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Great networkers don’t need a great resume!

So often, people agonize over creating a dynamic resume, one that will make the difference in getting the attention they need for the job of their dreams.

While I’m a proponent of having an effective resume, it’s often unnecessary if the job seeker is doing a great job of networking!

That’s a startling thought to many people when I say that. People usually think that one of the top requirements of a job search is to have an attention-getting resume.

It depends, let me explain.

When a great resume does help…
When you apply for a position where your background fits the job requirements very closely, and you can’t find an opportunity to connect directly with people at the organization… a resume that emphasizes the fit, and connects the dots effectively between the requirements and your qualifications can be an important tool to gaining interest. In particular, where you have very sought after, and difficult to find experience and skills, a resume where those skills jump off the page can have a tremendous impact.

When a great resume doesn’t do much good…
For most people, however, jobs they apply to are close to their experience, however, not an exact match. In those cases, a resume is very much a hit and miss proposition, regardless of how well it is written. When a recruiter or hiring manager reviews multiple resumes, they simply look for which ones seem to match the closest to the job requirements. A marginal fit, will not often get a call.

How networking minimizes the importance of a resume…
When a job isn’t an exact match to your experience, you’re not likely to get a call from sending in a resume. However, if you are talking to someone in the organization, or referred by a respected contact, the value you bring can be communicated even when the background isn’t perfect.

Ultimately, a hiring manager wants to hire the best person for the job and the organization, not just the best skills listed on a document. The best person may have some of the skills, however, bring a great deal of value in their communication skills, cultural fit, determination, ability to get things done, and other less tangible qualities that can’t be demonstrated well on paper.

When interest is raised through face to face communication, the resume simply becomes a tool to confirm what they already know about you. They want to see that your experience has been what you’ve told them it is, however, they are not determining their selection process based on the resume at that point. A basic document which simply shows your career history with responsibilities serves the purpose.

If you’ve read much about an effective job search at all, you certainly know that networking is, by far, the primary way that people find jobs. Focusing your time, effort, and attention to becoming a great networker will be far more fruitful than taking days or weeks to create a written masterpiece! Don’t take a good resume too lightly, however, certainly don’t value too highly what a great resume will do!


The Paradox of Networking vs. Job Postings
Networking is not a “One Hit Wonder”
What’s a Resume For?
How do employers review resumes?

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