When you say something controversial, be ready to defend it.
My book Resumes are Worthless has resulted in me doing a lot of speaking engagements and meetings. Often as I am being introduced, the very first question asked is “Why are resumes worthless?” When I was asked this the other day, I realized I had never once defined it clearly on the blog. So, here it goes.
The Premise of Resumes are Worthless
The real premise of Resumes are Worthless is that we are all a Company of One. We all are entrepreneurs. The idea of our only MARKETING document being a resume is insane. We do terrible jobs marketing ourselves. No business in the world would ever put so much stock in a boring document. Yet that is what we do every day. Here are some specific problems with resumes.
Why Resumes are Worthless
- No one reads them. In most corporations, the only thing that looks at a resume is a machine. Walk into a larger companies and you will find thousands of applications (resumes) for each job posting. Smaller companies might have less, but they also do not have staff to read them. So, they put them in a stack to get to later. Later never comes.
- People hire people, not paper. Yet, most job seekers are hiding behind the resume. Rather than marketing themselves, they hope their resume will speak for them. It will not. People ultimately hire people they like – and no one has a relationship with a resume.
- Resumes are used to apply for jobs, but who wants a job? We all want an opportunity. One of the biggest things I do is helping others find work they love. Too many people (well over 50%) are stuck in jobs they do not really like. So, why look for another one? Why go after something that someone else defined? It is like racehorses giving pony rides. Nothing is wrong with race horses, ponies, or pony rides, but the wrong one doing the wrong job is a disaster. Instead of sending in a resume to apply for some job, find some opportunity that uniquely matches your interests and skills to the market. Yes, they are out there.
- Most want ads or posted jobs are not real. Too often those help wanted ads are dummies. When you are in a big company which has to comply with many forms of regulation, you are required to post jobs. But often those jobs are already filled by the person who has been doing that job for years as a contractor. My guess is over 50% of those job ads are for positions that have already been filled before the ad even was written.
- Send us your resume and we will get back to you. Yeah, right. Often when you are told “just send us a resume” that is like being told “let’s have lunch sometime” It means “please go away now.”
I have seen many specific examples of the above failings of resumes.
Part of what I teach is how to uncover hidden opportunities. Opportunities to work where you love to work instead of taking JOBS someone else has defined for you.