Why An Ordinary Resume Writer Won’t Help You Get Hired In 2020

Make yourself more visible to recruiters and hiring managers.

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Steven McConnell
3 min read

October 2, 2020

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Twenty-twenty is the year that the ‘ordinary’ resume died. With the Australian economy in slow decline and unemployment on the rise, a boring, old resume (let’s face it – you haven’t updated it in over 5 years, right?) will not provide you with a significant degree of competitive advantage in the job market.

I’ve heard stories of 400+ candidates applying for Business Analyst roles at one of the Big Four and of 200+ EGM-level candidates applying for senior leadership roles with multinationals.

What to do? How to make yourself more visible amongst all this competition? Should you hire a professional resume writer to give you a helping hand? Well, maybe.

resume writing services

I’ve written extensively on the pros and cons of professional resume writers. Take a look at my articles on the topic here and here.

Today, I wanted to provide you with some more information that will be particularly helpful in the context of 2020.

If you feel that your current resume is clumsy and contains no story that adds up to a meaningful career, you have 3 options.

1. Write It Yourself.

You will save money, but you will pay a premium in your time. It’s also quite likely that your resume will end up looking like it was written by a 12-year-old.

This is not a criticism of you or your writing skills – it’s an observation based on almost 9 years in this business. As humans, we’re too close to our own experience and psyche to act as effective builders of our value. For best results, we need someone else to do it for us.

2. Hire An Ordinary Resume Writer.

This option will create a $300-500 hole in your wallet and produce a document that is logical, (probably) legible and clear.

Don’t get your hopes up too much, however – this resume will also make you look like every other professional out there who has a similar level of seniority and experience.

Don’t expect to have a value proposition. Don’t expect a career narrative that connects the dots of your career in a way that ‘makes sense’ to recruiters and hiring managers.

That being said, this is not a terrible option if you have a strong network that you’ll be leaning on – heavily – to get your foot in the door.

It is also a reasonable option if you’ve had a spectacular AND relatively uncomplicated career. By ‘spectacular’ I mean exactly that – you’re in the top 3% and the brands on your resume, as well as your rapid rise through the ranks, raise eyebrows for all the right reasons. By ‘uncomplicated’ I mean no gaps and no career transitions.

3. Hire A Branding Firm.

Is there a gap between what you can do and what your resume says you can do? Consider retaining a branding firm to build a branded resume that sells you at the right level.

Truth is, to get cut-through in the post-COVID job market, your resume must go beyond simply packaging up and communicating your strengths.

It must showcase your mandates, how you achieved them and demonstrate clear links between your duties and commercial results. Moreover, it must tell a compelling story that weaves together your experience, accomplishments, values and personality.

In Conclusion.

A resume that communicates your experience at face value is no longer enough. To succeed as a jobseeker, you must think and act in the same way as a commercial brand.

This means starting with a clear decision about your next career step, then alignment of your career marketing documents towards that direction. It means having a resume that sets you apart in a positive light by showcasing your unique commercial value through a compelling career narrative.

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