Is Your Resume Hurting You? Not Sure?
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By John H Seraichyk
One hundred twenty five years ago or so, there was no such thing as a resume. Most Americans were self-employed working ten-to-fifteen hours a day with no guarantee of a paycheck, health benefits, paid vacation and so on.
It wasn’t until later, during the American industrial revolution, that corporations began to sprout up in small towns all over the U.S. What these large employers had to offer was very alluring to prospective employees. Imagine, a forty-hour workweek, paid health benefits, time off with pay and no worries of where your next dollar would come from.
It wasn’t long before hundreds, if not thousands of people would approach these companies in hopes of a job. Employers soon learned that it was necessary to implement strict hiring protocols to manage the number of people applying for employment. Thus, the resume was born.
A one or two-page document that employers could use to quickly find reasons not to call potential employees. That’s right; the resume was, and still is, used as a screening tool by employers. Your resume indicates that you are: too old, too young, too experienced, do not have enough experience, have a lack of education, have too much education, have a gap in employment history, and so and so on.
So you see, anything you say on your resume can and will be used against you.
I find it absolutely astonishing that today, one hundred years later, the resume is still considered to be the primary marketing tool used by executive job seekers.
There are thousands of books written about how to write your resume, a cottage industry of resume writers across the U.S. has evolved and countless seminars on how to develop a winning resume are conducted daily.
How ironic, a document that was originally developed to keep people away is now being touted as the premier modern day marketing tool to find a job.
Some time ago I was curiously browsing “how to” resume books at my local bookstore. As I was gazing at the dozens of manuals on how to write a job-winning resume, I noted a book entitled: “Resumes Don’t Get Jobs”, and there was another called: “ Resumes Don’t Get You Hired, You Do.” So what’s a job seeker to do? One book says here’s the right resume for you and the other says; resumes don’t work!
The ongoing controversy over the resume is never ending. So, how does your resume stack up? Is it helping or hindering your job search? Is your resume generating job interviews? Is there a better a way to find a job? Are you confused about your resume? Do you even need it?
Unfortunately, the resume is still recognized by many hiring authorities as the only way to be considered for professional or executive employment. Therefore, it is safe to say you should have one. But more important than how it is written, is how it is used.
Contact us for a free confidential resume critique and career evaluation. We will set you straight on what your resume should and shouldn’t be and how to best use it to maximize the number of quality interviews you procure.
Mr. Seraichyk has more than twenty years experience assisting executives with finding new employment.