By Catherine Lang-Cline
Since I am in the business of connecting creative people to creative work, my opinion on resumés is asked quite often. They’re always asking for ways to improve it so it gets noticed. As long as people have created resumés, there have been ways to make it stand out more. But with that I say to put the resumé aside for a moment, and take a different approach in getting your next job because it is no longer the only doorway into a company.
As a manager, who is better to hire than someone you are already familiar with or comes recommended by someone you trust? Working your network and staying in touch with contacts is one of the best ways to get noticed.
Want a job at a particular company? Get to know the people that work there. Start by contacting the people that you know that might know someone; friends, family, mentors. See if they will do an introduction or testimonial. Simply try calling the decision maker and ask what they are looking for in a candidate and while you are at it, tell them why you want to work there. Maybe you can talk them into giving you an interview.
This is critically important if you are just getting out of school or have never had a job in this field. Think about doing internships or projects. Proving yourself before a job is posted can give you a huge advantage. Knowing people before a job is posted is an advantage as well.
More and more companies check your social media to see the “true you” rather than the one that is drawn out in your resume. They can be thrilled with your skills but not thrilled with your posts. People with a great resumé can lose out if a future employee does not like what they see.
Ultimately, you have to have a resumé. People will want to see all of your skills and work history in one place, especially during the interview. Triple-check that it is free of typos and grammatical errors— I recommend sending to a trusted friend to proofread before you submit it anywhere. Be prepared to talk through any situations where there was job hopping or breaks in employment. Thing is, if they like you, most of this will not matter.
The interview also carries more weight than the resumé. Blow the interview and you have lost the job, it’s that simple. Also remember, that if you are being interviewed, they already know that you can do the job. Now is the time to show them that you are a fit for this culture and a fit with others in the organization. Make sure that you be yourself while talking about all of the experience you have.
So many things are now factors in whether or not you get the job. The resumé has become only a small part of the process.