5 Reasons Your New Résumé Isn’t Working
At this point in your career, you are aware of the importance of a resume. This one to two-page document is the ultimate sales pitch that’s designed to brand your impact and achievements to rise above the competition. As a professional resume writer and career coach, I’ve had clients come back to me wondering why their new resume hasn’t gotten them any results. Their grand expectations have been shattered and they think the investment was a waste of money. I have spent countless hours deciphering between legitimate concerns about career strategy and impatience.
The first thing I must do in these situations is to remind them that the work doesn’t end with a new resume. Most believe that once the financial investment in a professional resume writer is made, they can relax and do the bare minimum to see their career take off. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Before you think your new resume is a waste, check the list below to see if you have the right mindset and strategy to see results.
#1 Reason – You thought a new resume was magic.
It is true that getting a professionally written résumé, you are ahead of the job search game, but without getting your hands dirty, you won’t see the progress that you might want. Regardless of the sales pitches you might here there is still an application process you must adhere to. While ATS-friendly résumés will speed up the process, you must remember that it only works if you work it. What strategy have you set in place to maximize your exposure or opportunities?
You can’t expect to do the same style job search in an age where candidates are sourced through social media platforms. You must adapt.
#2 Reason – You fail to diversify your search.
Job boards like Indeed.com, Monster.com, Google Careers, and the like are just options not the only option. Just like financial investments, you must diversify. Strictly using job boards along with the millions of other candidates won’t speed up the process for you. On average, each corporate position has 250 candidates apply. That’s a lot of résumés! So, what do you do? Yes, use job boards, but have you considered other methods? Résumé distribution? Headhunters? Networking?
These job search options count towards your winning strategy. Some options will work more than others depending on your industry, and you must figure that out on your own or with a coach before your documents begin being distributed, if possible. Diversifying will give you the organization you need to know which methods work and which doesn’t, and help you see which ones need your attention the most. Why waste your time being ineffective?
#3 Reason – You do not have a target list of companies.
Your job search needs focus and specificity. Having a target list of companies in your desired industry and based on your career criteria ensures you make the right connections the first time, leverage your network, and maximize your search. You are able to connect with recruiters and hiring managers from these companies, and do your due diligence to learn as much as you can. First, second, and third degree LinkedIn connections are a start, but what about alumni databases, events, and social media to make connections? Push yourself to think about various avenues of contact to get your new résumé in the right hands.
#4 Reason – You believe networking is dead.
With so many virtual networking options, it’s easy to forget that old-fashioned networking is still relevant. Many successful people believe that your wealth is in your network. In this case, your next job may be in your network. Not every job opportunity will be advertised, so how do you find these “hidden positions”? Well, you ask. Sorry to break it to you, but no website will replace human contact. Don’t get me wrong top job boards should still be used, however, you should spend more time talking to people than surfing the internet. Depending on your industry, career experts have said that 70 percent, 80 percent, and even higher percentages of jobs are secured through networking.
If you’re intimidated by networking and are apprehensive about putting yourself out there, remember you won’t be the only one that’s uneasy. Starting with events sponsored industry associations should be your top option to remain up-to-date on industry trends and meet professionals of all levels. You will not be the only fish out of water, and you can use that fact as an ice breaker to ease yourself into it. Also, consider bringing a friend to assist you in starting conversations and working the room.
Networking is more about blanketing the room with your business card or résumé. If you have the mindset that you can solve a contact’s problem versus the “What can you do for me?” mentality, you will see more results. Ultimately, people hire and work with people they like.
#5 Reason – You fail to build your online presence and to utilize technology appropriately.
You have the power over your online presence. From posting pictures of your summer vacation to commenting on political news, what you do online can hurt or help you. Search engines are your friend. Besides the obvious advice about cleaning up your online presence, it’s important to develop your influence utilizing LinkedIn’s capabilities to upload videos, articles, and post to SlideShare. Beyond that, having yourname.com and guest blogging will add to your status as an industry influencer. 57 percent of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online.
Don’t be afraid to become a private investigator and invest in online searches to find and build upon the right connections. According to Steve Dalton’s book, “The 2-Hour Job Search”, one method he suggests is Fan Mail, which he describes “Google stalking”.
The 2-Hour Job Search:
“In Fan Mail, a job seeker will Google a set of terms designed to find off-the beaten path articles (especially interviews) with current employees of their targeted organizations at which they are currently don’t have contacts….After finding those articles, the job seekers will reach out to the person interviewed thank the person for specific insights the job seeker gleaned from the article, and ask for fifteen to thirty minutes of that person’s time to discuss the topic in more detail and/or ask a few follow-up questions.”
You may not have a ton of free time to devout to Fan Mail, but as part of your overall strategy, it will help you uncover those “hidden positions” and build a network to support your career goals.
The work doesn’t end when you decide to enlist a professional résumé writer or service to rebrand your professional presence. The average job search lasts 33 weeks, but it doesn’t have to. With that ATS-friendly targeted résumé and a keen strategic focus, you’re able to gain better results from quality leads.