‘If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.’ – Thomas Jefferson
This 18th century advice is not out of place in the 21st century for the thousands of people over 50 who are desperately sending out CVs and getting nowhere.
To be fair; this is because they learned how to job-hunt ages ago and this is all they know! But things have changed.
Take this business of a Curriculum Vitae. A 50 year-olds probably created it 10 to 35 years ago and then periodically added to and tweaked it. But when they are job-hunting there is a frenzy of additions – just in case. And the CV grows and grows; I have seen a 12-page CV!
No, no, no. It is, to be honest, fiddling while Rome burns! It is the one activity that can kill all chance of getting the job.
We need a new skill and that skill is Marketing. When I mention this to the more left-brain of us, for example and Accountants and Engineers, I can see surprise, if not shock.
Marketing = seeing things through someone else’s eyes.
But in this case, marketing is to put on the employers’ spectacles and see the world through their eyes. If you do, you will see a busy, busy, busy person, with one huge overflowing in-basket of problems and another huge overflowing in-basket of CVs. Since every job exists to solve a problem then theoretically, a CV should solve the problem?
But where is the poor employer to find the time to go through those CVs? Let alone reading a 12page document! Saving the employer time is the first problem you can solve.
Marketing = research
Of course like any good marketer, you need to do your research to know what they need. Sometimes a job description exists or you have a job ad. Sometimes the employer puts the most important requirements right at the top. In that case you are lucky and you know what you need to focus on, namely the skills, the qualifications, the personal abilities.
Marketing = Less is more
Employers do not have time for leisurely reading of 6 or even 3 pages of a CV in order to extract the few facts which tell them whether you can solve their problem.
You have to do their work for them and mine your experience to highlight the required.
Like an advertisement which only gives you a few pertinent facts, a Résumé of Relevant Skills focuses on what the employers want, not on what you need.
Relax! You can offer your full CV on request.
So if you want a potential employer to pay attention to your submission, use this prescription and please wear your new glasses!
Need help with this?