Wonder why you aren't getting that next job? Because you are depending on a piece of paper to do it for you. Stop now.
The key to job hunting success is not a finely tuned resume. In fact, it has a better chance of ruining your chances of finding a job than helping you get one.
When you send a resume out, at best, it is read by a recruiter (Human Resources). At worst, it is being read by a computer program looking for key words. Really? Your leaving your career prospects to a brainless computer deciding that you put the right keywords on your resume?
Come on! What is a resume? Does it really tell anyone anything about you? It is a defenseless piece of paper. A one-page document meant to sum up your whole career. Writing a resume is a skill you will never, ever use again once you have your dream job at your dream company.
So why does everyone think resumes are so important? Why do you think it is the gateway to your next job? You need to quit depending on your resume.
IT WILL NOT GET YOU YOUR DREAM JOB!!!
Don't believe me? Want proof?
How many resumes have you sent out? 10? 100? 1,000!!!!?
How many solid interviews did that yield?
That's right. It doesn't work. Not for a new grad. Not for a CEO. Not for anyone in between.
So, stop sitting at Starbucks sending resumes to Indeed ads and getting pissed off that no one ever responds!
No one is responding because they are are busy interviewing the internally referred candidate. Or, the women that Joe recommended at the last golf outing. Or, the guy they had coffee with a few months ago when they didn't have an opening. Or, the women who called in on Tuesday afternoon and asked for an interview. Catch my drift?
They key to job hunting is people (just like it is the key to pretty much everything else in life).
- So get out there. Meet the people that do what you want to do. Where do they work? Where do they hang out? What events do they attend? What groups do they belong to? Who do you already know? Cast your net wide but also strategically.
- Set up times to meet with these people. Invite them for a coffee. Talk on the phone. Email them, LinkedIn message with them. You know what this is...networking. Talk to them about their day to day activities. What projects are they working on? What is the company's long term goals? What is the culture like? Find out things about the job and company that a job description couldn't possibly convey.
- Tell them about yourself. Tell them about your ideas. Come up with a business plan on how you would fix their problems. Illustrate that you have the solutions they need. Prove to them that they could us someone like you on their team. Show them how you are going to bring more value to their organization than they thought was possible. Let me repeat. Do not tell them...show them what you can do. Showcase yourself in a way that a resume couldn't possible convey.
- Ask for an introduction to their boss. Ask about opportunities they may know about. Tell them to keep you in mind for future positions. Furthermore, follow up regularly. Go even further: Offer to help them out with referrals or an issue they may be having. Invite them to an event. Build the connection. A personal referral is an almost guaranteed route to an interview.
- Knock on the door. That's right. Take a deep breath and call the hiring manager. Tell them how you will be an asset to the company. Talk to them about how they will benefit from hiring you. I bet you don't know anyone else who does this, right? Right. That's exactly why it works.
Still having doubts?
This is the point in the article where you say "Yeah right. This is a lot of work. It may not even work. And, sounds intimidating. I'll just keep sending out resumes like everyone I know does. It must work sometimes."
999 out of 1,000 people reading this article will do just that. But look at it like this. Doing what everyone else does is very unlikely to result in a job -- especially your dream job.
Be different -- and then work hard to actually be different. Be aggressive in your search. Then you'll have a much better chance of landing the job you really want.
Doing it is tough. It is time-consuming. It can be nerve-wracking. But it allows you to demonstrate the value that you can offer.
Something a resume can never do. Even 1,000 of them.
Does sending resumes work for you? Do personal contacts work better? What other methods have proven successful in your job search?
About the Author
Roy Munk is President and Founder of GHS Recruiting, a nationally recognized retained and contingency search firm specializing in the recruiting and retention of healthcare professionals. Since 1998, GHS Recruiting has matched thousands of highly qualified job seekers with their new employers.