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It happens every time someone makes the decision to find a new job or has just been laid off: they “dust off” the old resume. For years, many have believed that it’s your resume that will get you noticed and hired. Many go as far as to pay Career Counselors and Coaches simply to write their resume – only to walk away disappointed that the resume doesn’t deliver results.

In reality, job seekers put too much expectation and time into sending out resumes when they should be putting their time into networking.

Through my Career Coaching experience, I’ve identified two things that have changed in the job market in regards to resumes, and how we go about finding meaningful employment.

  1. Many job positions/titles no longer exist because the job market has forever changed. Technology, the economy, and other factors suggest that whatever past titles you’ve held may come with newfound stigmas, fair or not. This makes it difficult to trust a traditional resume to showcase how you too have evolved with the marketplace.
  2. Piggybacking off of #1, because job titles/roles have changed so much in the past few years, it’s hard to identify a career match between your resume and job opening listings.

So if not a resume, what should your strategy be?

Per Richard Bolles’ book, The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide, networking and knowing your value can be attributed to 86% of job search successes. But it’s not just about who you know, but how you present the value you can bring the organization. I call these your “transferable skills”, and they don’t typically come to life on a resume.

Networking strategies help you identify what career target would best fit you and why. Doing your homework to better understand the landscape of the industry is critical. When you do this effectively, opportunities will arise before there is an “official opening.”

I’m sure you’re thinking, “But even after successful networking, they’ll ask for something on paper that outlines my experience and value!” And you’re right. But I recommend using a new solution that I call a one-sheet. The purpose of the one-sheet is to speak about the future, while top-lining the past.

On the one-sheet you will list a career title and industry target, your personal branding statements (those transferrable skills I was talking about earlier), and a few examples of achievements that showcase how you could bring value to their organization. This document will help you keep the conversation focused on the future, and I’ve seen it make a big impact time and time again.

The point is this: Resumes exclusively focus on the past. Spend more time looking forward. Make new contacts. Prove your value in person, so that when they do see your one-sheet (or resume if you insist), they already know the person and potential behind “the name at the top.”