Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse With Your Resume

by Scot Herrick

In the comments on my article “Resumes
need accomplishments. What’s an accomplishment?
” someone noted that, “People with actual technical skills should be
interviewed by other people with actual technical skills.”

Don't Put the Cart Before the Horse With Your ResumeYes, they should.

Another noted that, “This thing with accomplishments is a fad that will pass
when hiring managers begin to realize half their brilliant new hires are
spending more time quantifying their accomplishments than they spend making
their accomplishments.”

Which shows management doesn’t necessarily hire well and, in the hiring,
somehow assumes the hiring manager would know of your accomplishments without
them being on
the resume
.

Both of these statements, however, make some sort of assumption that the
resume is what gets you the job
. If your actual accomplishments are on the
resume, a manager and/or technical person will automatically hire you without a
technical interview and later, half the time, regret it.

The Basics Need Reviewing

The fundamental process for hiring someone from a different company, as opposed to internally, is this:

  1. The resume is a good
    enough match to the job description
    to get you a phone interview
  2. The phone interview confirms enough to get you face-to-face interview(s)
  3. The conclusion of the face-to-face interview(s) gets you a job offer

Without a job offer, you do not have a successful job search. Of course, this is blindingly obvious. Surprisingly, though, my conversations with
people regarding resumes is they think they either don’t matter because it’s the interview that counts (technical people should interview technical people)
or that the resume is enough to get you the job offer (hiring managers begin to
realize half their brilliant new hires are…).

The Purpose of the Resume is to Get the Interview

The only, sole purpose of the resume is to get you the interview. It’s as
simple and as difficult as that. The resume moves you forward in that first
crucial step in the job search process.

The Three ‘Yes’ Answers You Need to Get Hired

You can look at each step in the hiring process a different way: Can you do
the job, are you motivated to do the work and will you fit in with the manager
and team? Each person who gets a “yes” at each step of the search
process will move forward until there’s one or more people the
hiring manager believes is best for the job.

Your resume needs to show you can do the job. If you don’t have your
technical job skills on the resume, you’ll never be in a position to have a
technical interview: You
did not show you possessed the technical skills
to do the job.

As well, your resume needs to show that you have done the work in the past, just as
it shows motivation to do the work. Accomplishments show that you can do the job
and are motivated by what you did.

And your resume needs to show that you can work in a variety of team
settings, though this is its least important part. Face-to-face communication is much more important to find out this
aspect of getting the job offer.

Focus in Each Part of the Process

Do your job skills match
up with the job description
? Or, do you need to
put in another project that directly addresses part of the job
description?

This is why people tell you to match up the job skills with the resume. The
more skills you match, the more likely you won’t
get rejected by those nasty resume readers as not being qualified for the work
when you know you are qualified.

Once your resume gets you the interview, you need to focus on your interview
skills. And once you get the job offer, you need to focus on your negotiating
skills.

The resume, though, just gets you past the initial gate to the first prize:
the interview.

Scot Herrick is the author of I’ve
Landed My Dream Job -Now What?
 and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. CubeRules.com.
provides online career management training for workers who typically
work in a corporate cubicle. Scot has a long history of management and
individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.

Comments

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