Several of my clients have gotten jobs they really wanted and like – after applying cold through a job posting.
I can hear some of you saying, “Huh???”
Yes, we are told constantly by people in the career advising world that the best way to get a job is through networking. I tell you and my clients the same thing. It IS the best way to get your resume seen, noticed, and acted on.
However…there are times when you see a job posting that seems exactly right for you. You are excited by the position. It will use all your skills and talents. It will achieve the kind of impact you long to have. It puts you in the very role in which you thrive. The company culture seems to be just the right fit. And it appears that compensation will meet your “want to have” number – beyond your “I can live with it” number.
“This is my “right fit” job!” you scream to yourself and perhaps a significant other or your coach. “But I don’t know any one there! I checked my LinkedIn network, I e-mailed all my pals, I tried to find someone who knew someone… and there’s no one. Should I even apply?”
I always say “go for it.” Always apply, regardless of whether you know anyone there or not. Because you never know.
More to the point, if this truly is the “right fit” job for you, your resume will rise to the notice of the people hiring – and it will come to the notice of the search engine that is culling resumes for whoever is hiring.
For my clients – in such varied positions as Executive Chef, Chief Marketing Officer, Senior PR Officer and Architect/Space Designer – it was definitely their resume and probably their cover letters that got them the foot in the door. I come to this conclusion because they did not network their way in. So the only option is that it was the resume (and cover letter) that made them stand out.
The key to their resume is that it spotlighted their core value proposition. It showed exactly the value they provide to an employer. From the opening profile paragraph through their various positions and education, their resumes demonstrated the scope of their experience and expertise, and the impact they have had on their various employers.
I always say that employers care about your past ONLY as it could affect their future. Your past behavior and impact is the best indicator of what you will do in the future, soyour resume must capture your results.
A great resume also tells a story that has personality, and a narrative thread showcasing your core value proposition throughout its content. For example, one client opened her profile with the phrase “Compelling storyteller…” and we built a resume that highlighted all the stories she has told and helped tell. Her resume showed how her storytelling built brands and generated enormous visibility and success for her employers. And her resume also showed that she has told stories well since the start of her career. This is her talent, what comes naturally to her, and what she loves to do. Because she loves to tell stories, she has delivered and will continue to deliver enormous value to any employer. The consistent thread is part of what sold her current employer on her.
Building the resume meant identifying all the storytelling in her history. She hadn’t originally thought of herself as a storyteller, and certainly hadn’t crafted a resume that showed that off. Through questions and lots of discussion, we extracted this core value proposition from her history, and then I pulled it together in language that made this story clear.
Her resume and cover letter got her in the door. Knowing her core value proposition then helped her be comfortable in the several interviews involved in her getting her job. She knew herself and so was answering questions openly and confidently, without hesitation or fumbling. She embodied her resume and so was familiar to the interviewers, her personality consistent. The person they expected was the person who showed up. They already liked her based on what was in her resume, and were not disappointed when they met her. They wanted to hire someone, and I believe that when they saw her resume, they had an idea she might be the one. Because personality can be captured in a resume, and hers definitely was.
This story is exactly like those for my other clients who have applied for jobs through job posting boards and then gotten them.
So if you see something you think you’d be perfect for, apply for it – after you make sure your resume tells a compelling story of you, your expertise, your impact, and your personality.