Don’t Write a Resume!
By Brad Taft, MBA, CMF, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Chief Career Strategist, Taft Career Group
Don’t write a resume if you:
1. Just lost your job
2. Think you might be losing your job soon.
3. Don’t like your current job and want to find another one.
That advice may seem strange coming from a career transition consultant, but it is a recommendation I give to the majority of my executive and professional clients as I begin to coach them to plan and implement an effective campaign to a new career opportunity.
When faced with the challenge of mounting a job search campaign, most people press the “Panic Button”, update their resume and immediately send it out to prospective employers, recruiters and anyone else they think can help them land a job. I take a contrarian view and urge my clients to follow a Four Step Career Transition Strategy to conduct an effective job search campaign. It does include writing a resume, but as you will see, that is included in Step Three.
Step One: Assess Your Career
Set a solid foundation for a job search campaign by assessing your talents and interests. Start by updating your career history with an emphasis on your skills, knowledge and experience and the contributions you have made to organizations. List these talents you have gained along with the top achievements in each job you have held.
Then prioritize your interests: What skills, knowledge and experience do you want to apply to your next job? Put on your detective’s cap and investigate the job market for your talents. What jobs are in demand in specific industries and functions that match your talents and interests?
Step Two: Set Objectives
Based on your assessment of your talents and the market for them, determine your short term career objective as well as long term goals. Do you want to stay in the same function in the same industry, or is it time for a change? Do you need to gain additional training or a credential to successfully transition to the next opportunity?
Focus on the next job as well as develop a five year plan and even a ten year plan. Long range goals will probably change, but it’s important to keep career, financial and personal goals in mind as you look for that next opportunity to advance your career.
Step Three: Develop Your Personal Brand
Now it’s time to write a resume along with developing other communication tools to broadcast your personal brand to the job market. Create a strong message that shows what your talents can do to contribute to the success of organizations. Written communications include resumes, biographies, cover letters and a LinkedIn profile. Verbal communications include brief (30 and 60 second) personal branding statements to effectively introduce you in networking situations along with job interviewing strategies.
Step Four: Create & Implement a Strategic Marketing Campaign
Most people conduct a job search campaign by identifying as many job postings as possible and immediately applying to them. Only 5% of jobs are located by applying online; 70% of jobs are found through networking.
Before applying for jobs, research the industries and the companies that interest you. Gain insights about organizations and introductions to decision-makers by networking with referral sources. Use social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to gain visibility and establish relationships that can lead to new career opportunities.
By assessing your talents and setting career objectives before writing your resume, you are getting your job search off on the right track. Use effective sales and marketing principles to ensure the success of your campaign to a new career opportunity.
Author, consultant, and public speaker, Brad Taft is the Chief Career Strategist of Taft Career Group in Scottsdale, AZ, a career management consulting firm that supports individuals in planning and implementing effective job search campaigns. He is also Managing Director of Taft Vocational Experts LLC which provides expert witness services in employment-related lawsuits.
Brad brings a passion to his work in supporting people who are at a cross-roads in their career. He facilitates career decision-making, helps individuals communicate their talents and interests to prospective employers, and develops strategic campaigns for people to land new career opportunities.
Learn more about Brad and his career transition services at www.TaftCareerGroup.com. Contact Brad directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, 480-315-0372.