Ok after doing 1000s of resume reviews I think I have discovered the problem.
Here’s a typical job searcher flow
- Person writes resume that doesn’t show off their accomplishments or is clear about their value
- Person applies for 100s of jobs
- Hiring manager can’t understand or see value in the resume because it’s not written well or customized for the job.
- Person doesn’t hear back
- Person keeps applying without making changes or getting coaching.
- Person loses faith and starts questioning their value.
Job searchers think the problem is step 5 and by the time they are at step 6, feels horrible.
But really the problem was step 1. The biggest issue I see across resumes is they most often don’t communicate your value well. Key accomplishments aren’t there, promotions are left off, it’s badly written or has run on sentences just stuffed with buzzwords.
The problem isn’t people don’t think you have value. The problem is you haven’t written your resume in a way where the value is clear.
For example, let’s say I was a Chef 👨🍳. Most people write their resume like this
Chef 2013 - 2020
- I cut vegetables
- I made dinner
They focus on their responsibilities. It’s just a list of things they were assigned to do. Compare this too
Henry’s Diner 2018-2020
- Increased Friday night sales by 10% by inventing new recipes for healthy eating
- Managed team of 4 line cooks, provided training, mentorship and coaching which increased employee retention by 1 year.
Henry’s Diner 2015-2018
- Reduced food waste by 15% by optimizing order calculations and customer estimates.
- Won Employee of the Month 3 times.
So what happens is everyone has this amazing work history (literally everyone I talk to has amazing wins) but writes their resume as if nothing ever happened.
Then they get all bummed no one saw their value. You didn’t write your value! That’s your job. Nobody else’s!
Now cue the “but I didn’t have any metrics”. Everyone always says this. Everything has metrics. None of us tracked 10,000 steps a day 10 years ago but now we all do. The metric always existed but someone did the creative work to find it.
This is what you have to do with your resume writing.
- Be absolutely proud of your real work history and write it in a way that makes it clear.
- Be creative and figure out your metrics. Ask your boss, ask your coworkers, brainstorm.
Just because you think there aren’t accomplishments or measurements, doesn’t mean that is true. You have to do the work to remember and write well about your wins.
The biggest problem I see isn’t that people don’t have value, it’s that people don’t make their value clear to others.
This is in your control! And instead of jumping to step 2, add a new step 1.5 and network!
Send your resume to a warm receiver. Don’t apply to 100s of jobs online without making changes or networking.
That is wasted effort. It seems like applying for jobs is the right work but it isn’t. Making connections is your number one tool after writing a great resume.
And the kicker? If you are stuck, get a coach! That’s what we are here for. People do our resume sessions and almost immediately see results.
You are applying for a $75k a year job! Invest in yourself and get a coach to help you. It’s hard to change on your own. It’s hard to know what to change on your own. But we are here to help!