out there are mind numbing. And it really does not have to be. There are so many resources to help you – without having to spend several hundred dollars on a resume writing services.
One way is templates. You can find free books and templates at your library and on-line that you can use. www.jobbankusa.com is good source. Of course, you have the clearinghouses, www.monster.com and www.careerbuilder.com that can help you create a resume.
The challenge is that all those methods generally produce similar looking resume. Which lead me to the Guerrilla Resume.
I saw an video interview by the Wall St. Journal (How to Stand Out in a Crowded Job Market) for a book that Kevin had co-written called, Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters. Researching him lead me to their Resume program.
I got their system, and I have to tell you it’s not bad. Compared to the “plug and play” programs you have Monster or other online clearinghouses, this is a very robust.
It is not a software. Rather it is a $29.97 EBook that guides you throught the comprehensive, yet easy to follow process of writing a resume, and then provides a number of templates that you can cut and paste into (also includes cover letters and thank you letters).
What differentiates it from the resuming writing books at, say Borders, or your local library is the end product. Kevin does away with the “how long should my resume be” issue. The end product is a clean, well laid out marketing sheet (1 page) promoting you. To me, this is less a resume and more an advertising/marketing sheet with you as the product. That’s different and that’s compelling. I like it.
The layout uses a blend of chronological and functinal formats while integrating logos and testimonials into the resume. You use every square inch of that one page, but interestingly, it does not have crammed sense or feel to it. It has a nice summary of qualifications section to it. If you read of my other articles, you know I disdain the “objective” paragraph, but I do like the summary of qualifications. It’s like the executive summary of a good business plan.
As a hiring manager, I would look differently at a resume like this, because it includes live quotes and visual pictures for me to look at. It is different. And in a sea of resume sameness, you can’t discount being unique. But unique without being irrelevant or unprofessional.
Who would benefit from using this program? Actually, the better question might be – who wouldn’t benefit from using this program?
- If you’ve struggled in the job market and think your resume is substandard, then this is probably worth trying.
- If you’re not confident in your writing abilities, then this will probably be helpful.
- If you are struggling with ways to be stand out and be unique, then this will definitely help.
- If English is your second language, then, yeah, this will help.
But even if you’re a seasoned professional with a good grip on what you need to do and how; don’t discount yourself out. We’re all looking for an edge. This could be it.
In fact, this style of resume could be a very nice fit to what I advise in, Resume Writing Advice.
So, you can check them out by clicking here to go to their Guerrilla Resume website.
BUT having said, or written, all that….
Please, please do not get too caught up on a particular the resume format (I know, I know…this advice after having talked about how nice Kevin’s guerrilla format looks). Look, there are plenty of resources out there for you to use. A lot of them will cost no more than a library card, let alone the 30 bucks this one would run you.
What is far more important is you.
What’s important is discerning what it is you want to do and why.
And then,it’ networking and working all of your six degrees of separation to get to the hiring manager. It is what has ultimately worked for me and will work for you.
Plus, for some interesting anecdotes of real people who used Guerilla resumes in concert with some unconventional strategies to get hired, visit the Job Search Strategies for some insight.