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VOL. 133 | NO. 18 | Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Angela Copeland

The Myth Of The Perfect Resume

Angela Copeland

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I love resumes. They’re a very important part of your job search. They allow you to brand yourself. You can feature your past work experience. A resume allows you to highlight accomplishments, such as awards and education. It allows you to share who are you and who you want to be in a future career.

But if you had 100 hours to use on your job search, how exactly would you divide up your time?

Many job seekers would devote 95 percent of their time to their resume. It makes sense, right? If your resume is perfect, then you ought to get a job faster. Because job fit is determined by experience. And experience is outlined in your resume, right?

Well, sort of. But not exactly. In reality, many job offers are determined by other factors – like who you know. Look back at your own resume and think about how you got each job. If you landed every job by applying online with the perfect resume, you’re an exception to the rule. Most people find jobs through other people.

Does that mean resumes don’t matter? No, they’re important. But it does mean that you should update your resume and then move on to other job search activities. For example, spend more time researching the companies you want to work for. Devote time to meeting new people and networking with people you already know.

One of my most successful friends has a six-page resume. For years, I’ve had a burning desire to update it and shave it down to two pages. But before I have ever been able to get my hands on that resume, the friend has already landed a new job. He has both unique skills and a strong network of contacts. Most likely, his resume is a complete afterthought. It’s a formality. After a company has decided to hire him, he submits the resume to complete the hiring process. It’s simply a checkbox.

What’s the lesson in this? Is it that you should forget your resume completely? No. The resume remains an important part of your job search materials, along with your cover letter, elevator pitch and LinkedIn presence.

But your resume is not the ultimate destination. If you feel that your resume is high quality and you’re still not landing interviews, step back and look at the bigger picture. Take a look at your entire job search process. Aside from updating your resume, what else could you do?

Consider spending more time at networking events. Ask more friends to have coffee meetings with you. Connect to new people you want to know (but don’t yet know) on LinkedIn. Volunteer for nonprofit boards.

If you spend your time looking for ways to connect and grow your professional network and your business skills, you will go much farther in your job search than if you stay behind your computer screen.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 291 21,272
MORTGAGES 0 160 16,194
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 23 1,487
BUILDING PERMITS 258 692 41,920
BANKRUPTCIES 1 117 6,579
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 23 3,097
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0