Okay it’s time for a rant. I don’t think I’ve ranted in all of my posts yet which is a pretty good streak. As a Career Coach and Resume Writer, a big source of income for me is writing resumes so what I’m going to say isn’t something you’ll hear from 99% of resume writers in the business and there are a lot of these people. Not that I’m trying to start a Career Coaching beef with the other guys and girls, but I like to try and be as open and honest as possible.
Many clients come to me and I ask them why they need a Career Coach. Most of the time they are looking for direction and help with their resume. Now I will say there are definitely those who need a resume, whether their old resume is from 1920 that has spider webs on it and their last job was working as a telephone operator at Bell Atlantic, or they don’t have a resume at al….or a computer for that matter (yikes). Others have a decent looking resume that’s up to date and looks to be written by someone with at least half of a working brain. So when I drill down and ask what’s going on, here’s what I find out is the problem that that’s completely derailing their job search. Are you ready? I’ll put it in nice bold letters and underline it for you:
PEOPLE ARE SPENDING WAY TOO MUCH TIME FUSSING OVER THEIR RESUME!
Now you’re probably saying to yourself or your cat Tony sitting next to you on the couch “But Joe, isn’t a resume the most important thing you have when looking for a job? Well the answer to that is yes and no. I’ll put on my Resume Writer hat for a second and give you the yes answer. Having a well written resume with the proper keywords and formatting that works with applicant tracking systems is extremely important. Your resume is your career biography so you should make sure it’s written properly.
Now I’ll put on my career coaching hat and say as important a resume is, it’s not THE most important thing. It should not prevent you from searching for jobs if your resume is 100% how you want it. The resume is a working document so you should always be updating it, it’s never going to be perfect. Now I’m not saying it should be littered with spelling errors (probably like some of my blog posts) or be sloppily written and incoherent, BUT you also shouldn’t be spending hours looking up synonyms for the word adept.
Networking should always trump a resume (am I allowed to say trump on the internet? If not I apologize please don’t cancel me). Anyway, being able to network, can get you a job faster than applying to 100000 jobs online. If you’re neighbor works for Disney and you’re looking for a job at Disney, maybe cut his grass once or twice (AND DO A GOOD JOB) and tell him you’re looking for something at Disney and see how fast you wind up talking to a hiring manager if he’s someone high up or knows the right people.
Spending time on your resume on your resume is important, but spending too much time can be detrimental. If it’s really something that keeps you up late at night, hire a resume writer (okay that wasn’t meant to be salesy or anything like that, I didn’t say hire me, hire someone else if you want, but you should hire me J ). Keep in mind what’s really important in the job search and put your focus on that and I promise it’ll help you in the long run.