Yesterday I met someone who said, “I didn’t know resume writing was a real profession.”
Granted, he’s a medical professional (doctor) so probably uses a traditional CV and also has not been an active job seeker for a few decades. I used to get this reaction when I first started in this profession, more than 25 years ago! But clearly even today there’s a need to spread the word.
Perhaps because I’m immersed in career management, it seems inconceivable that anyone wouldn’t appreciate the enormous shifts that have occurred in the world of work in the past 20 years. A few things that have changed:
- Join a company after college and work there until retirement. Anyone who does that now is considered a dinosaur! The norm today is frequent job changes, multiple employers, part-time and freelance work, side gigs … anything but tradition and stability.
- When creating a resume, write a tasteful and detailed review of your work experience and job responsibilities. Write as much as you want – employers will read it. Nowadays, we must write more sharply, clearly, and succinctly. Unique achievements and not generic responsibilities should be the focus.
- Your resume must follow a strict template. Wonderful news – you can now get creative with your resume! While you still want to follow a format that gives readers the information they expect to find, you have enormous leeway for arranging the material, highlighting the important stuff, jazzing up the presentation, and otherwise creating a unique, attractive, and memorable marketing document.
- You’re on your own in managing your career. Nonsense! Incredible resources exist to help you with every phase, from determining where you want to go to helping you get there. Career coaches and counselors … nonprofit and state-supported career centers … college career centers (for alumni, too) … resume writers … LinkedIn profile writers … interview coaches … job search coaches … books, articles, seminars, webinars, Twitter feeds, blogs, and on and on. If you’re not taking advantage of these resources, you put yourself at a disadvantage.
- It’s who you know that counts. This concept is HALF true. Networking is still the single best method for finding your next job (in spite of all the online job postings), but it’s not who you know now, it’s who you can GET to know. In other words, you can use your network to get to the people who make hiring decisions for people like you. And today’s tools (e.g., LinkedIn) make it faster and easier than ever to make those connections.
If my doctor ever needs to use his CV, he may be fine creating that traditional document on his own. But for most everyone else, it will pay to tap into the expertise of professionals to help navigate today’s world of career management and job search.