Have your attention? Well resumes are apparently no longer getting any – attention. We work tirelessly to try to glam up all of our most important experiences and skills, format that is traditional but with flare, and language that “talks us up” and hopefully into an interview. But Nick Corcodilos (Ask the Headhunter) tells us that resumes are dumb, mute and defenseless in a recent PBS Newshour post.
So what do we do? Well is order to get some action, Nick tells us to do the following:
- Meet people who do the work you want to do. People recommend people they know. Face to face contact is best; telephone is acceptable; and email is better than a resume.
- Learn what problems a company faces. A job ad doesn’t tell you that. Knowing a manager’s worries is crucial to your success in an interview. Ask your contact to explain it to you.
- Find out what their day-to-day work is all about. Don’t rely on job descriptions. Like resumes, they are too static. Talking reveals the job and your skills more effectively.
- Formulate a business plan about how you would do the work profitably. This tells the employer why you are the right candidate, while a resume requires the employer to figure it out. (See “Put A Free Sample In Your Resume.”)
- Go back to those people and ask them what they think of your plan. Personal advice specific to a job is the best “interview grease” there is.
- Once you know you can add value to the work they do, ask for an introduction to their bosses. A personal referral almost always yields an interview.
Well, easier said than done, right? Actually I think that we need to utilize our Zuckerberg given rights and get our tweet on. In other words, reach out to your contacts. Want to work in the nonprofit sector – reach out to someone you know that is already there and buy them a coffee. Want to relocate? Talk to someone you know that has done it. As it happens, contacts count. So work that “friends list” and “Link-In” to some people you know.
All that being said, you are still going to need a resume for an electronic introduction arranged by said friend or for when you land that important meeting – so make sure it is updated and ready to roll when the time comes (Monster tips). In fact, view mine here and let’s schedule coffee.
Melissa Ferraro, MAOL
Development Director at Sisters Place