In the October 9, 2012 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a job hunter tries to figure out the Working Resume.
But I still can’t find a concrete example of what a “Working Resume” is supposed to look like. I understand that no Working Resume will look like another because each one will be tailored to a specific job in a specific company. Other than adding a “Value Offered” statement at the top of the Working Resume, how is it structured differently than the traditional resume?
For example, in Resume Blasphemy you say that you have to cover these four things (basically a restatement of “The Four Questions” from your book):
- A clear picture of the business of the employer you want to work for.
- Proof of your understanding of the problems and challenges the employer faces.
- A plan describing how you would do the work the employer needs done.
- An estimate of what/how much you think you could add to the bottom line.
So the “what” is pretty clear. My question has more to do with the “how” — the actual mechanics of doing so. Do you write out a proposal? A business plan? A project plan? I’m confused.
“Any or all of the above.” A Working Resume is structured differently from a traditional resume because it’s not a resume. So toss out your resume.
Seriously — your Working Resume can be a proposal, a business plan, a project plan, or an outline of how you will get the work done profitably.
How the Working Resume works
The Working Resume is essentially a business plan for how you will do the job. I think the instructions are pretty clear as you’ve reprinted them. Here’s one example, to give you some ideas:
Desired outcome of this job: Increased sales of blue widgets to the hospital supply industry.
Challenge your company faces: Two of your competitors are under-pricing you by 10%.
Underlying problem: Competitors’ products are inferior, but their advertising is effective.
My solution: Promote specific features the competition can’t match, both in ads, packaging and sales presentations.
My plan: Meet with product managers, marketing and sales team to coordinate a new presentation of the product and a new strategy for promoting it. Get this done in 30 days. Roll out new campaign in next 30 days.
Steps: [week by week plan and schedule of tasks involved in YOUR job]
Profit Estimate: Using these steps I believe I can help increase unit sales 10% in 60 days without reducing price. Such sales would result in 20% more collateral sales of associated products. I estimate this would increase total revenue by X% and possibly enhance overall profit by Y%.
If that kind of presentation doesn’t get attention, nothing’s going to help you.
You must tweak this format and content to suit your situation. Do not do it exactly as I’ve outlined, because every situation is different. That’s why I don’t publish samples of other people’s Working Resumes.
You have to deserve it
Needless to say, you can’t do a Working Resume like this for just any job that comes along. Here’s a tip from How Can I Change Careers?, which details how to prove to an employer that you would be a profitable hire — whether you’re changing careers or just jobs:
Employers respond best when you demonstrate your value:
Before you can legitimately ask for a job, you must assess the needs of a company and plan how you will contribute to its success. Don’t behave like a job applicant in the job interview; behave like an employee. Show up ready to do the job in the interview. Bring a business plan showing how you will do the work and contribute to profitability.
As you can see, there’s nothing easy about applying for a job with a Working Resume. That’s because, if you aren’t willing to make this investment, you don’t deserve the job.
Have you ever tried using a Working Resume? Or an alternative that shows an employer what you’ll do if you’re hired? Maybe you think this approach is bunk! Let’s discuss in the comments section below. What would you put in such an “alternative resume?”