Can you imagine any competition, serious endeavor, an Olympic athlete or top performer in any field where a coach, consultant or mentor is not employed to achieve excellent results? That is why sports coaches, fitness coaches, executive coaches, sales coaches, life coaches and experts are sought. They provide the strategy, tactics and best practices to quickly and easily achieve results.
Yet on many career blogs you will see that, usually to save a few dollars, people often insist on doing their own resumes and their own interview prep without using any type of career coaching. While this do-it-yourself approach may result in finding jobs, in today's competitive world it usually means a longer job search or a suboptimal result. The questions to ask in a buyers’ market are: “How can I get a competitive edge?” and “How do I win this resume game?”
Are you a job seeker facing this highly competitive, more demanding world? Have you experienced how the new systems, technologies, and the economy have made the hiring process much more complicated, impersonal and time consuming? Much to the job seeker’s frustration, it has become a distinct two stage competition – first: the resume competition and second: the interview process.
Perhaps you’ve tried to reach the hiring manager and tried to sell yourself into an interview. Maybe you’ve left multiple messages to the recruiter in HR to follow up on the resume that you submitted. It's difficult to get any personal response. So your resume is forced to do your selling for you.
So how can you get an “edge” using a “resume coach”? Here are some facts:
When thousands of resumes are searched by recruiters, if you’re not on page 1 or 2, you’re probably not even in the running.
A poorly qualified candidate with an elegant, professional looking resume may get called for a job interview, while a stronger candidate can be left behind because of poor resume aesthetics or subpar presentation, and no one will ever know. It’s a one way street.
A poor resume might generate a 1/20 interview ratio, while an exceptional resume should generate a 1/6 ratio or better.
Resumes are often read with a negative bias. “What is this candidate missing?”
As a longtime recruiter, 50% of the resumes that I screened were poorly written. About 40% were average and only 10% were effective selling resumes. Most resumes are narrative, unfocused and are not “selling resumes”.
A Selling resume is at least 31% more likely to land interviews, 40% more likely to receive a job offer, and 38% more likely to be contacted by recruiters, compared to an average resume. A Selling resume is about 70% more likely to get interviews than a poor resume.
So in order get an edge in the paper competition, your document can’t be just a resume ---- but a Selling Resume!
Since many of us do not have sales experience, and are too close to the topic to really sell ourselves objectively, we need to consult a sales-oriented advisor, a “resume coach” to guide us in the presentation. A selling resume is not about “you “, but about “how you can help solve a problem”. Every job exists to solve a business problem. Your resume has to sell you as a solution.
There many sources of resume information, “misinformation” and outdated advice in the marketplace. Poor results, even after spending a lot of money, are not uncommon. Here are the choices:
Free resources and resume templates that rarely yield an exceptional resume. Most of these resumes never clear the Applicant Tracking Systems that recruiters and companies use.
Resume builders and free sources don’t care about quality or uniqueness. They usually just want a resume for their primary purpose and agenda, or it’s merely a “freebie” service leading you in to entice you purchase other products or services.
HR recruiters are limited to their own experience. Agency recruiters simply can’t spend the time. They take an average resume and try to present it with their own write ups - their own elevator pitch - in hopes of filling jobs that they will get paid for. It’s easier than rewriting your resume and honestly, they don’t have a real investment in your career if it doesn’t serve their immediate purpose.
When we do it ourselves, without specific coaching, we rarely create a selling resume because we are too close to the topic and too distant from the hiring process. Are we the experts?
A professional resume writer can produce good, average or poor results depending on their skills & background, and price is not necessarily an indicator of quality. The blogs are full of mixed reviews.
Since this is a lifelong skill, the best choice is to seek out the proper guidance and advice so you can quickly learn to craft and tailor an exceptional resume whenever you need it throughout your career. A resume also becomes a branding tool for social networks where you are checked out and found by recruiters.
Who would be the best sources for a Resume Coach?
If you want to win the resume game, your resume must be a selling document. Therefore, a talented career coach or third party recruiter, who understands both sales and the recruiting process in your field, is the most obvious choice. Paying for their time and guidance is a minor investment compared to the upside and the results it could yield. Ask yourself --- if your job search is even 2 days shorter, your job offer is $2000 more, or the position obtained puts you on a faster track, is there a better investment for your career?
Therefore a “selling resume” is more than an advertisement in today’s world. It is a marketing proposal for your services. Get the edge. Get a sales-oriented coach to help you win the resume game.
Howard Cattie is Head Coach of CareerOyster, an innovative online career coaching firm. CareerOyster helps job seekers learn powerful, effective resume writing and winning job interview skills through products such as ResumeCoach and InterviewCoach. To get started, and to get your free video career advice and job search tips newsletter, visit http://careeroyster.com.