Marketing expert Seth Godin says job hunters who are “remarkable, amazing, and spectacular” probably shouldn’t have a resume. Bold statement! Godin writes:
Having a resume begs for you to go into that big machine that looks for relevant keywords, and begs for you to get a job as a cog in a giant machine. Just more fodder for the corporate behemoth. That might be fine for average folks looking for an average job, but is that what you deserve?
Instead of a resume, he says you should have an actual completed project potential employers can see, a great reputation (you may establish with a blog!), and/or a handful of recommendations from people the employer knows or respects. That’s a tall order, Seth! Especially for folks who don’t have the connections they need to get those irresistible recommendations or experience doing their own big project.
So what if you feel locked into having some semblance of a resume? Career advice columnist Penelope Trunk has three pro resume-writing tips for overhauling that puppy. Her advice isn’t actually far off from Godin’s, especially around showcasing your accomplishments. Trunk says:
Don’t focus on your responsibilities, focus on what you achieved. […]Most people do not think in terms of quantified achievements when they are in the job, but on the resume, that’s the only part of the job that matters. No one can see that you were a “good team player” on your resume unless you can say “established a team to solve problem x and increased sales x%” or “joined under-performing team and helped that team beat production delivery dates by three weeks.”
Trunk emphasises that your resume is like a personal commercial that makes a potential employer want more—in an interview.
Whether you decide to trash your resume completely as per Godin or just scrap what you’ve got for a rewrite, there’s good advice all around here. How do you make yourself come across as a superstar when you apply for work? Let us know in the comments.