What’s your résumé really costing your job search?

Losing out on a job opportunity because your résumé wasn’t strong enough to get you the interview is like flushing a paycheck down the drain. If the job paid $40K, then you potentially lost $40K.

Now, if you’re working and earning income, a loss like that might not be so bad but if you don’t have a regular income coming in, this scenario can be painful mentally, emotionally, and definitely financially.

Why risk losing out on your dream job because you don’t want to invest the time and energy into learning how to write a proper résumé OR you don’t want to spend the money to hire a pro to do it for you?

The risk is great.

Let’s do the scary math 

The numbers speak for themselves.

If you’re earning $40,000 per year and you work a regular 2000 hour year, that translates to $20/hour, $160/day, $800/week, and $3,200/month.

And that’s not including benefits, matching retirement savings contributions, qualifying bonuses, etc. which could add another 15% to 20% on those numbers.

Therefore, if you’re out of work for only two weeks, you’re losing at least $1,600!

In many cases, that will more than cover the cost of having a professional create your résumé, cover letter, and Linkedin profile.

SCARY FACT:  The average employee can lose many thousands of dollars in between jobs

According to stats, the average duration of unemployment in the US was 5 months in 2017 (source: Statista.com).

That’s a loss of $20K of potential income for a $40K candidate.

Even if there are some EI/UI benefits to soften the blow, most people are still going to be out of pocket.

There’s a better (and cheaper) alternative

The way you decrease the potential loss of income due to being unemployed between jobs, is to create a killer résumé.

If done correctly, a stand-out résumé can significantly increase your chances of attracting the right kind of jobs, landing the interviews, and securing the next position sooner than later.

Additionally, the investment of time in creating a résumé – or the investment of money in having someone do it for you –  is pretty small in comparison to the potential lost income which can be in the thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars.

Not only is it smart from a financial standpoint to make the investment, it can dramatically reduce your stress level knowing that you have a tool that will help you secure your next position.

Be honest – where does your résumé stand?

Whether you’ve already updated your résumé or you’re about to, the list of questions below will help you determine if you’re on the right track in terms of creating a document that’s going to be strong enough to get your foot in the door.

Here’s the thing…. If your résumé doesn’t meet modern standards of an effective career marketing document, your search will drag on and as I’ve already pointed out, you’ll potentially lose a lot of money.

If you can be brutally honest about the state of your current résumé, identify where it’s lacking and then invest time in fixing it, you can accelerate your job search results.

Questions to ask yourself to determine how good your résumé is (or isn’t)

So, look at your résumé and ask yourself the following questions:

#1:  Do you know what your unique value proposition is and have you expressed it clearly?

Your value is how your employers and stakeholders benefit from your expertise. It’s how you help them in ways that are tangible and quantifiable, like saving money, making money, improving efficiencies, etc. Is it 100% clear what your value is in the first few seconds of reading the document? This is where 90%+ of résumés fail miserably.

#2:  Does your résumé address the “hiring pain” of your target position?

Each employer has problems or issues they need solved that go way beyond just filling a vacancy. Have you shown evidence that you have solved problems similar to the ones they are experiencing? You’ll have to do some digging to find this out. At the end of the day, the employer needs to know that you understand the job and you can do the job.

#3:  Does your résumé show that you have made positive impacts?

Have you clearly shown where you contributed to positive outcomes?  This goes beyond just listing you duties and responsibilities. It’s more about how well you did what you did and how it impacted your employers and key stakeholders in tangible, meaningful ways.

#4:  Did you include context?  

Without giving a bit of background information about the company, your key accountabilities, mandate, challeges, etc., the information might not be clear enough since there is no point of reference. Adding some context will create a more compelling story that makes more sense to the reader and keeps them engaged so they keep reading.

#5:  Is your résumé easy to read and scan quickly with the human eye?

Is the information easy to find? Does it flow logically? Is the page clean and uncluttered? Is your résumé easy on the eye? Is there ample us of white space throughout? Does it look polished and professional? The easier it is to read quickly, the better.

#6:  When you read your résumé are you impressed by how it sounds and looks?

When you compare your résumé against other candidates with similar backgrounds to yourself, do you stand out or does your résumé sound and look like everyone else’s? You need to focus on contributions that you can express in ways that are unique to you and include metrics where ever possible. If it’s too vague and generic it won’t distinguish you as a “match”.

#7:  Are you getting a good amount of interest when you send your résumé to recruiters and hiring managers?

If you’ve sent out dozens of résumés and heard little to nothing or you’re getting the wrong kind of attention , then it’s obviously not working.

You have only one kick at the can so make it count

Despite what all the naysayers say (there’s always at least one in every group), your résumé is still one of the most important career documents you have.

The challenge is, you don’t have a second chance to make a good, first impression.  There’s no margin of error. You won’t be able to explain any inconsistencies, gaps, lack of information, or confusing content after you’ve sent it out.

You’ve got only seconds to make a positive impression

Your résumé also has to make a powerful sales pitch within a few seconds. Experts say that the reader takes on average about 6 seconds to make a judgment call.

If you can get the reader interested and engaged right off the bat, you’re way more likely to get the interviews you want. If you can’t, you’ll continue to hear nothing and get frustrated.

The difference between getting the interview and not getting it comes down to how well you expressed your value which is the most difficult (and critical) part.

But it’s not easy (and that would be an under-statement)

It’s difficult to create a strong, accomplishment-based résumé even for a professional writer.

It’s no longer just a career “obituary” that you can whip off in an hour or two.

A modern résumé has been elevated to a sophisticated piece of marketing collateral that requires a great deal of strategy and copy-writing expertise and can take many hours to complete.

Which option will you chose?

In my opinion, hiring a professional résumé writer makes more sense but I know that many people can’t invest in a service which is why I offer free help through my blog and other resources.

If you’re up for the challenge, do take the time needed to rework your résumé. It will be the best investment of time you’ll ever make. But I warn you – it’s could be a time-consuming and stressful process.

If you don’t have the time, skill or desire to rewrite your résumé, the better option might be to contact me for help.

There’s more help below…

Create a résumé that converts into interviews

The scary fact is, only about 2% to 3% of résumés actually result in interviews. To boost your chances, you need a résumé that has a higher rate of converting into interviews. Click on the button below and get started on creating a higher-converting résumé.

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Visit the Free Stuff page and download as many of the free resources as you like.

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If you’d like to schedule a call with Diana to find out how she can help you stand out and get noticed (in a good way) so you can land interviews and get hired sooner than later, click here to set up a free discovery call.

Hi! I’m Diana.

I draw from over 15 years recruitment, career/job search coaching, and sales/marketing experience to help all kinds of jobseekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired for their dream job.

Need help? That’s what I’m here for!

Are you in the midst of a job search and not getting the results you want? Or, are you employed and not actively looking but want to “get ready” in case your situation changes and you need to launch a job search?

Don’t get caught in the endless cycle of applying to jobs, hearing little to nothing, and becoming more frustrated.

I offer both “Done-For-You” and “DIY” options to help you overcome the obstacles and get you on the right track to accelerate your job landing success. You choose the level of service you feel you need that fits your budget.

Maybe all you need is a quick résumé critique. If your search is complicated, a more comprehensive package might be the solution. Or, it could be something in between. You’ve got options!

You can learn more about my professional background here and about how I can help you here.

To find out how I can help you, email me here or set up a quick chat with me here.