Does Your Resume Make You Look FAT?

There’s the common joke – Q:”do these pants make me look fat?” A: “no your fat makes you look fat”.  The punchline is funny because it is obvious to everyone else that it is fat that makes people look fat and not the pants.  But job-seekers use the same (wrong) logic every day.

For job-seekers it is “will this resume find me a job?” with the punchline “No, a resume will not find

No Pain - No Gain

No Pain - No Gain

you a job, no matter how good it is, you have to go out and find one yourself”.  Every job-seeker nods their head and admits that this is obvious.  Then the proceed to run a passive/reactive job-search whose main focus is ‘getting a great resume together’.  The resume becomes their core tool with everything else following.  If you have a resume, you need a great resume.  If you have a great resume, you need to post it on all the job-boards.  If you have a great resume you’d be crazy NOT to send it to every job listing that looked somewhat relevant.

Isn’t that a good strategy?  You have a great resume and you can search job-boards all day and ‘use’ that great resume to try to get the job.

No, it is not but that doesn’t stop most job-seekers from doing exactly that – and they are shooting themselves in the foot at the same time.  Why?  What could be wrong with this approach?  It’s the most common strategy with job-seekers.  Recent data shows that 5%-10% of job-seekers find a job by applying to an opening posted online and if you are white-collar/professional the numbers are more like 3%-5%.  Put another way, most job seekers are spending most of their time following loosing strategies. It’s like trying to mow your lawn with a butter-knife, you can get your lawn mowed, but it is going to take much much longer than if you used a lawn-mower.  So if you want a very long and frustrating job-search where you have little control over the outcome, then job boards are great.  If you want to get a job then you need to do exactly that, go out and get it.  Take control, look at real data as far as what works (and what doesn’t) and use a strategy that has a good chance of success.  Or you can blame the pants (resume).

Which is better an interview or a networking conversation with hiring manager?

Here’s an interesting question, I got asked over the holiday period, ‘should I strive to get an interview or focus my time on trying to get an informal networking conversation with the hiring manager?’

I love these types of questions as they’re sometimes not as cut and dry as you first think. What you’re really asking is from the job seekers point of view, which route is more likely to end in a job offer? Continue reading

Does your job-search need an intervention

If you were hooked on drink or drugs, and your family and friends were sufficiently concerned there’s a good chance they would intervene and look to help set you straight.

interventionNow don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting for a moment you’ve over-indulged this holiday season and need to dry-out; I am suggesting though you take a step back and look at your recent  job-search and see if your search needs you to intervene on your behalf.

Take a step back and (maybe use a family member or friend), pass a critical eye over your search to date and ask if it really is getting you where you want to be?

The intervention on it’s own sometimes works, by being the reality check, but the most effective interventions are when there is a plan of action that kicks in straight after the meeting.

If you conclude your search is not really getting you results, delve a little deeper and see what activities you’re doing and if they really are valuable to your search (Hint: 6 hours a day on job-boards and 4 hours web-loafing, is not an effective strategy!).

If you seem to be doing all the right things, are you doing them the right way? Does the 3 Strikes rule apply?

Lastly before you launch into changing anything do you actually have a plan and goals?

Good hunting

Simon