Judging from the thousands of books and hundreds of thousands of websites on the topic, you’d think the resume is the be-all, end-all of human existence. Thousands of pages written about one or two simple pages of text. There are books, websites, training courses, DVDs and how-to guides on the subject ad nauseum.
I’m happy to see the economy is picking up a little. How do I know that? More folks who are currently in jobs are sending me their resume for review and to make connections. That means they’re looking for new employment (not just some employment). I’m also getting search firms reaching out to me asking me “do you know anyone who…” So companies are hiring.
Given all that, I thought I’d offer some thoughts on resumes based on some of the things I’m seeing now and have seen in the past.
Here’s the dirty little secret – a lot of it is snake oil. Indulge me while I debunkify a la Mythbusters. Strap yourself in – I’m about to challenge “reality” which just might cause a quantum shift in the wasted-time-polishing-a-resume/job availability continuum…
1. Your resume alone can land you a job.
Wrong. Too many people spend so much time and effort on their paper because they believe it is the magical key to the six figure job offer. It doesn’t get you the job. It gets you a phone call and serves as a conversation piece during interviews.
If you submit your resume and get a phone call, you’ve succeeded. You’ve cut through the clutter and grabbed their attention. They’re interested in spending time getting to know you. I’ve never heard of someone landing a job with nothing but a resume (and if you have, I’d submit said hiring company is terrible at candidate diligence).