Some experts believe, per our last post, that talent acquisition will be done through AI software which will scour the Web for qualified job candidates, rather than by announcing openings and waiting for the online applications to roll in. So, the question becomes “why do I need a resume, accompanying letters, and a LinkedIn profile when employers are going to come looking for me?”
The reality is that employers already proactively pursue the best and the brightest in their field—the top five percent. SpaceX, for example, is believed to be searching for the top five percent of rocket scientists. Aren’t you already in the top five percent of job candidates if you are a rocket scientist? Maybe you are, but if you are a “rocket scientist,” but you are not in the top five percent for your specific job, you still may not be actively recruited for your dream job.
So most of us will have to continue reaching out instead of expecting employers to call us. You will need a job search message that communicates the benefits of hiring you to prospective employers.
The proven way to communicate with prospective employers is through a resume and related materials—job search letters and a LinkedIn profile. Here are some reasons it’s important, in our view, for us to continue offering these documents to employers:
- The resume is your document, not an employer’s document,
- Resumes and profiles will provide you with a written “script” for job search and networking contacts, and
- The thought process will prepare you for all steps to follow.
Our job search marketing materials—resume, LinkedIn profile, and letters—give us an opportunity to tell our story in a way that is most advantageous to us.
The resume is our document.
Job seekers frequently ask me why they need to prepare a resume. Isn’t it sufficient to complete the job application online, and then explain the details of their work history, job accomplishments, and education at the interview? Today, most employers require us to complete a job application and provide a resume or access to our LinkedIn profile when we apply for their jobs. We don’t get the opportunity to explain our background at an interview unless we market the benefits of hiring us on the application.
A quality resume and LinkedIn profile allows you, as a job seeker, to turn a problem into an opportunity. Online applications can be tedious for us to complete. When we add our own well-prepared resume, job search letter, and LinkedIn profile the employer gets to see our pitch, and not just the information they need to put in their database.
Remember, employers create job applications that meet their needs. For example, the HR department may want to capture specific information such as the name and address of every former employer, the name and address of every school you attended, the month and year you started and ended each job, your starting and ending salaries, reasons for leaving, and dates you attended school.
The information an HR department collects on their application form and in their database may not be the information you want the hiring manager to see first. We may not want to emphasize, for example, that we finished college in 1979. Potential employers will require us to complete their job application, but we can present our own narrative that emphasizes the things we want the hiring manager to know.
Resumes, a profile, and your cover letter, on the other hand are not corporate forms, so you can organize them any way you see fit. We do not have to put dates of graduation on our resumes, or list jobs that ended more than ten years ago. References and salaries need not be included on resumes.
Additionally, we can include keywords on our resumes that employers are searching for in their applicant tracking systems. For example, if the job posting states the employer requires someone that knows CRM implementation, we can specifically include that knowledge on our resume. The job application may or may not have a logical place for us to include this information.
Your resume, profile, and letters serve as a job search “script.”
A story crossed my screen as I started writing this that seems to herald the end of text resumes and profiles. TikTok, an online entertainment platform, is running a pilot program with 30-second video resumes. What this really suggests is that your prepared narrative, or script, needs to be stronger than ever before.
A 30-second video gives you an opportunity to present your classic 30-second “elevator pitch” to employers. Part or all of your conversational summary, or “About” section on your LinkedIn profile may serve as your script.
The thought process counts.
We’re all familiar with the expression “it’s the thought that counts.” It’s not entirely true with regard to greeting cards or gifts, but it is true for job search marketing content.
You should have material for your 30-second pitch, your one-minute pitch, and your “tell me about yourself” response. Much of that can come from the 2600 character summary section of your LinkedIn profile.
You also should be prepared to speak about your accomplishments during interviews. Your accomplishments, as discussed elsewhere in our blog include the business problems or opportunities you have addressed at work by taking specific actions that led to specific quantifiable results. So, the work you do when preparing a resume and LinkedIn profile will lead to better interview results.
It also does not matter whether recruiters reach out to you because you are at the top of your profession, or whether you have to seek out opportunities. Your message will have to be crafted well and accessible online in some form so employers will receive it.
Our job is to hone your narrative so you deliver a consistent message across all job search media. Schedule a no-cost consultation today and find out how we can work with you to create a resume, LinkedIn profile, and job search letters that will improve your market value for years to come.