tcp | the miseducation of resume crafting

What if I were to say to you that the role of your resume is far more important than the actual resume itself? I am a firm believer that the approach a candidate takes when crafting their resume takes precedence over just creating a generic resume in a silo; with no regard for the contextual elements - or the role- that resume will play in possibly landing a job opportunity.

Allow me to illustrate the typical three step approach candidates exercise when seeking that dream internship or full-time opportunity:

1. Create a resume based on skillsets, expertise and education

2. Apply to applicable positions

3. Wait for an employer to call for an interview

I must admit, in recent history this time-tested method has worked … for some. It has left many others frustrated, stressed and at times wondering if they made the right educational/career choice to begin with. There is a fundamental issue with merely detailing every accolade, job experience and educational accomplishment on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper before identifying a particular role. This practice is almost like telling that organization, "you need me more than I need you and I am applying to this position because I feel you need to change what this job entails in order for me to grace you with my educational and experiential presence." Pretty narcissistic right!? The fact of the matter is, the employer does need you just as much as you need them. However, the employer usually has the advantage simply because there could be hundreds upon hundreds of candidates applying to a very limited number of positions. While you may be applying to that one position, the employer has a lot more options when selecting their candidates ... A LOT more options! My challenge to you - force that employer to highly consider you as one of those viable options they select. Here's how:

Begin crafting your resume with an end in mind

You want the job opportunity - we get it - but in all of our years of recruitment we have never seen someone hired based solely on their resume. We can tell you that the majority (if not all) of the candidates we witnessed receive job offers did so because they were able to articulate their educational and work experience during their interview. Guess what tool got them to the interview? When you create your resume, the end goal should be to land an interview, you do that by creatively addressing the job description.

Your resume: a non-fictional creative writing masterpiece!

We know, we know, we know - "your resume is the greatest marketing tool you have" - and it is. But let's take this a step further and dissect what great marketers do! Many of your favorite commercials, print ads and billboards do one thing; make a positive memorable connection. In some form or fashion you connect with that ad and through that connection you are more prone to purchase or advocate for whatever brand they're selling. How do they come up with this stuff? Research. These marketers spend countless hours developing new ways to understand their targeted audience because they know how much each impression with the consumer counts. You should be doing the same; through research, each bullet point on your resume should speak directly and specifically to the job description, organizational culture and/or qualifications that employer is seeking. Find creative ways to factually state your past work and/or educational experience while fusing that experience with what the job description entails.

Great resume + Poor follow through = Missed opportunities

After you have created the greatest non-fictional masterpiece possible - you want to be sure to maximize its exposure. Applying directly to a position via a company website is recommended and very much needed. However, your resume may very well be 1 out of 400 other resumes. Even the best recruiters cannot possibly review every single resume that comes across their desk. Contrary to popular belief, most recruiters are doing a lot more than just looking at resumes all day. In short, do what you have to do (excluding criminal stalking) to find out who the recruiter is that is sourcing for that position and email/call them as many times as you need to without being too annoying.

In closing, if your resume exudes matching qualifications per the job description and you position it in a way that attracts the attention of that recruiter/hiring manager, your level of consideration will increase exponentially. We would like to leave you with this one thought:

The role of the President of the United States is a pretty big deal. The same goes for the President of India. When these two heads of state enter a room - who do you think is the most powerful person? Our answer - the interpreter. Without a person there to break the seal of understanding through translation, nothing will ever get accomplished. Your resume should interpret why you should be granted an interview through factual information that convinces the employer to invite you in for a conversation.

Let us know your thoughts below!

- the career plug