I was at work one day, when I was handed what was supposed to be a resume. I say supposed to be, because it was far removed from any other resume I had seen in the past ten years. I was truly taken aback by what had just been placed in my hand. As career development professionals, we are always telling our clients that a resume should have at least one-inch margins, have a format that is eye-catching and eye pleasing; use bullets sparingly, limit your timeline, include only relevant info, etc.,etc. This resume threw all that out the window. Additionally, this candidate arrived for the interview in a print dress. When did the rules change and how did she get past the gatekeepers?
I’ll tell you how. She knew somebody. It’s as simple as that. Although this candidate had qualifications, the qualifications were for some other type of position-not the one for which we were hiring. Regardless of this fact, she was still called in for an interview. As a matter of fact, not only was she called in, but by the end of the day it became apparent that this person was being hired regardless what kind of negative feedback was provided from the team. The company was desperate for someone-anyone.
Is this fair? Of course not, but it is one way this game is played. I can’t stress enough how important it is to put yourself out there and make it be known that you are open to employment. Networking is the key. If it doesn’t get you a job, it will almost always get you in the door. After that, it is up to you to impress them. This goes for those of you who are currently employed and those who are unemployed. Make contacts several times a week. Give an old friend a call. Join a group. Take a class. Do whatever you can to make connections. Don’t make the mistake of discounting how valuable an inside contact can be.
By the way, please ensure your resume is solid and you dress to impress. You cannot always count on the employer being desperate for a warm body.