Some people spend hours upon hours mulling over their resume. They fine tune it, have four people read it, and then fine tune it some more. When I created my first resume, I had no clue what I was doing. I was so scared that my resume would be so bad, that no one would hire me because of it. The only problem with my thinking was that I actually thought that my resume was going to get my hired. That is completey false. Resumes do not get you jobs. They get you interviews. Your resume should not be what you hinge on to get your next job. A resume should only be a snapshot of you that sparks the interest of potential employers. It should say to someone, “Hey, I think you should meet me in person to really see how great I am”. You can have all of the credentials in the world, and all of the great accolades listed on your resume, but believe me, it’s not going to land the job for you. You, and you alone, are the only one that can land the job.
If you read my article about Scoring Big On A Job Interview, you’ll find some great tips about doing well on your first or 100th interview. If you’re resume scored you the interview, it did it’s job. Now, you must do YOUR job. Again, don’t lean on what is on your resume to land the job. Employers already know about your education backgroun and past accomplishments, they want you to tell them and show them something about you that they didn’t already know, during the interview. You cannot just regurgitate what you already wrote on the resume. Employers want you to show them who they are really hiring to work for them. Show them the unique characteristics of your personality. Expound further on past accomplishments and educational background. Tell relevant stories about yourself that helps them get to know you better. Be thought-provoking, engaging, witty, and meek. Remember, just because you’ve got 10 years of experience and an MBA, doesn’t seal the deal for the job. Your resume got your foot in the door, your interview seals the deal.
Sometimes, employers must sift through hundreds of applicants and numerous interviews to make a decision. Your interview might not seal the deal for you. What can seal the deal for you and make you stand out from other interviewees is your eagerness and persistence for the position. You may be hesitant to show persistence about the position, but employers will appreciate your eagerness to be a part of their company. Show your enthusiasm about the position. Follow-up one week after your interview if you have not heard anything yet. Do so once a week until they have made a decision. I’m not encouraging you to call up the hiring manager at 8pm on a Friday night, but make sure that they don’t forget about you. If they don’t make the decision in the first 48 to 72 hours, then they’re having a hard time making a decision, or they’ve got a bunch of other people to interview. You don’t want to be passed up simply because you weren’t fresh in their minds at the time of their decision. Following up with the employer will keep them reminded about you throughout the process.
In conclusion, make sure your resume is concise, comprehensive, and appealing. But, don’t rely on it to score a job. Practice your interviewing skills, because it is the interview that will land you the job.