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Resumés Don’t Work. This Does.

Aug 15, 2022 | Blog

Ask A Recruiter

Resumés Don’t Work. This Does.

Hi. I’m Peter Gray, executive recruiter. Let’s talk about resumés.

People ask me for help writing their resumé all the time. And yes, I can help you with your resumé.

But here’s the thing. No matter how amazing your resume is, it’s not going to get you the job you want.

Here’s why.

When employers hire based on resumés, they don’t really care how well written, or impressive, or interesting, or beautifully formatted a resumé is.

All they’re really looking for in a resumé is…experience doing the exact same job they’re hiring for.
So if all an employer knows about you is your resumé…the only job your resumé is ever going to get you is a job just like your last job.

Which is probably not the job you want, right?

To get the job you want, you’ve got to go beyond the resumé. Put it aside. Do some other things. Let’s talk about that.

Let’s do a little thought experiment.

I want you to imagine your dream job. No matter how much of a reach you think it is.
Now imagine your phone rings. And it’s the person who could hire you for that job.
They say, “I’ve heard a lot about you. Could we meet?” So you meet with them.

It’s not about a job. They want your advice on some tough issues they’re dealing with. Because they’ve heard you’re an expert.

And you’ve got great advice for them. So it’s a great meeting.

As the meeting is ending, they say, “Thank you so much for your help. You’ve been so incredibly helpful to me.”

And just as you’re leaving, they stop you and say, “Hey! I hope you don’t mind my asking … do you have a resumé?”

Okay. End of thought experiment.

Now, that was make believe. But it could really happen.

My question for you is, what do you have to do to make that happen?

And I’ll give you a big hint: it does NOT involve working on your resumé.

Originally published on April 24, 2021.
Prefer to watch, here’s the video link.

    About The Author

    Peter Gray is a recovering Wall Street recruiter, now recruiting social impact leaders & fighting bias in hiring. Midwest transplant. Introvert. he/him

    Peter began his career in executive search at Korn Ferry after working as a management consultant at CSC Index, the firm that pioneered business process reengineering. Peter earned an AB in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University, and an MBA from Columbia Business School. After over 20 years as an executive recruiter, this year Peter started his own recruiting firm! Peter Gray Executive Search.