Actually, the title of this post should be:
“Resumes are one of the worst possible ways to find a job.”
I do a lot of work in assisting people to advance their careers. And sometimes that means helping them find new jobs.
I want to dispel a horrible misconception about job hunting, specifically around resumes.
Conventional wisdom is to focus, focus, focus on prepping your resume or LinkedIn profile. And people find it confusing that I don’t spend much time on resume development.
Look, resumes are great. LinkedIn profiles are terrific. I have them. I use them.
Here’s some of the sad statistics on resumes:
Over 400,000 resumes are uploaded to Monster dot com alone each week. That’s millions of resumes for your measly little resume to break through.
Next, Let me ask you this. How much time do you think someone looking to fill a job — like a recruiter — spends reading a resume? A minute? Two minutes? Ten minutes?
After all that obsessing about your resume — six seconds.
That is, of course, if they look at it at all!
One career expert claims that your chances of getting a job through submitting a resume online is about as high as your chance of winning the lottery.
If that weren’t bad enough, a recent Wall Street Journal article declared: “The Boss Doesn’t Want Your Résumé”! That’s right, the story was about how more and more companies are not looking at resumes at all during the hiring process. Instead they focus on “a person’s talents rather than education and prior experience.”
Need I say more about resumes?
So what is a job seeker to do?
Some of the best advice I ever got in looking for work was that the LAST thing you do in a job search is hand in your resume.
That’s right. Let me say that again:
The LAST thing you do in a job search is hand in your resume.
Most people think it’s just about the first thing you do. You find a job online and submit your resume, right? Wrong!
When you spend time working on your resume, you’re trying to finesse your experience into words that will fit someone else’s description of a job. And whenever you’re trying to do that, you’re trying to force yourself into someone else’s mold. It’s why 9 out of 10 people are miserable in their jobs — because the job they are in was not created for them.
Job hunting that leads to job happiness is about networking and talking to a bunch of different people about a whole bunch of different possibilities. Eventually, a light bulb goes off between you and and a potential employer. “We need someone like you at our firm,” they’ll say. “We need to create a job for you.” You don’t want to be changing yourself to fit a job. You need a job that’s made for you. You want a company to craft a job that’s uniquely for you. And it’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds. Network and talk.
If you play your job search process right, then you are going to have someone begging to hire you and pay you big money for doing your dream job — on your terms! Begging you! Then, after you shake hands to seal the deal, as you begin to walk out the door, thanking them, and telling them how excited you are to be joining the team on Monday morning, they are going do a quick take turnaround and suddenly say, “Oh my gosh, I just need you to get your resume to HR. You know those human resources folks. Total formality.”
That’s how I have gotten the majority of my jobs in life. From executive positions in a Fortune 500 Wall Street firms to general manager position at a small business, to even government jobs.
That’s right, this works even in the most bureaucratic of environments, the government.