A tweet floated by in my Twitter stream the other day reminding careerists that “the ONLY purpose of a resume is to get you that interview!”
I heartily disagree!
The resume is so much more! Following are 5 functions of the resume, beyond cinching the initial interview:
1. Equips Interview Conversations. BEFORE you ever deploy your resume to appeal to the potential interview, the process of unearthing your unique value drivers equips you to better articulate your value during interview conversations. By deepening your thought work (i.e., internally bragging about how you do what you do so well and why it mattered so much to prior employees), you can resurrect and dust off distant-memory career thoughts, enabling nimble access during the interview.
2. Focuses Your Career Message + Saves You Time. The content development process also focuses you in on your target audience – what type of role in what type of industry with what size of company with what type of culture are you seeking to work? The more you crystallize these thoughts, the more likely you can aim your search efforts in the right direction, talking with the right people leading you to the right interviewing door (even BEFORE deploying that initial resume story). This process of clarifying and directing your energy will save you time, ultimately, in the overall job search process.
3. Conveys Your Value to Interview Committee Members. While the initial interviewer may already know you from the referring party and even have a warm feeling about your value before ever seeing your resume–another person on the interviewing committee may have zero insights into your abilities and qualifications. A well communicated resume story can give them a ground-up, energizing reason to want to speak with you.
4. Supports Professional Reputation. Even if you are referred into an interview (and perhaps especially when you are recommended by a warm relationship in your network), you should have a career story that equals the value proposition for which another person has lauded you. Don’t let the resume be like a wrinkled shirt or scuffed up shoes or an outdated AOL email, taking your reputation down a notch, at the outset.
5. Spurs Deeper Interview Conversations. A meaty, story-driven resume will accompany you throughout the interview process, often providing the interviewer (and YOU) story details (the who, what, where, when, why and how) to delve deeper into during the conversation. It adds a je ne se quois that sparks emotion, hope and desire related to how you solve current problems and can foresee future opportunities for revenue growth and market expansion.
Do not limit your resume’s value proposition by buying into the idea that its ONLY purpose is to get you ‘in the door.’ If done well, with elegant and emotive storytelling as well as a refined focus, it can and WILL perform at much higher levels than other job seeking contenders with which you are competing in this job search race!