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Your Resume Is Useless

4 November 2010 3 Comments

Unemployment has been extremely high now for months, even years.  Getting a job that pays you what you think you deserve and that involves some sort of work that you prefer is extremely tough these days.  I can’t count the number of stories I’ve heard of extremely sharp people who have taken massive, massive pay cuts – even pay cuts of like 80% – simply to find work after getting laid off from previous high paying jobs.

And these are the people who have chosen to just go work doing something, anything.

Then, there are the millions of college graduates entering the work force with their fancy, expensive degrees that are getting them nowhere.  How many 20-something are working at restaurants and coffee shops after securing their degrees that cost them tens of thousands of dollars?  Not that there’s anything wrong with restaurants or coffee shops.

So, the process of finding a job – a decent job – is one that is relevant to many, many people right now.

And, to those people, I have a harsh reality to reveal to you.  That is that your resume is useless.

Sure, you shouldn’t abandon it completely, but if you’re relying on your resume to get you a job, you better not hold your breath.

Consider this: every job opening these days gets flooded with resumes.  Literally, hundreds.  It’s crazy how many people apply to every job that gets posted to a job board.  And guess what?  Most don’t get examined, and even if they did, plenty of them are probably better than yours.

So, should you give up on the job hunt?  Nope.  But you need to alter your strategy.

There’s nothing more important in your job hunt than who you know.  Let me clearly explain what I mean, because undoubtedly a good number of you who just read what I wrote are probably reacting emotionally.  Usually when someone says that your job hunt is dependent upon who you know, people think I’m referring to the rich and well-connected.

While obviously, being rich and well-connected helps some people, I’m referring to simply knowing people.  Anybody.

In a world where hundreds of recruiting resumes are thrown at every job opening, who will get the upper hand?  I’ll tell you who. The people with the upper hand are the people who have an employee or a contact who can personally vouch for them or recommend them.  This is what I mean by who you know.

You don’t need to know the CEO of General Electric.  You need to know somebody who works at a company or somebody who knows somebody who might be able to influence a decision maker to give you and your resume a hard look.  Otherwise, you’re simply rolling the dice on the remote possibility of being selected for a position.

So, what to do?  Examine who you know.  Do it now.  Then do it again.  Talk to people you know, and ask them who they know.  Can anyone help?  Can anyone put in a good word for you somewhere?  Can you meet someone for lunch who might know a bunch of people in town?

THIS is the process that will get you a job.  Not randomly sending out hundreds of resumes via internet posted job openings hoping one will stick.  Focus on quality contacts versus random resume distribution.

Good luck.


  • Dain said:

    Your article hits the job search on the knows. It's all about networking and concentrating on the process. Talking to employers and employees of a company. Thanks for the great article.

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  • Adelle Mayers said:

    This is a very interesting article that reveals nowadays reality.I've recently taken a masters degree in culinary arts and I tried to find a job but no one wants to hire me as I don't have any working experience in this field.Finally I found a job as a waitress in a restaurant and I still hope to find something more appropriate to what I've studied.