Lose the Resume, Land the Job
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Lose the Resume, Land the Job

Gary Burnison

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eBook - ePub

Lose the Resume, Land the Job

Gary Burnison

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About This Book

"'Lose the Résumé' breaks down every aspect of job hunting, explaining what matters and what doesn't."
— The New York Times Book Review

Lose the resume and land that coveted job

Gone are the days of polishing up your resume and sending it out at random. At every level today, you need to "lose the resume" in order to land the right job. In other words, you have to learn to tell a story about yourself that speaks to your competencies, purpose, passion, and values. Lose the Resume, Land the Job shares the new rules of engagement: How you must think, act, and present yourself so you can win.

Based on inner exploration drawn from the IP of the world's largest executive recruiting firm, the book gleans insights and stories (the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly) from Korn Ferry recruiters across the globe who work with thousands of candidates each day. It helps you gain a deeper perspective on who you are, what you're passionate about, the cultures in which you fit, the kind of bosses you should work for, and where you can bring the most value to organizations.

  • Includes assessments, questionnaires, and other tools
  • Candid advice for young professionals through middle managers
  • Offers trusted guidance from the same firm that has shown 8 million executives how to achieve their career goals, and that puts a professional in new job every three minutes
  • Helps you build a plan for the future so you can contribute more to the next employer

Getting a job and, more importantly, building a career has never been more complex. Lose the Resume, Land the Job helps you score the positions that align with your passion and match your attributes — and that will put you on a trajectory toward bigger and better things.

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Chapter One
Your Wake-Up Call

A cartoon image in the background of the page depicting an alarm clock (left) and a cock (right).
A cartoon image in the background of the page depicting a person falling whose head is towards the ground. A hand (of another person) holds the legs of the person who is falling.
  1. The Blunt Truth
  2. Getting a Clue
  3. When Passion and Purpose Go Missing
  4. The Boss Problem
  5. The Tale of Startup Zach
  6. The Wrong Reasons to Look for Work
  7. The Right Reasons to Look
“I'm getting a new job.” You've been telling your family and friends this so many times they're ready to run away when you say it again. Reminders are on hand-scrawled notes on the refrigerator and clutter your iPhone calendar. What drove you to make this move has ranged over the years, but pick one: Your boss is a nightmare; your company is posting losses; you don't feel appreciated. Or on a more positive note, you know you've done amazing work and deserve a fantastic opportunity—the kind that Jane, your cheery neighbor, just got with seemingly half your effort. The thoughts won't leave your head: I'm going to get a new job. Today! I'm not kidding.
That means it's time to look in the bathroom mirror, splash some cold water on your face, and ask yourself:
Now what?
There is an entire industry that will give you a simple, pat answer: Polish that resume and start searching online. You've no doubt seen these firms. Out of virtually nowhere has sprung a resume-writing sector that numbers 4,000 to 6,000 companies in the United States alone. While most are one-person operations, the biggest names have become corporate giants with their own apps and email reminders. These firms will tell you they employ the best artificial intelligence known to human-kind to make sure no job opening escapes your notice, and that every line in your resume is just what the HR department wants. The message through these rose-colored glasses is universal: A few clicks (and perhaps a small fee) and it's off to the job interviews!
All of this, of course, ignores the realities of how difficult job hunting has become. The change has nothing to do with macroeconomic factors such as artificial intelligence or advanced robotics. Rather, the job-search process has changed radically. Going back thirty or forty years, it was simple. You looked in the help-wanted ads of your local newspaper and searched for an opening that matched your skill set. The job market was largely restricted to a certain city or region, and the candidates you competed against were local to that region. The world wasn't as specialized as it is today. You wrote a letter or made a phone call, and if the employer liked you, the job was yours. It wasn't unheard of back then to get a job in a day, especially in a small city.
The process today, of course, is far broader and a lot more democratic. Thanks to the Internet and career sites such as the omnipresent LinkedIn, job postings are easy to find. As a matter of routine, nearly every global organization also posts its job opportunities on its own career pages to cast as wide a net as possible. What sounds like good news, though, is actually the problem. The floodgates are so open now that anyone can apply for a job anywhere, even if that person is not remotely qualified. And many people do apply blindly, burying the hopes of the truly qualified.
Sure, you can improve your odds by including keywords on your resume or in your LinkedIn profile that search engines will pick up, but it's still absurdly hard for even great candidates to stand out in this sea of eager beavers. The whole process has become sad. People put enormous care into writing their resumes—right down to using the preferred Times New Roman font—only to have them go nowhere when they're submitted online or emailed.

