The resume is the Achilles heel for so many resume experts and their clients.
The reason? Resume consultants are loathe to tell their clients that gone are the days when you send the same resume to every job you decide to pursue. By the way, some of the blame also goes to outplacement consultants. They, too, frequently fail to disclose to their clients that the resume they create as part of their transition consulting package, must be revised each time they send it to prospective employers.
In the interest of transparency, in addition to my successful boutique executive search practice, we also provide career transition coaching. Believe me, we do not tell our clients that the resume we help them develop is good for every job. In this important facet of career management, consultants need to tell their clients what they need to hear, not what they want to here.
To be honest, when you tell a candidate they need to revise their resume, at a minimum their professional summary, for every position, that is not exactly what they want to here. In one search, I told a promising candidate he needed to revise his resume to add some relevant experience that he did not include. He was genuinely perturbed. “That is just too much work. You recruiters are making this unnecessarily difficult.” Guess what? He did not do what we asked and he withdrew.
Here is a key point candidates should consider: With the consolidation of industries experiencing radical disruption like publishing, communications, advertising and healthcare, the market is becoming flooded with qualified candidates as consolidation occurs. This means that employers in the hiring game can afford to be picky. They have an ample inventory of candidates from which to choose. The people landing jobs are the candidates who understand this shift in market conditions, and focus their message on the needs of prospective employers.
We recommend that candidates develop, or insist that their resume consultants develop, a resume, that at its core is value based. That is to say that it emphasizes their experience and their relevant accomplishments — their value. If your resume focuses more on experience without an emphasis on your accomplishments that align with the needs of the prospective employer, you may find yourself on the sideline.
Business models are changing. These changes are disrupting job markets. Resume writers need to keep up. No amount color or snazzy design will trump value-based content.
That is my view as a recruiter. And a lot of clients as well.