Monday, May 5, 2014

The Value of Your Resume – in Real Terms, Pt. 1

Look around and what do you find as the pinnacle of advice for job seekers? It’s the resume that’s held up as the key and primary tool. It’s your passport to success, your Golden Ticket of sorts and, without a good resume, you have no hope. You must have a good resume! Perhaps you can already sense a little sarcasm. Well, isn’t this the perception and, as is often the case, that unless or until questioned and shot down, perception becomes reality? So what then happens; we spend hours and hours, days in some cases, to create a resume that is just right. I meet people who cling to it like a security blanket, or they’re so proud to show and present to you their resume, as if trumpets will begin to sound from the heavens and confetti will fall from the skies.
What if, after all that fanfare you don’t find success; what then and what of that piece of paper you’ve worked so hard to craft? Well, the people who are supposedly in-the-know will tell you it’s your fault, yep, that’s right and your resume or CV probably isn’t good enough! They will advise you to go back and keep on making adjustments until you find success. We’re given to believe that the resume is of the utmost importance, such that a cottage industry has popped up in recent years by those who’ve made a business of writing resumes. They even have certifications to show you, plastered on their websites to prove they can write a really, really good one for you -- guaranteed to bring you success -- or at least, better results. Hello, but with so much info available on the internet and software programs, so easy a monkey could do it, why would anybody pay someone else to write (keystroke) their resume. If you want to pay for advice that is one thing, but paying someone else to compose a resume or CV reflects just how lazy and clueless we’ve become. A resume-writing biz model, in my opinion, makes about as much sense as opening a video store in the age of Netflix. Nonetheless, with so many people desperate to find work I suppose they have customers who are prepared to try anything, after all, there is one born every day. Is this, ladies and gentlemen, to what we have been reduced?
Incorrectly, conventional wisdom suggests that you have two primary means or tools to use when looking for and pursuing a job -- your resume and the internet; the latter is a whole other subject that is equally overrated, but today we’ll focus on the all-powerful resume. Let me ask you a rhetorical question: how many people do you know who got a good job because of a resume? Who do you know who told you, “…my resume got me that job.”, anybody? Maybe there is one in a thousand and even then, I’ll bet timing and luck were the biggest contributor, but I wouldn’t rely on those circumstances, would you -- are you? I’ve seen good resumes, but they were only as good as the compilation of the owner’s experience and the primary reason, and here’s a little secret, the rest was up to them and not the result of a piece of paper. The primary goal of this blog entry today is an attempt to open peoples’ eyes to recognize it takes more, much more, if you want a good job, than the resume you hold in such high regard. Frankly speaking, if you’re making the resume the focus of your efforts, then you are worryin’ about the wrong thing.
Part 2 will be posted next Monday
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