How much time and emphasis do you place on your resume? Do you put everything you have ever done into the document? Do you feel it represents you fully enough to get you an interview? Do you simply send your resume around in response to openings or do you target your companies? Do you include a cover letter with your resume?
Most of us realize that our resume does not get us the job-we do that in the course of face to face meetings when we “sell” what we have to offer a prospective employer. The resume is a door opener–limited to getting one interested in pursuing a face to face discussion with the applicant.
It is also true that most of us recognize the importance of networking but not all job seekers understand exactly what that word means in the context of a job search. To network with someone is to identify, through contacts, to whom might we speak and engage who might be helpful in the search. We are well advised to create a “marketing plan” for ourselves to identify target companies, jobs, and the nature of the work we feel well suited to do. When we target companies and specific openings for positions that we feel match our skill set and interests, it tends to remove hesitation on the seeker’s part as well as the interviewer. In other words, the message conveyed is one of authenticity: You truly feel and therefore convey the enthusiasm about this opportunity that results in a positive engagement.
The most unfortunate feedback I have heard from prospective employers regarding interviewees is after one fails to demonstrate an enthusiasm about the particular opportunity. In essence, the interviewee seems to just “want a job.” That does not move anyone to desire to offer a prospect the job.
Remember that we are very well advised to have a resume as the two-page document that highlights our best achievements, hopefully in the arena of our pursuits. Networking is not about who you know who can pull strings to “get you a job.” It is rather about listing the people who you know who could provide you with feedback on your target company or position already noted on your “marketing plan. ” And then asking for other contacts whom your contact knows who has valuable insights and information about your target company and/or position.