Last week on 60 Minutes, Paypal Co-founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel said that education doesn’t matter anymore. Don’t agree with that, but one thing that does not matter anymore is the good ol’ resume.When you begin a job search the most common first step is to get your resume up to date. But a resume does not matter anymore. In fact, I would venture to say that you should be weary of company or recruiter who’s first question is “do you have an updated resume?”. It shows that they’re possibly just going through the motions.
Here are 5 things that matter way more than your crusty PDF resume. Focus your attention on these things and you will see more opportunities and get to your next gig faster.
The most important thing these days is to show the work. Employers know that a resume is going to be 90% BS, so they want to see the work. If you’re a web developer, what are the sites you have worked on? If you’re a marketing manager, what products and programs have you launched? You should be tracking and collecting the projects you work on so that you can create your personal work portfolio. It could be a website, a powerpoint presentation, even a video, but it is critical to “show the work”. For better or worse, companies aren’t trying to train new employees anymore; they’re willing to pay you the money you want if you can show that you can come right and make things happen.
A LinkedIn profile basically is your resume these days. People will look you up on LinkedIn as the first thing they do to see if you are a real person and to get a snapshot of your work to see if you are a legitimate candidate for their job. It’s imperative to keep your LinkedIn profile updated, focus on the keywords that target that type of experiences you are interested in and to make sure your profile tella good story of your career.
One of the metrics that you can look at to make sure your career is on track is to measure the jobs you’re applying for vs. the opportunities that people are sending your way. The goal is to have less traditional interviews and more “conversations” about possible career moves. This doesn’t happen over night, but it will only happen by building a close strategic network of contacts. Before you head onto a job board, make sure you’re building and tapping your network for opportunities.
Seems small, but it’s huge. When you finally get that interview, don’t dust off your navy blue suit because that’s how it’s always done. How you dress shows that you did your homework; spoke to people at the company and that you understand the culture. If you’re applying to a job with a very casual culture and you show up in a three piece suit, you will get judged…negatively. Do your homework and dress the part.
Your Follow Up
(Cliche alert)…Your job search is just like a sales position, only you are the product. So like a sales role, follow up is everything. Recruiters and hiring managers get busy and want to fill their open head counts as much as you want to get a job. You’re not bugging them – when you follow up, you show you’re organized and passionate about the position. Also, like a good sales person, try and follow up with real information – not just “Hey – wanted to check in”. If you see some news about the company or the industry, don’t be afraid to hit your contact with a “Hi, I saw this article online, wondering how this might affect the company’s upcoming launch….”
Some companies are still going to ask for a resume and of course you should send them one, but a resume should not be the primary focus of your job search. Focus on what’s important to get your new job faster.