When your job search stalls, two things stand out as big culprits: resumes and wishful thinking. The next two questions from readers will help you flesh out better methods for managing your job search. We’ll cover resumes in this edition, Part 1, and wishful thinking about slowpoke employers next week, in Part 2.
In the March 11, 2014 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a reader asks how to disguise short-term jobs on a resume:
The longest I’ve been with an employer is two years. Is this an immediate alarm for employers when they look at my resume? If so, what are some ways I can disguise this history on my resume? Maybe by not listing so many employers, and maybe by putting more skills under each position? Also, is it a bad thing to have gaps in between jobs, or is it better to try to have temporary jobs that you can include on your resume?
Come on — stop wasting your time worrying about how something looks on your resume. Throw out the resume! (Do you really want to defend a resume when you finally get to an interview?)
Disguising your history and work gaps will get you into trouble. There’s really no way to pretend. Please stop trying to game the process with clever resume techniques, and solve the bigger problem. Your best bet is to not use a resume to find a job.
Cultivate relationships with people connected to the businesses you want to work in. Demonstrate who you are and what you can do. These new contacts are your best chance at a direct introduction to managers who will rely on these recommendations to judge you — not on your flawed resume. Between 40%-70% of jobs are found through personal contacts. Resumes get in the way. (Resume Blasphemy explains the problem in more detail.)
So, what do you use instead of a resume when you get introduced to a manager? How do you communicate your value?
This is an excerpt from Fearless Job Hunting, Book 3, Get in The Door (way ahead of your competition), “It’s the people, Stupid,” pp. 6-8:
Your “written work” need not be a resume. Instead, create a brief business plan for each job you want to go after. This will ensure you have something useful to say when you finally talk to the right manager. (A recitation of your experience is not useful!)
- What’s the problem (or the opportunity) the manager faces?
- What are the possible solutions?
- What resources will you need to achieve it?
- What’s your short-term and long-term plan for doing the work?
- What are the obstacles?
- What’s the payoff to the employer and to you?
- What questions do you need answers to?
You’ll develop answers and a plan through your personal encounters. It’s an ongoing project. When you get close to your objective (the right manager), you’ll have everything you need to show you are a profitable hire.
Note that none of the bullet points above ever appear on a resume. While your competitors are busy writing about their history, you’re writing up a plan for your next employer’s future. Which do you think will impress the employer more?
Reprinted from Fearless Job Hunting, Book 3, Get in The Door (way ahead of your competition), which includes these sections:
- Where do jobs really come from?
- Uncover hidden jobs
- It’s the people, Stupid
- Drop the ads and pick up the phone
- Shared Experiences: Path to success
- Pest or manager’s dream?
- Searching for a top job confidentially
- Don’t provide references – launch them!
- I don’t know anybody!
- PLUS: 5 How to Say It tips
- PLUS: 8 sidebars packed with advice to give you the insider’s edge!
Resumes waste your time because they lull you into believing they “represent” and “sell” you. How many top sales reps do you know that make their sales quotas by sending out “product literature?” Get my point? It’s the people, Stupid! You have to go meet and talk to them, and make your case one on one! You can’t send out a flyer…
People invest inordinate amounts of time “honing” their resumes. Why? Partly because the employment system brainwashes them, and partly because messing around with a resume seems so much easier than going out to meet the people whose recommendations get other people hired — while you’re messing with that resume!
Next week, we’ll discuss another waste of time — slowpoke employers who interview you then keep you waiting. Don’t miss Part 2!
Do you like being unemployed? (Sorry — that’s of course a loaded question!) Then why stretch it out? How do you make your job search efforts count? Do you eliminate the time sucks? Do you mix it up, one on one, to get your interviews, or do you mail out sales flyers (aka, resumes)? How many loaded questions could I possibly squeeze into this teaser to encourage you to post your comments??