MYTH: “Your resume is your primary marketing tool, and it needs to include detailed information about dates, duties, titles, companies, and industries where you have been employed in the past — plus the year you graduated from college, and what you majored in, and if you omit anything, it makes you seem suspicious."
Companies use resumes today to screen people out. Even if someone hand-delivers yours to the hiring authority, and even if he reads it, it will still be sent to HR, and they will almost certainly find a plausible reason in it to screen you out. It will probably get screened out even if you are making a lateral move. And if none of those myriad details doesn’t derail you and you actually get an interview, they may easily fall back on the excuse of "those accomplishments you listed were at a larger/smaller company, and/or with resources we don’t have, so they’re not relevant to our situation."
"Who told you that you need to include all those details in your resume?" Ask whoever tells you this if Ronald Reagan should have been viewed skeptically because, to my knowledge, when he was seeking the very senior, important job of President, he didn’t mention his job as a radio announcer in Des Moines.
Actually, a resume is a very weak tool to use if you are trying to get interviews. BTW — have you ever known anyone who said that the hiring authority was “really impressed” with the summary that was at the top of their resume?
MYTH: “You need to sell the unique value of your candidacy."
What exactly does that mean? What you actually need to do to sell your candidacy is to make a believable promise that you can help them reach their corporate financial goals, objectives, priorities, and strategies — faster. That will make you unique and greatly increase your chances of getting an interview.
MYTH: “You need to be prepared to address questions such as why you’re in the job market, what kind of experience do you have in our industry, etc.”
Yes, you do need to address those and other questions, but what good are snappy answers you heard from a friend if you don’t get an interview? The time to play Defense is when you first communicate with the hiring authority — i.e., when you make an offer to be of service, e.g., “I can bring such and such to the table because we had a similar situation at the Fried Chicken Insurance Company. So, I know how to quickly grasp the implications of such and such, and take appropriate measures to address it. I won’t have to guess about what might work.”
If all of this makes sense to you, and you are actively seeking a new position, then you should become a client of mine. I know what to do and how to do it — to make your phone ring with calls from hiring companies…all the way to reaching an offer with a compensation agreement that will make you very satisfied.
Tom Kellum is a job hunting consultant, helping people's dreams come true since 1987. He specializes in providing a personal job-landing service based on proven marketing strategies and methods. For more information, email him at email@example.com.
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