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No one reads it.You’ve probably done this before: call a recruiter at a company that interests you, or an HR person to get more information about a job available. The HR person tells you: “if you’re interested, please submit us your resume. Then we’ll get back to you if you’re a fit.” The only reason they ask you to do this (most of the time, and especially at large companies), is because it’s easier to filter you out of the process with Applicant Tracking Software when you have a resume. ATS systems are notorious for filtering out the WRONG people and presenting candidates to hiring managers who have the wrong experience. And recruiters spend less than 10 seconds looking at your resume.
Networking and referrals can trump resumes.Too many people worry about every little detail on a resume. Imagine If it was used as your only judge of character. It won’t help you stand out, not from the thousands of other applicants you’re competing with. Rather, spend your energies on things far more important. Like making sure you understand all of the requirements and responsibilities of a job description you’re applying for, so you can prove you’re the right fit. Or building your professional network. Or use referrals and mentors to help you get in front of the right audience. Then your resume doesn’t matter as much.
- How to get referrals. You can create opportunities for yourself by having an “IN” at a company. Referrals are an extremely coveted avenue for companies. If a company gets a referral from someone performing well, most of the time that referral is good candidate and works out.
- Network Network Network. Use platforms like linkedin and get into conversations around relevant subject matter to an industry or topic. Become a “regular”, by asking questions, provoking thought, and sharing your opinion. Then NETWORK with these individuals in person. Go to relevant events in the industry and put yourself out there! (go to small meet-ups and trade shows. Some of these are free! If they cost too much money, find a way to hit afterparties or small groups around the event) Hand out business cards with your contact information and linkedin profile so people can look you up later. Connect with the most meaningful contacts at each event.
- Linkedin: If you’re new to linkedin, add your personal contact list to your profile. That will allow you to connect with all of those connections, AND get 2nd level and 3rd level connections from those contacts. See if anyone of your connections knows someone at one of the companies you’re trying to work at.
- Mentors. Find people in your industry of interest that you view as a thought leader. Reach out to them (if the situation is appropriate) ask them to a coffee, your treat!! You’d be surprised.. A caramel macchiato can be a great 4 dollar investment in you getting the job, or at least great advice. Once a relationship is established, these people might be willing to refer you to real individuals that can help you.