Landed an interview? Have a job in the works? You still need a resume!
8 Unexpected benefits of resume writing
Prospective clients often contact me and say “I’m interested in your services, but I was recently contacted by XYZ Company and might be interviewing there, so I’ll just wait and see how it goes.”
In a way, I can understand their thinking. They figure that I’ll just provide them with a resume, which is simply a vehicle to land an interview. Once they have an interview, and perhaps even a job offer, a resume is no longer needed.
I don’t look at it that way. Yes, traditionally the purpose of a resume has been to secure an interview.
However, there are numerous additional benefits of resume writing that help you with securing an ideal job, both from the actual piece of paper as well as side effects from the process.
3 Positive side effects of professional resume writing:
1. Going through a thorough, thoughtful process helps you prepare for job interviews because it forces you to identify your personal brand, specific accomplishments and success stories, and the key messages you need to get across to your target audience.
2. It also prepares you well for how to present yourself when networking. (Yes, networking is still important even after you land a job; you want your network to be there for you in perpetuity so that you’ll never be unemployed.
3. It provides the foundation for a strong LinkedIn profile, and LinkedIn is an important networking and brand management tool for all professionals.
LinkedIn is not something to worry about when you’re job searching and ignore when you’re employed. If you want to be continuously employed and always in demand, you need to be effective in managing your brand and online presence. This begins with LinkedIn.
5 Advantages of a professionally written resume:
1. It gives your interviewer a road map for a successful interview. (Interviewers, after all, will typically have the resume in front of them during the interview.)
2. It positions you for the level of salary you are seeking. A sloppy, unbranded, poorly written resume that lacks accomplishments won’t position you for an increase in salary.
(Thanks to renowned career guru Don Orlando for insight into the two points above!)
3. Even if the hiring manager knows you and wants to hire you, if it’s a larger organization, he still needs to convince colleagues, and most of all his boss, that you’re the one for the job.
An unimpressive resume that lacks accomplishments and isn’t directly relevant for the job in question will reflect poorly on the hiring manager, and will make it harder for him to make his case for hiring you even if he really likes you.
I once had a client hire me even though the hiring manager wanted to hire him. The hiring manager told the candidate that he needed a resume tailored to the position in question so he could convince his boss that the candidate was the right fit.
4. The resume is written documentation that will help sell you even after you walk out the door after the interview.
After interviewing multiple people, interviewers often get confused and can’t remember which one was which. They may stare at a resume afterwards saying, “John…wait a minute, was he the one I liked, or he was the one with the weird handlebar mustache who was rude to my secretary?”
Leaving behind an impressive resume (and perhaps other leave-behind materials), and then following up with a compelling post-interview thank-you/follow-up letter, will help your interviewer remember you and help “sell” you long after you’re gone.
5. And, finally, your professionally written resume is like an insurance policy in case your new job doesn’t work out. I’ve had clients who went to work at jobs that ended with an unexpectedly early departure. Though unlikely, there are myriad reasons why you might lose a job or need to quit after just a few weeks or months.
Job security is a thing of the past. Managing your brand is an ongoing job that never stops.
If all this isn’t enough, remember that some companies have a long hiring process, and internal issues (like budget issues) can delay the process, sometimes for months–but you won’t know that upfront. You can’t afford to put off your job search while waiting for an elusive job that might never materialize.
Whether you do it yourself or work with a professional, take charge of your brand and career communications today–go through the process of developing your resume and LinkedIn profile now, not later. You have nothing to wait for.