Is Your Resume Working for You?

April 26th, 2010

Is Your Resume Working for You?

Writing a resume is still considered proforma and a primary job search tool.  Often, composing and distributing resumes is the first step in making a transition.

Most resume writers use well-established chronological plus achievement formats and distribute their resumes as a way of introducing themselves, to gain third party introductions, and in response to position postings.

Resumes are offered and often requested with the expectation that the reader will thoroughly review the resume and then grant you an interview, make an introduction to contacts, or provide information about appropriate opportunities.

And then…..the waiting starts.

Unfortunately, in many cases, instead doors opening, there is a silent slam.

What is actually happening with the many resumes out there?

Here is what busy executive search, hiring managers and human resources leaders tell me:

They skim the document to see if they know of or have a position right now that matches the writer’s background.  If they do, they respond.  If they do not, they might do any of the following:

  • They take out a red pen and critique the resume (too long, too short, style easy/hard to read)
  • They read the resume in detail and decide why not to meet, refer or interview the job seeker because there is no fit with existing and immediate positions
  • They file the resume in the hope that someone may have a future need for the job seeker
  • They might tell the writer that they are overqualified, under qualified, or make an observation about the tight job market
  • They might not respond to the writer because they don’t want to give bad news

Or, they might forward the document to others who they think might have an interest in the writer’s background, and who will, most likely do one of the above.

Obviously, there is a mismatch here between expectations and results.

I call it “resume roulette”.

If your resume is opening doors to interviews and job opportunities, great!

If you are looking for other ways to create entree, consider these:

  • Biography
  • Targeted marketing piece
  • Compelling on-line profile
  • Fact sheet
  • Self-marketing plan
  • Portfolio

Details for these resume alternatives can be found in:

Leave Happy:  Making the Elegant Executive Transition.

One comment on “Is Your Resume Working for You?

  1. Jim-80129 on said:

    That’s all fine once you figure out how to conceal the fact that you are over 40 and certainly if you are over 50. (In my case, I have a previous employer that I worked for 26 years.) In this job market, you could submit the perfect resume with a $50 bill attached and still be rejected for whatever their excuse of the day is. These suggestions may apply better for younger workers, but it doesn’t make any difference for us older unemployed with the rampant age-discrimination going on right now.

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