As with most things, there is an ebb and flow, an evolution, a transition a change in course with resumes.
As my son would say, back in the day resumes represented a much different aspect in moving in, moving up or moving on in your career. Then, resumes were all about you and began with statements such as, “I am looking to join a company where I can use my skills and abilities to help a company excel and grow in my career.”
A list of job duties was then listed after each position on your resume. A cut, dried, simple and basic document all about you; what you want and what you were hired to do at current or previous positions.
Often, a resume was not even needed. You followed a trade or school path, it lead to an entry level position and it evolved from there. A career could be made in the same company, position or industry for your entire job life.
That was back in the day.
Now there are much less defined roads and more detours.
Resumes now are not about you, they are about them. Your resume represents a selling statement to the prospective employer answering their most important question: “What can you do for me?”
Not to be unkind, they do not care what you want. It is a buyer’s market, they can afford to be choosey, selfish and all about them.
Telling them what you were hired to do is no longer effective because being hired to do a job does not mean you did it or did it well. Bullet points have evolved from duty driven to value driven. What value did you bring to the organization, team, company or clients in doing what you did?
There are those that will argue that resumes are a thing of the past or unnecessary because networking is such a vital aspect of career transition or expansion. I agree with the networking aspect, it is critical in moving in, on or up; however the resume still plays a critical part, as well.
Not just for them, more importantly it is a critical component for you.
The resume is the basis of every other aspect of your career plan; whether that is breaking into a career, a new industry or the next level.
Your resume is your selling statement. You have to know what you are selling, the benefits, features and value before you can sell it. Bright and shiny only lasts so long in grabbing someone’s attention, to keep it you have to sell them on it.
This is what preparing a resume is about: defining your branding or value statement.
When you know your value and all the elements of which come into play you can then craft an effective LinkedIn profile, an elevator pitch, networking strategy, job search blueprint and business communications. The resume feeds and defines all of these factors; it is the foundation of your career home that you are building.
Your resume is your playbook from which you have numerous routes you can call depending on the score, the time and the opponent. Having a robust playbook allows you depth to draw from when the game changes.
You are not a one dimensional value provider; what you offer to a company extends beyond one skill set. An effective resume will showcase all of these different elements into a story that makes sense of the whole package. These are the different routes.
Let’s say for example you are in sales, toying with the idea of leaving your current employer and are attending a networking event. You meet someone at a company that you are very interested in and strike up a conversation.
Your current company is all about the numbers without cohesive plans of expanding into new territories or deepening current relationships. Know your shtick, give it, get the sale, get out and move on. You can knock the ball out the park with this and can speak fluently to a prospective hiring manager with another company with the same mindset.
But let’s say this company for whom the person you just met has a different mentality. They are solution-based and focus on the relationships to build the sales. Once you pick up on this in the conversation, it is time to change routes. Now you need to call the plays about your expertise, success and ability about relationships and solutions.
Having prepared your resume, you know this material backward and forward. You have identified and demonstrated it in your resume and therefore are able to recall and present it in a networking conversation easily.
Having never addressed these aspects in a resume, you do not have the background material or a comprehension of how to demonstrate rather than make generalized statements. You may have seen the play run, but you haven’t practiced, haven’t taken the hit yourself or made the catch. It sure looks easy to catch that ball; but it is a whole different story when it is coming right at you, along with big guys determined to make sure you miss it, drop it or get dropped as soon as you do.
One of my happy dance moments in working with my clients is when they tell me that they now get how skills A, B and C all interact, play together to create and deepen their value – it all makes sense and they can speak to it in different capacities.
You may not feel the need to prepare a resume to give to a prospective employer or even move up in your current company. However, I would strongly suggest that you prepare one – not for them, for you. For you to effectively educate yourself and rediscover your value and all that you have to offer. This will allow you to effectively position your branding statement anytime, anywhere under any condition.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Brand Strategist & Career Coach
Certified Professional Resume Writer