This is the fifth of the Christmas days posts offering job tops for job seekers. The previous posts discussed Finding a job through Personal branding for job seekers, using personal branding for job search , using LinkedIn for job search, and networking for job seekers.
This post is called “Your resume is a paper tiger” by guest blogger Michael Schonfeld.
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Much has been written about resumes, and the subject seems to be addressed every week in someone’s Blog. Most of us believe a resume is required before the job search begins in earnest. Due to rapid changes in digital technology, web-based services, and how resumes are currently processed by prospective employers, developing a resume should be the very last marketing effort you engage in during your job search.
Why? Most of us are under the impression that a resume is used to qualify one for an interview. But quite the opposite is where the truth lies. Advertisements for an open position will potentially generate hundreds of responses. An employer cannot afford the time and effort necessary to interview all applicants or even review all of those resumes. So the majority of applicants are disqualified by an Automatic Tracking System, a machine that scans each resume for job description key words that may or may not have anything to do with the open position to which one has applied.
It depends upon the accuracy of the job description relative to the exact job opening. In many large companies, a job description such as Marketing Coordinator or Marketing Manager is generic by necessity to align compensation range with that particular job title, and a very broad and all-encompassing job description is tied to that generic job title. This is done to streamline the maintenance of numerous job descriptions in the absence of adequate headcount allocation for Human Resources support staff.
In the past, a resume was your primary marketing document used for a job search. Times change and you must change to meet the new dynamics of hiring practices in the 21st century. A resume is used by the prospective employer to disqualify potential candidates from further consideration. Given current circumstances associated with elevated unemployment, your resume alone will almost never work to your advantage.
By design, your resume is currently used to work to your disadvantage. Your resume is a paper tiger (or these days, a digital monster) that will jeopardize your job search efforts if you allow it to do so. Keep your resume confined to the digital vault of your computer until you have identified, contacted, and developed a professional rapport with the key decision maker (the hiring manager). The hiring manager is typically one or more levels higher in the organization than your future direct supervisor.
Truer now than in the past, the best positions are rarely advertised and the job description is written to accommodate a favored candidate. After you’ve identified the hiring manager, you must then focus upon promoting your professional reputation and leveraging your network. Call upon your professional network to support your efforts and pave the way toward that first interview. Once you are fully aware of the requirements for that particular position, and your initial interview is almost certain, that’s when it’s time to prepare your resume. Until then, don’t worry about having your resume ready to submit. That’s just a waste of time and effort. Due to current digital technology, your resume will change to meet the requirements of each position for which you hope to be considered.
For now, focus upon professional networking and meticulous contact management practices because this is how opportunity will knock loudly upon your career door.
Please let us know if you liked any of the Christmas posts.
Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh
Diversity Consultant – Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC. – Home of the D.I.A.L.O.G.™ Programs
Diversity& Inclusion in Active Leadership Organizational Growth™
(Exchanging Ideas through Conversation)™