Resumes – Many job seekers view them as the primary tool to seek new employment. The average job seeker emails their resume to three companies per day, with the average response being 1 for every 45 resumes sent. The perception becomes that the resume isn’t getting the job done and that the job seeker needs to revamp their resume and start over again. In some cases this is true, but in most, their resume is not the reason they are not getting any response. The method they attack their job search is the problem. Even if you have the best-written resume in the world, if you continue to send it blindly through Monster, CareerBuilder, TheLadders or Craigslist you will not see an drastic increase in a number of responses you get.
That is not to say your resume isn’t an important tool in your job search, it is VERY important, but a resume alone will not get you a job. Below are a few things you need to have or do to go along with a well-written resume:
1) Cover letter – A cover letter shows professionalism. Many hiring managers read cover letters to determine if looking at your resume is worth their time. I often meet with clients who are under the impression that hiring managers do not read cover letters, this is not true. Yes, there are some cases where your cover letters are not being read, but this is very rare. If you are not sending a specialized cover letter to every job you apply for, then you are just like hundreds of thousands of other unemployed individuals who are not getting responses to their resumes.
2) Network – If you are exclusively using job websites for your job search, it greatly narrows your chance of being noticed by hiring managers. Get out and meet people. There are hundreds of networking events that happen in most cities on a weekly basis. 86% of individuals being hired are through friends of friends. The more people you know, the more likely you are to be one of those 86%. Networking, just like everything else takes time, but this is the single most effective tool in finding employment. If you continue to do nothing but send your resume to different job boards…you have a .6% of finding a job.
3) Be Different – In a time where there are very limited opportunities, you need to make sure you do something to separate yourself from everyone else. Do not feel like you are bound by rules! Anything you can think of to get noticed is acceptable (As long it is within the scope of the law). Being unique is what will make the difference between you and everyone else who just sends their resume in and waits for a response. Get off the couch, get out and meet people AND BE DIFFERENT! Today could be a great day for you…tomorrow could be the day that you get a job offer.
Your resume can and should be an integral part of your job search, but it can’t be the only thing. Just by writing a cover letter and networking, you increase the chance of getting a job by almost 80%. Don’t wait for something good to happen to you…MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR YOURSELF.