Over my 2 decades in the careers industry, I’ve come across this situation more than a few times. “Ken, the resume I put together by myself does actually get me some interviews, but I hate it”. So, naturally, I’d ask why they hated it.
In most cases, it was because the job seeker felt that their resume just didn’t reflect who they were, what they’d done, or what they were capable of.
But..it gets interviews, so it must be fine, right?
First of all – how many of you feel like that or have felt like that?
I’ve been there.
I remember a time when I was putting my own resume together not long after graduating from university and getting to the end of it and thinking, is this it? Is this all I’ve done? Why would anyone care about this?
For many, seeing their life’s work laid bare on two sheets of A4 can be a sobering experience.
Back to the story.
Yes, so some of these people reported getting interviews with what they considered to be a very sub-par document.
Now consider this – imagine how many interviews they could have secured if they had a kick-ass resume!
Think about that for a moment. Someone sends out 20 applications, gets 4 interviews, will be offered and will accept 1. Job done!
Or is it…
Not necessarily. Think about that same person with an amazing resume that truly captured their past successes and clearly highlighted the promise of value to the next employer.
Out of 20 applications – maybe they get 12 interview opportunities this time. When you sit down to decide which ones you want to go to, would the 4 you received with your sub-par resume even make the top 5?
Quite possibly not, because these companies weren’t interested in the ‘you’ showcased in the sub-par document. They passed you by. You didn’t make the cut. They were being more selective – maybe they had more job seekers to choose from because they are a better company, pay higher wages, better benefits, can give their people more experience, exciting projects etc.
Getting interviews with a sub-par resume, is relatively easy if you’re applying to a sub-par company, for a sub-par job, on a sub-par wage.
And here’s the lesson – if those first 4 interviews wouldn’t make the top 5, does that mean you’re being offered interview opportunities at better companies, better jobs, with better pay? All around, better opportunities.
If the answer is YES – this could be LIFE CHANGING.
If you accept any opportunity other than one of the first 4, it will change your life. If you accept a significantly better opportunity, it will put your career on a different trajectory.
In other words, does an increase in the quality of content in your resume, lead to an increase in interview opportunities for better quality of jobs? Is there a correlation there?
I’d think so. It makes sense. If you are able to articulate your value and what that means to an employer in your resume, those messages are going to resonate with hiring managers. They’re going to want to meet you.
In addition, by doing that you are differentiating yourself from most other applicants. Again, making it easier for an employer to choose you based on an eye-catching resume template and the striking content and promise of value therein.
So yes, these people were correct in hating their resume, but for the wrong reasons. It is true they felt it didn’t capture their true value proposition, but they were approaching it from the personal perspective. They just didn’t like it because it made them feel empty….but were quite content that it was getting them job interviews.
They didn’t understand that it was the opportunity cost that was having the most detrimental impact on their careers and potential. That is, the interviews they weren’t getting were more important than the ones they were.
So, how do you fix that?
Well, make sure you sign-up here to get a FREE copy of my eBook “Career Survival Strategies for the 99%” to get more insight on this topic and many, many others.