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Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Measuring Happiness
One of the questions we ask job seekers before critiquing their resumes is if they are happy with the resume. This might seem like a silly question since if they were happy with it, they wouldn’t be sending it to us to analyze, but we ask anyway. I’m always surprised at the answers we get to this question because the question we ask just prior to this “silly question” is “What kind of response are your receiving? Are you setting up interviews?” Ninety-five percent of the time, the answer to the response questions will be something like “I’ve sent out 200 and gotten three interviews” or “I’ve posted all over the internet but all I’m getting are a few recruiter calls.” Yet almost all the respondents who report poor results using their current resume also report they are generally happy with the resume.

I don’t know about other resume writing firms, but we measure happiness with a resume in the RESULTS it achieves. If the resume isn’t winning interviews for the client, we aren’t happy and neither should the client be happy. The main job of the resume is to get interviews. A resume can sound good, look good, and receive compliments from peers but if it doesn’t win interviews, you shouldn’t be happy with it!

What is the measure of happiness with your resume? Do you like it because it looks nice? Do you like it because it uses lots of $3 words and is kept to one page? Do you like it because it hides your age? The only reason you should be happy with your resume is if it works for you by winning interviews. Everything else is secondary.

I had one job seeker answer that he had sent out over 25 directly to companies and had conducted a large recruiter blast. His results: one telephone interview that did not lead to a face-to-face meeting. When asked if he was happy with the resume, his reply was “Yes, I’m very happy with it. I had a professional craft it.” He’s happy with a document that doesn’t work simply because he had a professional writer craft it. Big deal. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter if a “pro” did it or your sister-in-law composed it using a resume template. That’s like being happy with a nice car that has a blown engine – it looks good in the driveway but it doesn’t go anywhere.

So what makes a resume ineffective? Rarely is it just one thing wrong with a resume. I often get comments from job seekers seeking a critique stating they feel the resume is too long, or too short, or shows their age, or something. When I examine the resume, it’s usually a combination of things that make it fail. Just as an airplane crash is usually a series of small failures, so is an ineffective resume. Don’t be happy with mediocrity, especially when it comes to your career marketing. We won’t settle for it.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 /


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