Here’s Why the Resume Isn’t Dead Yet

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shutterstock_142881133While technology is an important part of the job search equation, it doesn’t trump thought-work, introspection and proper targeting.

Yes, totally ignoring technology can potentially be harmful, in that disregarding its value could equate to missed opportunities. However, overshadowing the process with a hyper-focus on technology’s ability to catapult your results can be equally harmful.

Why You Must Not “Forget Your Resume”

Experts who advise you to “forget your resume” and instead focus on building a personal website, or recruiters that suggest that your LinkedIn profile is more important than your Word-formatted resume, are ignoring the full picture of the job search.

In fact, whatever the language used in resume-related conversations, the bottom line is that a resume (aka, career summary) always will be needed, and the venue you use to ‘house’ that resume (i.e., personal website, LinkedIn profile or even your Facebook page) is secondary.

Moreover, the go-to default for the resume venue still is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the Microsoft Word document. And if leveraged well, the Word presentation can be just as dynamic, interesting and personality-rich as online profiles.

Funnel Your Energy Into Your Focused Message

Thoughtfully pulling the threads of your value through to tell a story that intersects with your target employer’s needs is most crucial and where initial energy should stream. Only after this thought-work should you invest energy into identifying the different channels for your story; i.e., MS Word document, LinkedIn profile or a personal website, all which can be communicated to the target employer digitally.

Job Search Blends Many Tools and Methods

As Dawn Bugni, Master Resume Writer and owner of Write Solution said, “Job search blends many tools and methods. I’m always amused when someone declares the resume is dead, especially when I find those posts, moments after a call, from a desperate prospect, who needs a hard copy resume – not a LinkedIn profile, not an online portfolio – to advance with their current employer, not even an external position.”

She continued, “Online content blends with, complements and enhances traditional methods. Job seekers need a vast array of tools in their job search toolbox, and the wisdom to determine what will work best in each situation.

Job search is a land of gray. Sweeping generalities implying ‘this is the only way to do job search’ or ‘there is only one tool you’ll need’ limit a job seeker’s potential. It takes more than a hammer to build a house. It takes more than an online profile to navigate a job search.”

So, before you ditch your resume in lieu of the next great application or other online strategy that claims to be the magic wand, take a deep breath. Focus on crafting a meaningful story first and the tools to share that story second.


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career

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Avoid These 3 Resume Mistakes

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iStock_000014087598_Small-622x229According to Dictionary.com, the definition for resume is “a summing up; summary;” and, “a brief written account of personal, educational and professional qualifications and experiences, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.”

With this somewhat broad definition in mind, job seekers often get consumed by understanding the details of what to do when building a career summary. However, the conundrum is that you’re not sure which details to consider, and which to toss so your resume lands on the hiring manager‘s desk.

In these instances, it may in fact be best to begin with just a few rules of thumb regarding what ‘not’ to do when building your new resume (versus getting bogged down in a bunch of rules).

To get your resume jumpstarted, consider these three things:

1. Don’t marry your resume to a template.

As with anything personalized, when you put your stock in a template—mirroring format, words and content strategies—your results will look like a me-too story. A shiny, pretty, buzzword-polished resume may make your eyes light up and feel good about ‘you’ initially, but over time, lackluster responses from hiring decision makers will dim that light.

Instead, if you are determined to use another resume as inspiration, leave it at just that, using the other resume (or template) as a launch pad for yours. Other resumes and design strategies may serve as guides but should not be the primary premise for your unique resume story.

2. Don’t make your resume all about you.

The bottom line is this is YOUR story, so initially, you want to focus on what your goals and dreams are. Once you have nailed those down, however, you want to identify the types of companies and roles that will leverage your talents in a way that you can reach your destination.

Uncover your target audience’s needs. What types of products or services do they provide? What types of clients do they serve? What types of problems might they typically encounter?

Next, weave together career stories that imply your greatness through results that benefited your future company and your future boss within that company. Make sure the results pop not only with metrics but also with your strategic thinking and solutions-building skills. Show your ‘how’ and your ‘why,’ and get the reader emotionally engaged to you, feeling that you understand their needs and can resolve their areas of struggle.

In other words, the next boss you are appealing to must feel you are their champion, their hero who can come in and help THEM look good to their bosses and reach the next level of their career.

3. Don’t worry about the rules.

Read 10 articles on resumes, and you will get 10 different opinions. Some say never to exceed two pages; others instruct never to use first-person; some say never to go back further than 10 or 15 years; and some indicate that employing a chart or graph in a resume is an absolute no-no.

Scrap those rules for a moment, and just begin writing, with this primary rule in mind: FOCUS. Focus on your goals wedded with your target audience’s wishes. At first, you may find that a brain-dump resume unfolds, one that appears leggy and lumbering. Of course, you won’t want to stop there. Instead, take a scalpel and begin editing your story down, layer by layer, until you unveil the targeted message – a pithy short story that draws your reader in, hungry to know more.


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career

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