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Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Rules Have Changed

If you are actively looking for a job, whether you are currently employed or not, it's important to understand that the ways you need to market yourself in today's economy are radically different than they were even just a few years ago.  Prior to the beginning of the recession that actually began in early 2008 but became apparent in October of that year when the banks began failing and the housing bubble burst, we were in a strong seller's market.  That means that there were more great jobs than great candidates to fill those jobs.  Jobseekers could be very selective about where they wanted to work, and they often had multiple offers from which to choose.

Everything changed after the steep stock market decline and the investment banking company failures.  Almost immediately we went from a strong seller's market to one in which companies were laying people off instead of hiring at all for several months.  Every news headline spoke of layoffs, "reductions in force," and outsourcing.

There is a basic, fundamental rule in marketing that says that when your demand conditions change, you must also change your promotional strategy.  However, in just about every instance I have seen, most online resume templates, and certainly most universities, have not adapted to this new demand structure.  They keep on with the same, old, tired formula for resumes that lists the basics of contact information, job history, education, and references.

That protocol will not get it done in today's market.  Organizations are very selective because in this market, they can choose from a much deeper talent pool than when we were in a strong seller's market.  They want to know all the information that the old resume format has, but they also want more than that.  If you don't give them the information they need and want to see (especially on the first page), they will not read the rest of it...and your chances of getting the interview just disappeared.

A resume has one, and only one, real purpose...and that is to help you get an interview.  The best way to get an interview is to know someone in the organization.  The second best way is to know someone who knows someone in the organization.  But the method that most of us must rely on is to have a great resume that makes the reader think, "This is someone worth my time to bring in for an interview."  Hiring managers are busy running their businesses in today's economy.  They don't make money by taking time out of their day to interview someone, so they are very selective about who gets that time.

In my 15 years of recruiting experience, I have asked my client companies what they wanted to see in a resume that would get their attention...and it isn't what most people think.

Our mission at New Wave Resumes is to help people get noticed so that they can get the interviews that they want, and in today's job market, you cannot afford to put forth less than your best effort.  If you are ready to get serious about your job hunt, we can help you separate yourself from the crowd, rather than blending into it.

Let us know if we can help you.

by Ken Murdock

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