Resumes and Cover Letters
Today I wanted to cover something that I have seen a lot of.
Every week, I get maybe five resumes for a position I am trying to fill. Three people aren't even remotely qualified. One looks great on paper, but they never call me back after I respond, then there is THE ONE.
Today I wanted to cover something that can kill your job search, and your new job, if you aren't careful.
Let's say, you graduate with a degree in your chosen field from an institution of higher learning, but, for one reason or another, it takes months, or maybe a year or more, to get an interview with a company in your field.
As you might imagine, I spend a lot of time perusing what is hot, new and happening as far as job search trends, and what the new school “thought leaders” are putting out there.
One thing I keep seeing is how print resumes and CV's are going (or should go) the way of the dinosaur. The folks pushing this want everyone to rely on video presentations and/or social media presence and branding.
I don't doubt that these things can and do work but, in my view, social media and videos have some major drawbacks:
One of the problems of conventional wisdom is that it's not always wise. In fact, it can put unnecessary obstacles in your way.
This time of year, the conventional wisdom is:
1) Nobody does any hiring over the holidays…
2) …So it's pointless to job hunt…
3) Until after the first of the year, when things pick back up.
There is an old saying, that goes “He who hesitates is lost”.
This is very true in life. If you spend too much time dithering, and calculating what might or might not happen, if you do or don't do something, chances are,the opportunity will be gone before you get off dead center.
As a CEO at HappiLabs, I have to manage the growth of the company, which includes hiring. We are only a 5-person company, but we’re growing and, currently, I receive about one resume or inquiry per day. Each resume is guaranteed about 5 seconds of my time, as I do a quick glance to evaluate the organization and style. If you make it beyond that, and I have time, I’ll spend about 3 minutes reviewing the resume and scanning your name on Google. I’m sure I am not the only hiring manager at a small business who feels this way, but I will not hire you if….
This month, I wanted to tackle a subject I get asked about constantly, and that is the subject of resumes.
Normally the question comes in two forms:
1) What's the best resume format?
2) Is my resume any good?
I make the distinction because while they concern the same subject, they are in fact different questions with very different answers.
Let's start with question one, “what is the best resume format”?
When I was nearing the end of my graduate degree, I visited the career center on campus.
Yes, the career center, which many PhD students don’t use. I heard that there was a particular individual at the career center who had experience improving the resumes of PhD students.
This month I wanted to address the barrage of articles out there that have to do with “the top trends for job seekers in 2016”, or “things every job seeker should know” and the like.
While you may find some useful nuggets amongst the clutter, the articles all seem to say the same things: