Friday, October 21, 2016

When I Read Headlines Like This, It Makes Me Mad

This kind of article makes me MAD. And it got over 78,000 views.

"Move Over Resume, You've Been Replaced."

What makes me SAD is that it's written by a well-respected individual in the careers industry. He's not a resume writer, though -- and, consequently, he has his own agenda.

And that's the problem with a lot of information that jobseekers are reading. It's written by people with an agenda. THAT in itself isn't an issue (EVERYONE has an agenda) ... but the problem is, the people being quoted most often about the job search are NOT resume writers. They're recruiters, they're professors, they work for the big career sites (CareerBuilder, for example), or they're selling something.

And that's fine. But OUR VOICE -- as resume writers -- is not being heard. There are only a handful of people in the careers industry who are speaking up for all of us, as resume writers. They're being quoted in the media about the resume as a tool to land interviews, as a guide for interviewers to uncover the value of the candidate, as a way for jobseekers to discover their worth prior to starting the job search process.

But we're being drowned out by louder voices -- many of them sharing misinformation (about one-page resume limits, the death of the resume, and wacky job search tactics) that are not only WRONG, but they're anecdotes of a job search without a resume. ("I don't need a resume -- I can put a QR code on a cupcake.") The truth is, the vast majority of successful job searches start with a well-written resume. But that story isn't being told.

Our colleague Michelle Aikman brought up this problem a few months ago on the NRWA E-List. Our industry has a "perception problem." We put our heads down and do our work and think that writing great resumes will bring us clients. It does. But we CONSTANTLY have to fight battles with clients about resume length, putting pronouns in the resume, and even PRICING because the information they're getting in the media isn't what WE want them to know. And we're dismissed by university career center personnel, recruiters, and others who we should be able to work with collaboratively, because they don't know what we do, and how we help jobseekers (and can help THEM in the process!).

The "Feed the Media" webinar series I did with my brother Sean is important because it addresses a NEED in our industry. We NEED to do a better job about telling OUR STORY -- how putting together a resume isn't just typing up information. It's about helping clients find THEIR VOICE in their job search. (That's what William was saying in his article, but he threw the resume under the bus in the process.)

The webinar series will teach you how to help tell YOUR story -- and our industry story -- in very practical ways. Even if you don't want to be one of the 10 most-quoted resume writers in the industry, we need you to speak up when you get the chance. Even if it's on a very small scale. It doesn't mean you have to appear on the local morning news (although I'll teach you how to do that, if you want to!). It's about being intentional about shaping the perception of our industry. About sharing information about how the work we're doing is putting people back to work.

What IS public relations? It's defined as "the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person." No one is going to do this for us. We're not physicians, with the American Medical Association helping shape public perception. The vast majority of the professional associations in our industry are either volunteer-led or mostly run by volunteers. If we want to STOP the spread of misinformation, it has to START with us.

If you're tired of reading articles about "the resume is dead," and "you shouldn't pay someone to write your resume for you," check out my "Social Media Strategies" call.

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