A recruiter will give your résumé the once-over in about five seconds – seven if you are lucky and their first cup of coffee was a good one.
In just that little bit of time, the recruiter will decide whether to read some more, or consign your résumé, and your future in that company, to the TBNT (Thanks But No Thanks) file.
During those precious few seconds, will the reader find your résumé memorable or forgettable?
Your résumé must STAND OUT like a single strawberry on top of whipped cream. You do not want your résumé to be the whipped cream.
So what is yours – strawberry or whipped cream?
If you are not getting invitations for interviews, perhaps it is because you are using the same tired, elderly, barely-limping-along, boring, generic reverse-chronological résumé showcasing your job duties and job history, unmodified from one submission to the next.
Is your head nodding in agreement, and are you thinking, “yep, that’s me”?
If so, thank you for acknowledging that. Now let’s begin to transform you from forgettable to memorable.
I’d like to tell you about a solopreneur client I’ll call “Dan” and the conversion of his résumé from whipped cream to strawberry.
When Dan and I connected, he was in his early 60s. He had been a successful self-employed consultant for over four decades, but recently had hit a wall and had not gotten a contract in over two years.
His résumé was a hodge-podge of stuff thrown together, and his financial and emotional situation was in a downward spiral. Thinking in terms of playing an effective “inner game of finding business,” Dan was losing it.
I did a complete package for him – functional résumé, targeted cover letters, job search strategies and interview practice.
When helping someone through a career transition, reading and completing the exercises in Creating You & Co. by William Bridges is time well spent. After spending a weekend completing the entire book, Dan had a profound realization: he had learned more about himself in those two and a half days than he had in over 40 years of work, education and the military.
Building on what he learned about himself, he went on to write his accomplishments essays. While I synthesized his essays into accomplishment statements, he analyzed his essays and identified his transferrable skills (skills that are applicable in multiple situations, jobs, companies, or industries.) Completing the essays and skills analyses prepared him to interview effectively.
When I gave him his completed résumé, he read it through word by word, then sat silently staring at it for almost a minute.
And in a little voice he said, “Where have you been all my life?” At that moment, he saw such a different picture of himself – so many skills that he never realized he brought to the ‘world of work’ and so many possibilities he could have explored but never did.
I could hear and see his regret; he almost cried, and so did I.
With a new-found sense of purpose and possibility, he identified new contracts to bid on. We customized his targeted cover letters and functional résumés (which I now call “Professional Profiles™”) for each opportunity.
For Dan, there was good news and bad news. The bad news is that two years after he got back on his feet, he had a huge heart attack and died on the spot.
The good news is that his last two years were good years.
Dan was bold and he was determined. The further we progressed, the stronger his “inner game” became. He poured himself into identifying his most important professional accomplishments and his most critical special skills and abilities. He refused to accept that companies would not have contracts for him. And he was right.
These customized “Professional Profiles™” that showcase your most relevant skills and professional accomplishments are at the other end of the scale from the tired, elderly, barely-limping-along, boring, generic reverse-chronological résumé showcasing job duties and job history, unmodified from one submission to the next.
As was the case for Dan, they can be powerful life-altering tools to help you get back on your feet, smelling like a rose, … or perhaps a strawberry.
~~~ Please know I care that you get a job. It matters to me that you get back to work.
To win the interview, your cover letter and résumé should be targeted to each job you apply for. That’s how you make yourself stand out, the way a meatball stands out on a plate of spaghetti. Creating this custom experience for a recruiter is not always simple, will take some effort and is completely worth the time and resources to do so.
If you’re tired of being the spaghetti and need some help becoming the meatball, we say:
“Think there’s no work? Nobody’s hiring? Burn your résumé. It’s time for a Professional Profile©.”
Please visit www.YourProfessionalProfile.com to learn more.