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Thursday, June 19, 2014

How to Know if You Need a New Resume

First, let's understand the purpose of a resume.  It's sole purpose is to get you an interview!  That's it.

If you are seeking a job in a field where you are already known and where you have significant experience, the absolute best way to get that interview is knowing someone who can help you get in front of a hiring manager.  The second best way to get the interview is to know someone who knows someone.  If you have either of those scenarios working for you, any document that has your contact information and a brief history of your employment, skills, and education will do.  The reason is simple...the basis of someone agreeing to meet with you is not because of your resume...it's because of someone who created the connection between you and the person who can influence the hiring decision.

However, if you don't know anyone in the organization, and if you don't know anyone who knows anyone in the organization, you're relegated to the third best option for getting the interview, and that's to have a great (not good, but great) resume.  The reason that you need a great one is that most people have good ones, which puts you on equal footing with hundreds, perhaps thousands of other candidates.  How do you like those odds?

When I use the term "good resume," it's generic at best.  What I mean is that a "good" resume is one that has your contact information, tells the reader something about what you have done in the past, what type/level of education you have, and some kind of statement that gives them an idea of what you want to do.  What you have to understand is that in this very strong buyer's market there are an unlimited number of people who fit that criteria, and the hiring managers have nothing to separate you from everyone else when they decide which candidates they will interview.

If you want to increase your odds, your resume has to meet certain criteria.  Everyone has heard about "SEO," which means "search engine optimization."  If you have a website of any kind, it doesn't matter what the site has in it or on it if no one can find it on the Internet.  There are a lot of companies and individuals who offer these SEO services that can help your website go up in the Google rankings as well as local rankings by making a few tweaks and adjustments to the site so that you can increase your site visitation.  A good resume needs the same treatment.  I call it "RAO," which is the acronym for "Resume Awareness Optimization."

If what you have to say about yourself on a resume does not attract anyone to read it, it's worthless.

We specialize in RAO.

by Ken Murdock

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