Ask would-be career-changers about their resumes and you might get any sort of response from “I don’t have one” to “it’s not up to date” or “I had it redone professionally.”
At the Barrett Group we see perhaps 20,000 resumes per year and have a pretty clear understanding of what is effective under which circumstances.
Let me share an anecdote on the subject of effectiveness. Many years ago I wanted to leverage my experience in graphic arts and direct mail advertising to get a better job, so I developed a little 8 1/2 x 11 inch, tri-fold brochure with the title “Ready, Willing and Able” and then had a friend take pictures of me in postures reflecting ready, willing, and able. (You can see “Able” in the illustration.)
The brochure had some snappy copy promoting my achievements and capabilities as well as a short resume.
The envelope was yellow with bold, 60-point type declaring it to be “Another Stupid Direct Mail Campaign.”
I printed and mailed about 300 of these as I recall to relevant businesses in the Washington, DC metro area.
One recipient, the VP of Advertising at a local retailer was impressed by the creativity as he saw it and originality of the campaign… so much so that, after an interview or two, I was the new Director of Advertising at a significantly higher salary.
Well, that’s an extreme case, I admit, but the market has also changed inexorably in the mean time and if you are mass mailing or applying for published job opportunities, you will need nerves of steel. As you may know, there are literally thousands of other people potentially applying for each of those jobs, and most of them will be screened out by “bots” who are looking for specific keywords or the lack thereof. In fact, for the published market, the resume these days is an exclusionary document—a basis for excluding candidates.
That’s why we at the Barrett Group focus on the unpublished market as well. The unpublished market offers the joys of serendipity… in other words, you may well be the right person at the right time… if you approach the market correctly and are packaged appropriately.
Our resume writers (one of six team members on your Barrett Group Career Change team) take all of this into account when rewriting thousands of resumes each year, usually in multiple iterations for different opportunities. Avoiding red flags for the algorithms, promoting quantified results, deemphasizing gaps, demonstrating transferability… this is the art that we bring to helping our clients package themselves appropriately.
And it all begins with proper targeting—the first stage in our Career Change Program. We call this stage “the Clarity Program©” and are very proud of the extremely high satisfaction scores our clients consistently give us. Here’s another testimonial from last week:
I was skeptical of this process at first, as initially, when starting out with the DISC profile, I wasn’t sure it captured me, or that I would really receive benefits from this. I was very incorrect. This process helped me define some important needs and wants (and challenges to overcome) in order to establish the steps to create the career that I want. I’m grateful for this, as it really has allowed me to believe in the process that I’ve started for myself and realize that the future I truly want is possible. (1-9-2020 – Client Alisa Preston / Clarity Coach Stacie Riffert)
So, these days, you certainly need to be clear on your target when you approach the job market, but having the right package is also key. You need not be as theatrical as I was, of course, particularly if you have a Barrett Group team on your side helping you to avoid the pitfalls and tailor-make your image for the opportunity you are pursuing.
If you, too, are ready, willing, and able… let’s get started!