What Your Resume Doesn’t Say

Published on 16 April 2010 by Kelly Riggs in Job Search


train wreck 203x300 What Your Resume Doesnt SayI knew a guy that was always complaining about his (current) wife. “Women,” he would say. “Can’t live with ‘em. Can’t shoot ‘em.” A bit harsh. Can’t imagine why his marriage(s) resembled a train wreck. I understand he is currently out looking for his next future ex-wife.

The funny thing is that you probably never would’ve known that he had marriage issues. Nice guy. Fun to hang out with. Behind the scenes, however, there were things going on – I don’t know what kind of things, but they were enough to keep his personal life in shambles.

The truth is you are much the same way. No, not from the negative standpoint; in fact, just the opposite. What I’m really concerned here about are the GREAT things about you that employers can’t divine from your resume. For example, how will your resume communicate that you are a positive person rather than a negative one? Or enthusiastic rather than pessimistic? Mature rather than a drama queen (or king)? How can we tell if you are a peacemaker or a polarizer? A “git-er-done” kinda guy or a “find-something-else-to-do-while-others-carry-the-load” kinda guy? See my point?

The answer is the employer has no idea. Which means your resume has serious limitations. Everybody knows that a resume is designed to put your best foot forward, but there are still many things that cannot be communicated by a sterile piece of paper. That is exactly why proactive job candidates make it a point to get in front of prospective employers. They take the initiative to make face-to-face contact with prospective employers, because sitting back, waiting on the phone to ring, is a very bad plan when there are too many applicants for too few jobs. If you are sitting at home, plugging career websites and answering newspaper ads, then you are already down in the count (hey, it’s baseball season).

Make no mistake, getting a job is exactly like making sales calls. You have to overcome call reluctance. You have to overcome the fear of rejection. You have to be willing to get back up 801 times if you get knocked down 800 times. So, if you hate salespeople, you probably need to get over it – at least for the time being. How would you like to earn your living that way?!?

I hear you screaming. “SO WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?” Here is a great start: Make a list of the top forty or fifty local companies you would like to work for. Do your homework – websites, Google, LinkIn, the whole nine yards. Get contact names, look for connections, learn everything you can – including who your potential boss would be. Then make a personal call – resume and personalized cover letter in hand. If you don’t know who your boss might be, identify the H.R. Manager and call on him/her instead.

Did I say do your homework? That bears repeating. It’s a big deal because you need to know about the company’s culture, philosophy, mission, vision, and so forth. You want to be able to have an intelligent conversation after you introduce yourself. Here is your opening: “I wanted to introduce myself and find out more about [the company] because I think it would be an excellent place to go to work.”

No matter what the outcome, you will have communicated some key traits: initiative, courage, and resourcefulness. Trust me, if you are any good at all, you won’t make it through your list before you get hired.

4 Responses to “What Your Resume Doesn’t Say”

  1. Twitter Comment

    @jimkozak Special thanks for the RT, as well as the plug for the article! [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  2. Twitter Comment

    What Your Resume Doesn’t Say [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  3. Twitter Comment

    Very solid #jobsearch advice in this post. Thanks for sharing. RT @KellyRiggs: What Your Resume Doesn’t Say [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  4. Twitter Comment

    RT @360JobInterview What Your Resume Doesn’t Say [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher