The rules of resume writing and conducting a successful job search have changed dramatically since 2008, and most job seekers with three or more years experience who are imminently qualified for a job in their field are clueless and have failed to change with the times.
For example, when I ask perspective clients who are actively searching for a new job what their goal is 7 out of 10 tell me “Perry, I need a new resume”. Most are telling the truth – they certainly need a new and improved resume, however as Richard Dawson on Family Feud said, “Sorry, wrong answer.” What they want is not a new resume, after all a resume doesn’t pay the bills. The right answer is “I want a new job or career that I will enjoy and will pay me what I am worth.”
While their answer and mine might be a matter of semantics to you, to me it is a matter of perspective, or rather a lack of perspective. Simply put what I have found is this (and most resume writers and career coaches agree with me); if a job seeker does not have an above average resume the odds are they also don’t know how to conduct a job search in the age of social media networking.
As a matter of fact what prompted me to write this blog today is my newest client. Lisa is a very successful executive level Corporate Communications professional who has outstanding skills in business communications, marketing, pr and branding. When she contacted me the conversation was short and sweet. Very straightforward she told me she has not been in a serious job search mode for awhile, she knows the process of conducting a job search today has changed, and she is not prepared to make a serious effort until she has acquired all the prerequisite tools and up-to-date knowledge she is missing. Lisa is one of the job seekers out there who gets it! She has the right attitude and perspective and is not embarrassed to admit she is not all knowing, or foolish enough to think she can go it alone without some professional help and a mentor. In other words, Lisa knows what she doesn’t know, and she is intelligent enough to realize how much harm she can cause herself by undertaking a job search without being at the top of her game.
Now what is it that Lisa comprehends and the vast majority of job seekers don’t have a clue about?
I can sum it up in 3 words; ‘The Visibility Factor.’ Let me hypothetically explain what this means. Before I take you on as a new client, I do some research because in cyberspace you are an open book. I review the resume you emailed me and your Linked-in profile; I check you out on Plaxo, Facebook and Twitter, and Google, Yahoo and Bing you. And I am not the only one doing this. A savvy recruiter, HR talent acquisition specialist and, believe it or not most hiring managers and decision makers today will do this as well because it only takes 15 minutes and yields tremendous results.
Doing this daily for the past two years I found the following trends: 1: Most job seekers 35 and older resemble the H.G. Wells character Dr. Griffin, The Invisible Man 2: Regardless of age 15% of all job seekers are highly visible in a positive way 3: Job seekers age 21-30 tend to have mostly perfunctory, or worse yet unflattering information for a job search publicly available about them.
When I started in the career services business many moons ago, most years the economy was strong and the process was designed for job seekers to find a new job. Then you wrote a factsheet resume and sent it to recruiters and HR departments blindly or in response to their job posting. In those days only 20% of the job seekers and recruiters I met networked. Most depended on the supply and demand system. Lots of jobs, not enough qualified candidates. The goal was for 3-4 companies to respond to a resume, schedule an interview, and then you wade through multiple job offers. This was still working for a lot of you up to 2007. In 2010 this is Old Skool, and as passé as disco balls and bell bottoms trousers.
What every job seeker has to realize is for the foreseeable future the objective is not to expend time, effort and money looking for a job, because the numbers game is now like playing a slot machine. It is stacked against you as much as 500 to1.
The formula today is to network and be found, and this starts with your resume. Most unprofessionally written resumes, and from what I’ve seen nearly 50% of professionally written resumes make the candidate they represent invisible in the crowd. This is unhealthy if your goal is to find a job; and it is the kiss of death if you are looking to be found. For you to be found your resume has to appear in the right places and get into the proper hands; and it must tell a story of a candidate who is like olive oil, which when placed with other liquids separates itself in the crowd and rises to the top.
Next, you must become an expert in the use of social media like Linked-in, Plaxo, E-cademy, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and Web sites so you can be found, and control the public image you portray. These are the tools of the 21st Century and I only see them becoming more sophisticated in the years to come. This is why I recently completed an intensive certification course at Social Media Magic University to improve my already considerable skills in these areas. What I learned here convinced me more than before that social media is here to stay and it will change your life and mine in ways we could not image a mere 5 years ago. This is especially true for anyone in need of a permanent job, a consulting gig, or looking to start or expand a service oriented business.
A most important lesson I learned from this course is, with effective application of social media techniques you can turn the odds in your favor no matter what your competition has to offer.
So if you are still concentrating your efforts on finding a new job, I suggest you take what I say to heart. You will find it takes a lot less effort, and it is a whole lot more fun and rewarding for you to be found, and with the proper guidance all of you can turn your old fashioned job search strategy around 180 degrees in under 10 days.
Perry Newman, CPC is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach and social media strategist renowned for his ability to produce marketing documents and job search strategies that get results. He has a standing offer of a free critique for any resume send to him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can view numerous resume samples at http://www.perrynewman.com/.
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About The Author
Perry Newman CPC/CSMS, founder of VIP Resumes USA, is an award-winning resume writer and social media and career transition strategist working remotely with executives and professionals throughout the United States. Perry is also a former AIPC certified recruiter and Managing Partner of a successful NYC search firm. Passionate about helping others succeed, Perry has been graciously critiquing Career Rocketeer readers’ resumes sent to email@example.com at no cost since 2009.