During this lively, 1-hour chat with 40 ExecuNet members, a plethora of career management related questions percolated.
Our overall goal, help ease the members’ job search process through clarifying best practices as well as helping alleviate the fear, frustration and feeling of being stuck, overwhelmed, confused and alone by the unfamiliar process of executive job search.
My role, primarily, was helping field resume strategy-related questions or concerns. Though page length was touched upon, happily, the resume discussions did not get bogged down in the tactical concerns of page length, font style, listing years versus months/years and so forth.
Mostly, the ‘Hotline’ conversation centered on the more relevant and strategic aspects of a high-performing resume: how to best target and present one’s unique value benefits to a specific audience and type of company and how to resonate with their needs. As Dave so aptly said (paraphrasing here), job seekers need to be “the aspirin for a company’s headache.”
This type of solutions- and forward-focused resume is critical cutting edge career positioning. Unfortunately, careerists often get distracted by the end result of their search goals, treating the resume process as a career transition band-aid instead of an introspective process that must painstakingly involve research, research and then more research. Akin to consumer marketing initiatives such as pitching a perfume or the latest computer or Smartphone technology, career resume strategy involves deep customer research to understand THEIR needs before shaping your message.
It also requires a very large investment in career brain dump, followed by selecting those needle in the haystack career stories that map to your target audience’s needs (how you, similarly, will create such outstanding solutions stories for their company). A resume, therefore, is not about your past, but about your FUTURE.
After ferreting out which stories to apply in your career positioning documents, the foundation of which is your resume, you must shine these stories to a brilliant sheen, and enhance them with gem-like sub-plots that describe the ‘story behind the story.’ These nuances differentiate you from the pack. Instead of a set of lean, metric-only-focused bulleted achievements, you now have meaty, story-rich sales messages that influence emotion and buy-in.
Though I agree, in part, with a recent Wall Street Journal article that asserts that in the era of social media, “A Resume Is Not Enough,” I would enhance this message by asserting that a resume is the foundation, and the online marketing initiatives comprise the fortress that houses all or components of the career resume. In other words, social media is an extension of your thoughtful, highly targeted and meaty story-board resume. This story-board, then, fuels the LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, ZoomInfo, Google, Fast Company or other profiles.
So, before you go splashing your career profile all over these social networking venues, before you start plugging into the 24/7 Internet highway and engaging in career conversations via LinkedIn professional groups or Twitter streams, shine your resume “in the rough” into a brilliant illumination of your future.