The CV–and the person–no one sees

The Wall St Journal runs a ‘Careers’ section, which lists tips to job-seekers. A column this past week was entitled “Your Resume vs Oblivion”, and particularly snide title which attracted my attention. (Link)

The article highlighted the woes of job-hunters who answered job adverts on-line or off websites, juxtaposed with the in-house company recruiters and new, more efficient resume tracking and screening software. The in-house people are overwhelmed, seldom respond, and the applicants keep sending out CVs, wondering if the jobs even exist, and waiting for a reply–of any kind. But they keep pumping away, assuming the numbers game will pay off at some point.

Does all of this sound creepily familiar to some of you? If it does, STOP! You won’t get anywhere by answering anything on-line. Yes, I know, LinkedIn has become a better place for job-seekers and employers to find each other, and no doubt there will be more user-friendly on-line sites in the future, that’s the way of the world, and the good news it will put some of the more unctuous and vile recruit companies out of business, good riddance.

But buried that article is the one line of how to get ahead. And I quote:

Experts say the [software] systems simply narrow the field to a size hiring managers can handle. They also stress that, despite advances in the software, the single best method of getting a job remains a referral from a company employee.

That’s right, stating the obvious, the secret sauce that has not changed over the decades, regardless of email and sms and video applications. It’s who you know, and who talks about you. You want to get noticed? Get yourself in someone’s face, real or virtual, work on your profile more than your CV. Many jobs are indeed gotten when someone in the company turns to someone else and asks “Ya know anyone good?” That’s the way the world goes ’round.

If you want that job, or that promotion, start with getting [positively] noticed, step #1. The CV matters, but not by sending it out with a hope and a prayer. Work on standing out, having a point of view, and being proud of your achievements. (Yes, we’re still on step #1-step #2 later..)

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