Why a Great Resume Doesn’t Guarantee You’ll Land a Job
Virtually every professional resume writer has been asked this question at some point: “Does the resume you write for me come with a money-back guarantee if I can’t find a job?” And every resume writer I know tells that client, “No.”
Other services come with guarantees. Why would those of us in the industry stress the importance of a well-written professional resume, and not guarantee our work? Are we conspiring to set you up, kind of like the tailors tricked the gullible ruler in the story about the emperor’s new clothes?
- Absolutely not. A professionally prepared resume can be an invaluable tool in your job search. But it is just one tool in your job search tool belt. Although a lucky few might be able to land their next job using only a great resume, it’s rare. Most job searches are going to require more than one, and usually all, of the following tools in order to be successful:
- That great resume. Yes, resumes are here to stay, and are evolving in wonderful ways that make it ever more possible to highlight your best hiring points. Just because you’re unlikely to get hired when using only this one tool doesn’t mean it’s not a very important component of your job search.
- A careful strategy. I’ve known many people whose plan goes no further than sending their resume in response to ads they find on job boards. The majority of those people may spend months in a job search, griping about the lack of available opportunities or the lack of response to their resume, and for good reason: simply answering ads is not the most effective strategy. However, if you combine several of the other tools with answering ads? You’ll have a much higher likelihood of landing a great job. Knowing how and when to implement those tools is part of your strategy.
- A clean, clear online identity. By this, I mean everything from your LinkedIn profile to Twitter to public Facebook pages and websites. Is the picture painted by your materials and interactions on these sites consistent with the image you want to convey? Employers do check out your online identity, and if you have any “digital dirt” or a history of indulging in rants against your past employers, that will hurt your chances of being called in for an interview or being extended a job offer.
- An ability to network. Networking works. It’s one of the best ways to find out about unposted or little-known opportunities, find “insiders” who will pass your resume to the most appropriate person, and enlist others to be on the lookout for jobs that will suit your personality, skills, and goals.
- Interviewing skills. All of the other tools may help you land an interview, but this one is critical in helping you land the job. You have to know how to answer questions and how to ask questions, and how to look confident while doing both.
If you’ve noticed, there’s a common denominator in these tips. Resume writers can’t guarantee you’ll find a job because the success of your job search depends on YOU, and what you do with your resume and the other job search tools at your disposal. We’ll dress your career history up in the finest clothes we can stitch together and give you a beautiful resume, but you have to do the work.
Believe me, I know it can be overwhelming. A credentialed career coach like me can help you understand everything and make it manageable. We can help you develop a strategy and then hold you accountable for following through on it. And by so doing, we help our clients utilize the best tools for their job search, save lots of time, and become employed sooner.
Please reach out if I can help you equip your job search tool belt. It’s what I love to do!
Kristin S. Johnson
CARW, CCMC, CJSS, COPNS, CG3C, 360Reach Analyst
Profession Direction, LLC