The Blunt Truth

Over the past several years I've received thousands of resumes, unsolicited and from people I don't know. And guess what: They rarely go anywhere. Most of the time, I don't even open the document. That might strike you as harsh or even unfair, but here's what I know about many other CEOs and senior executives: They're not opening your resume either.
This brings me back to our core advice to “lose the resume”—figuratively speaking. Of course, you need to have a resume. But you should keep your resume in perspective. Your resume alone won't land the next job for you, and it certainly won't advance your career along the trajectory that will get you where you truly want to go.
In fact, if you just send out resumes, you have already lost! Consider these statistics: Of the 250 resumes going out for every corporate job, the initial screening typically eliminates 98 percent of job seekers, and only 2 percent will even get an interview. These numbers don't make it into most resume-writing guides. Then again, this isn't meant to be another one of those books. This book serves a different purpose: to enlighten you about the rules of engagement—how to think, act, present yourself, and tell your unique story—so that you can win.
Make no mistake: Getting a job is the ultimate contest between you and every other candidate. Your mindset needs to be that of a true competitor. Ex-NBA star Allen Iverson said in his Hall of Fame induction speech that, as he learned in sports, “If it's me or you, it's me.” If your mindset is anything less, you're not going to achieve your goals. To win, you need a sense of urgency. Once you commit to making a career move, you must put yourself on a deadline. Act as if your job is going to be eliminated in six months! Suddenly, your whole mindset changes. You vow to take control of your professional destiny before it's too late. You have to act quickly, because another unspoken truth is this: It's better to have a job when you're looking for a new one. You become single-minded in your pursuit of the next opportunity. This includes, as you'll soon see, doing the hard work of looking within to assess your strengths and weaknesses, what motivates you, where you fit in, and the contributions you can make to your next employer.
I have to tell you that as a CEO, I always find that the candidates who show a great willpower and drive to land a job—and who avoid the inertia of searching lamely—are the ones who make great employees. Frankly, I would never want to hire someone who views work as just a job. I'm looking for people who equate work with meaning, with purpose—their life goals and destination. These are the 20 percent of people who account for 80 percent of what the organization accomplishes. They aren't going through the motions of what's required. They are invariably “all in,” because they equate their job with purpose.
What you've done is not what counts. Who you are and what you will do for them matter most.
A cartoon image depicting a person assembling a different shaped pieces. On the left, it is written “What you've done is not what counts. Who you are and what you will do for them matter most.”
So before you even think of your resume, you must first be introspective. That starts with knowing what you want and why you want it—what inspires and motivates you—and knowing which type of environment and culture will enable you to thrive.

Getting a Clue

Most people, however, have no idea what they really want or where they'd be best suited. On top of that, they lie—all the time and especially to themselves. Needless to say, this is not a winning combination.

Table of contents

Citation styles for Lose the Resume, Land the Job
APA 6 Citation
Burnison, G. (2018). Lose the Resume, Land the Job (1st ed.). Wiley. Retrieved from https://www.perlego.com/book/994654/lose-the-resume-land-the-job-pdf (Original work published 2018)
Chicago Citation
Burnison, Gary. (2018) 2018. Lose the Resume, Land the Job. 1st ed. Wiley. https://www.perlego.com/book/994654/lose-the-resume-land-the-job-pdf.
Harvard Citation
Burnison, G. (2018) Lose the Resume, Land the Job. 1st edn. Wiley. Available at: https://www.perlego.com/book/994654/lose-the-resume-land-the-job-pdf (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Burnison, Gary. Lose the Resume, Land the Job. 1st ed. Wiley, 2018. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.