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Another interesting search, and the influx of resumes from potential candidates again highlights a recurring problem in the field of career management.  The vast majority of the resumes are, regrettably, all alike.

wasting timeIn a competitive employment marketplace you would think that candidates would give more thought to differentiating themselves.  No, it is as if the candidates actually believe that the resume is the definitive record of where they have worked and what they did.  Not so.  Based on the resumes we review day in and day out, executives in transition, and those exploring growth opportunities, are often missing the career management boat.

Here is the issue in a nutshell.  Employers are no longer hiring based solely on experience or the prestige of a former employer that the candidate may have worked for.  Yes, the historical record is still important, and we do notice if you earned your master’s degree from a top university, or that you formerly worked for a top-tier organization but, regrettably, those things are just not enough in this new hyper competitive job market.

You have to show relevant accomplishments.  That means you have to customize your resume to address the needs of the employer since not every organization is asking for the same type of leader and each one is facing unique challenges.  They are not cookie-cutter in their needs.

When you send the same resume to every recruiter or potential employer focusing on the work you did, who you did it for and for how long, you are also sending a dangerous underlying message: that you are either unaware of changes in the job hiring market or that you are not willing to put in the extra effort to be competitive for that next great position.  REALLY?  Is that the career brand you want to build?

Moreover, candidates must provide references that can speak with authority to their ability to achieve the kind of results that the prospective employer is expecting.  It is so damaging to a candidate’s candidacy when the reference cannot speak to the relevant issues of the position.  I have seen excellent candidates fall from consideration for that very reason.

In several recent searches we had to ask the candidates to go back and rework their resumes so that their experience and accomplishments more clearly matched with the potential employer’s expectations.

So quit wasting your time.  Why do something twice?  Why not do it better the first time, save yourself some aggravation and differentiate yourself from the dozens of other applicants?