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Why I Won’t Read Your Resume

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Don’t Listen To Me, But Please Hear Me Out. Part 6

Raise your hand if you have emailed or sent a text message to someone you hopefully respect and said, “Please I need a job. Do you have a job for me? Will you send my resume to people in your network?”

In this case, I will never read your resume and I will most certainly not foist you on the network that I carefully built.

With Covid19 causing a lot of pain and alarming number of job losses, I am sympathetic and genuinely will help however I can. Unfortunately, the volume of requests is high now, but the quality of the requests is low. I have advised so many that I thought it best to jot down a few Do’s & Don’ts that may help propel your resume to the top of the pile.


Don’ts

  1. Do not reach out to anyone without doing research.

That’s it. 


Do’s


I am listing a step-by-step approach to help maximize your ability of landing the best job for you. Please DO follow them.


Step 1

  1. “To thine own self be true.”  You must first take the time to reflect on who you are and what makes you happy. Yes, “happy”; this is critical. So please take the time to write down answers to the following questions. 

Note: I’m not asking you to chase your “passion”. Think about what you are good at and gives you a sense of joy and accomplishment when you do it.

  • What do I want to do? What are my career goals? Ex, “I Want to be a”:
    • Strategy Consultant
    • Music Director
    • Social Media Campaign Manager
    • Data Scientist
    • Brand Analyst
    • General Manager
    • Director of Supply Chain
  • What am I good at? Ex, 
    • Planning a project
    • Managing a project
    • Writing Briefs
    • Creating videos to explain concepts
    • Negotiating with vendors
    • Creating viral tweets, posts
    • Finding patterns in data
  • What Industry do I want to work in? Ex
    • Healthcare
    • Transportation
    • NGO
    • E-commerce
    • Automotive
    • Fintech
    • Hospitality
  • What are companies I admire? Ex,
    • Nike
    • Majid Al Futtaim
    • DHL
    • Careem
    • The Jumeirah Group
    • Apple
    • Amazon
  • Where do I want to work? Ex,
    • Dubai
    • Sharjah
    • Pick a Location


Step 2


No Pain, No Gain. Now that you know the What’s, you need to do 3 things:

  1. Research
  2. Research
  3. Research

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

The art of war, sun tzu

That’s right, while you are not chasing an enemy, you are still are trying to win and get the company you love to pick you from a deluge of competing candidates, for the position you want. 

  1. Research the industry you want to be in. This is Macro view of the industry.
    • What is happening to the transportation industry?
    • How is Covid19 uniquely affecting this industry?
    • What disruptions can they anticipate?
    • How has technology affected this industry?
    • Who are the biggest players in the industry? The best innovators?
    • Is the industry going through unique challenges in UAE (or your preferred location) vs globally? 
  2. Research the company you want to apply to:
    • Read everything on their website and social media pages like LinkedIn, Twitter, FB, Instagram etc.
    • Understand their products and services. How are they unique? What are customers saying about their products or services?
    • Who makes up their leadership team? Read about them. Sometimes you may get a lucky break and find that the hiring manager went to the same school as you did or enjoys the hobbies as you do. The Hiring Manager would be the person you would report to or the head of the department you want to work in. This will help you make an initial connection and build rapport.
    • How is this company positioned against others in the industry? Are they leading, lagging? 
    • Why do you want to work for them?
    • What unique challenges do you think they are facing?
    • Do they have any job postings? (I write to hiring managers even if they do not have a job posting if I am that keen on working with the company.)
    • Have they announced any new projects or clients they are working with?
  3. Research Personnel in the Company
    • Find out about employees in the company, especially the leadership team and the hiring manager. LinkedIn can help you here. Look for employees currently working there or have worked there. If the employee is or was in the role you want or department you would like to be in, then that’s great. Research them just like you researched the company.
    • Are you already connected with them? If not, is there anyone in your network that has a connection to them who could help you get an introduction? 

Step 3: The Pain Letter


Once you have done all the research and have gotten as sufficient information as you need, start composing the “Pain Letter”. This is better cover letter you would send to your prospective hiring manager, except, instead of talking about you, you make the hiring manager the hero of the story. She is the protagonist who is faced with a challenge in her organization and you are the magic weapon that can help her conquer it.  There’s no one better than Liz Ryan who explains a pain letter. I highly recommend you follow her on LinkedIn, Twitter and her blogs which are free to read. She even has some paid services for resume building, coaching etc. Please google “How to write a Pain Letter” and you will get several results. Read them. 

  1. The Hook: this is the first statement that will pique her curiosity and entice her to read further.
  2. The Challenge Statement: This is the “pain” or challenge you expect she is facing. If you’ve done your research well, you will easily be able to come up with this.
  3. Your Hero Story: You briefly tell a story from your experience where you helped solve a similar challenge.
  4. Call to action: Now that she is hooked, and she appreciates that you clearly articulated her challenge and oh sweet God, you have actually tackled such a challenge, you want her to call or email you right? So, ask for it. 


Step 4: The Resume


I could write a book about writing resumes. Luckily much brighter people than I have already written easy resume building guides. I once again recommend Liz Ryan’s blog on resume writing.

  • The first 1/3rd of the resume page is the most critical. If you have not tailored it to address your target company’s challenges and hook them within the first 1/3rd of your page, unfortunately, your resume will end up in the bin. 
  • Please stop using jargon that everyone uses like “motivated”, “self-starter”, “marketing-ninja” and all other fluff. Honestly, I am guilty of this myself and it is so 2000’s Bruh.
  • Tell your story in the resume. How were you the hero at your job? What problems did you solve? Maybe you didn’t have to defeat Thanos, but you were a hero because you saved the company time and money through better negotiations, or better routing schedules or better insights from the data you analyzed. SHOW them how you are “results-driven” with “proven track-record” being an “out-of-the-box” “marketing-ninja” through your stories. In other words, after she has read your resume, the hiring manager should say to herself, “Wow, he seems to consistently come up with creative solutions to generate buzz around every new product launch. I definitely want to meet this Marketing-Ninja!” 


Conclusion

“Don’t ask someone a question Google could answer.” Sahil Lavingya

When you are looking for a job, you are looking for a place to call home, 8 hours a day if not more. Thats 1/3rd your life. Please INVEST in your happiness and future. Please do the research.

Introspect to understand who you are and what makes you happy.

Do the external research the people, the company and the industry you want to work with.

If you’re too lazy to read the blogs, I will help you tell the stories, but it will cost you. You can reach me at twitter.

Awesome advise. You rock. Keep it coming.
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Shaheeda Abdul Kader

After 25 years of working for corporations, being an entrepreneur and managing investments for my family, I now want to help others find their financial freedom