When a boss starts looking for a new employee he has two major questions about each candidate. Do they have the necessary skills and are they serious about adding value to my company? No boss wants an employee who is just in it for a paycheck. The problem is that traditional resumes don’t answer these questions very well.
The resume can, to some extent, show the skills the applicant has. Even then the employer is taking a little bit of a chance because they haven’t seen those skills put to the test. There’s really no way for an employer to tell what the applicants reasons for wanting the job are from just the resume. The best they can do is get them in an interview and ask them. Even then the employer has to put a certain amount of trust in the employee to make his case and explain why he wants to be at that company. This is all very time-consuming and still doesn’t guarantee that the employer chose the right applicant.
It makes sense that hunting for jobs is so difficult. It’s hard to stand out in the crowd and make a real impression. To complete a truly successful job hunt you need to change the game. Don’t rely on a resume. That shouldn’t be anything more than an afterthought. The key to making a powerful impression on the employer is to complete a pre-application project. This can be whatever you want as long as it provides value for the company before you even introduce yourself to the boss.
If you’re interested in a job as a website developer, improve part of their website. If you’re going after a job in marketing, improve their email campaign. Whatever it is, do research on the company and find ways to improve what they’re already doing.
This answers both of the questions that a resume can’t. It shows you have the skills necessary for the job. You already demonstrated your skills in what you’ll be doing if they do hire you! It’s not a promise of your skills, it’s proof. This also shows the employer that you’re serious about creating value. You took the initiative and searched for something that would help them, and you did it for free! This shows you care about the company and not the paycheck.