Is a professional resume important?
After 28 years in the business of helping people find better jobs, sometimes, I sometimes ask myself, "Does a professional résumé really shorten the job search cycle?"
Then there are the times when I see all of the discouraged and under-employed people and I ask myself other questions among them are, "What make you such an expert?" "Is there pixie dust that you sprinkle on your résumés that make them more effective?" "Are there any secrets to the craft of drafting a document that sizzles?"
Surely, employers are not dazzled with words – they want results. As the unemployment claims are reported weekly and monthly and the numbers make their way into the news cycle, my heart sinks for all the unemployed and under-employed. The social worker face that I wear wants to help all of those struggling to find a better job. The business face that wear understands the need to make a profit and meet payroll every week. However, the writer inside my soul says, "I can't believe that words on a piece of paper, can make such a difference."
Recruiters call me from time to time and ask, "Are there any CPAs , Welders, Customer Service Representatives, Nurses, and the list goes on and on, looking for a job? When we go to our database we find that most, if not all of our clients have a job and are not interested in pursuing other career opportunities."
Recently, I was reminded that a well-written résumé makes a big difference. Two clients asked me to share their résumés with a recruiter. As I watched and listened to the recruiter, she said, "This is a great résumé!" "This candidate has great skills!" She went on to say, I know where I can place both of these candidates.
These two instances reinforced the fact that if you are looking for good job, you need a powerful résumé to tell your career story.
During the summer, I received two referrals from a nurse with a master's degree. When I quizzed my two new clients, they told me that their friend had told them, "I credit the résumé as the primary vehicle that allowed me to take my career to the next level?"
Let me share with you snippets of conversations from people in human resources, accounting, small business, banking, and employment agencies among others that I visit with on a regular basis:
"We can't find qualified engineers?"
"There are not enough qualified accountants to meet our demands."
"I would hire 20 welders today, if I could find them."
"Aerospace is booming, we can't find enough qualified workers."
"Companies are picky. They only want to hire top talent. They are not settling for the average worker."
"Two in six workers can't pass a drug test."
"I'd change jobs tomorrow if I thought I could find a better employer."
"We are looking for an Administrative Assistant who is a superstar."
"I have an MBA, but can't find a job outside of retail."
Job search is local, much like politics. It is imperative that you understand the local market. It takes more than posting your résumé online to be successful in your job search. Many will tout that networking is the key. While networking is okay - contact mining is better. If you have three or four friends, who will take an hour or so to discuss potential contacts with you, you will find time well spent. These conversations can be over coffee or while watching a youth sports game or at soccer practice. The important thing is to find the time to discuss who knows who that could help you drive your career forward.
Contact mining takes time, but you will be amazed at how quickly you will amass information and names that will help you achieve your career goals. Frequently, I tell my clients that my résumés are powerful, but my contacts are priceless. You can develop the same depth of contact base that I have. Developing contacts is the best way to build career capital. There are times to make deposits, so when you need to make a withdrawal your contacts will be willing to take the time to help you move your career forward.
For over 18 years, Vicki Hidde has been fortunate to work with professional clients every day who face the challenge of preparing a résumé. Not just any résumé, but one that will pinpoint their most marketable skills, capture the attention of the employer or recruiter and provide the foundation for financial growth and career development. Her career began as a Consultant for Professional Resume Service (later CareerPro), a national career development and résumé service with more than 500 locations. Later, she was promoted to regional director over the five southern states and then to division director with responsibility for career centers in 28 states. With well-developed contacts in the personnel industry and with human resource managers, she has provided in-house workshops on career management, as well as outplacement and termination assistance programs for companies ranging from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Learn more at resume-source.com.