In a recent US News post, I wrote about the value of adding an Executive Biography and Executive Summary to your career and job-search portfolio. You can read the reasoning behind my urgings, in the full article, HERE.
As a result of my post, an impassioned commenter articulated her frustrations in regard to the “need to provide MORE documents when applying for jobs.” She went on to inquire, “Why does a prospective employer need to know what I’ve been reading or where I grew up or how I spend my weekends?”
Her palpable frustrations resonated, and I’d like to share my response to her concerns, here:
Response to Job Seeker Frustrated With the “Hoops” of Job Search
I appreciate your passionate responses, and I’m on your side! I work with careerists every day who are in the throes of career transition, many who are undergoing change unexpectedly; or, even if they saw the writing on the wall, they were unprepared as we often are for difficult change when it actually confronts us.
I think the bottom line message I’d like to reinforce is that employers aren’t necessarily requiring this additional information (biographies and summaries), but the documents are being requested situationally. I would rather the job seekers I advise and collaborate with be ahead of the curve, versus behind. And, if another candidate is presenting these value-add documents, and you’re not, you may find yourself unnecessarily eliminated from the running.
Because writing resumes is my expertise (15 years’ full-time experience), I’d like to address your comment regarding needing a customized resume for each job you apply to. I advise my clients to focus in tightly on a job-target goal and create an uber focused resume that will drive your search forward — you shouldn’t need to tailor each resume, with a targeted resume in hand. At the most, you might tweak a headline or a bullet here and there.
Selectively and Strategically Center Your Efforts
As well, I’ve been swept up in the tsunami of social media, just like you; it’s had an overwhelming impact on ALL of us: job seekers, people who are happily employed, business owners, corporations–everyone! With a tough economy, with employers still having the edge of a buyer’s market and with the realities of business right now, we all must stand a little taller, work a little more strategically and do things differently than we did a few years ago.
While I don’t agree that you must have a polished profile on every single social media / job search network (you simply don’t have the time), I do think selectively and strategically centering your efforts, time and energy on a couple that fit your style and personality can add organically to your job search success.
Don Your Blinders, and FOCUS!
I write about careers weekly, so while I advise you soak up learnings that may support your goals and propel your energies toward your career goals, I would also encourage you to tune out some of the negative information that crowds the Internet – the scare tactics if you will. For example, while social site passwords may have been requested in a few rare cases, I don’t think that’s the norm. What matters most in job search, I feel, is staying focused, keeping blinders on, if you will, and providing the best, richest, most powerful message that articulates YOUR value to your target audience’s needs. Period.