The interview-generating resume you need doesn’t really cost you a cent,
but an average resume could cost thousands more than you paid for it
Before becoming a resume writer, I spent 15 years in purchasing, financial supervision, and database sales. One summer, I tried to find a job using what I thought was a good resume.
Like most resumes, mine contained my name, my contact information, my work history, and a responsibility list for each job. If I’d already had a job offer, that average resume would have been good enough. Because HR wouldn’t have looked at my resume; they’d only glance at it and “check off” that particular box on their checklist,.
Average resumes are easy to prepare. Any typist with a computer can prepare them for a moderate cost.
But the average resume has one big problem.
The average resume doesn’t make interviews happen
Using my average resume, I applied to many, many jobs for more than three months.
And my phone didn’t even ring once.
At that point, I realized something was wrong.
So I talked to some HR folks.
They weren’t surprised.
They’ve known for years that almost all of us, (about 95%), used the same kind of average resume that I’d submitted. And they also knew that average resumes almost never make interviews happen. As it happens, the failure rate for those resumes is also about 95%.
So if you send out ten average resumes a week, and your resumes are rejected 95 out of 100 times, you can wait until week nine of your job search before you get your first interview.
Why the average resume doesn’t work
There’s a big reason the average resume doesn’t work.
It says nothing about how well you performed in your various jobs.
In other words, the average resume gives an employer no reason to want to interview you instead of any other applicant.
The real challenge facing today’s job seeker
This failure of the average resume emphasizes an additional problem that most job seekers face.
Back when I talked to the HR folks about my long job search, another point they stressed was that most job seekers are so nervous that they make a poor impression in their first interview and talk themselves out of contention.
So if you use an average resume to apply for ten jobs each week, you’ll likely get your first interview about around weeks eight or nine; at which point you’ll be too nervous to present yourself well. Then the whole process starts again with another long wait for your next interview.
That’s why no career professionals were surprised when a mid-recession study showed that the average BC job search was lasting anywhere between 15 to 24 weeks. According to the latest figures from Statistics Canada, that same job search now averages just over 16 weeks.
The conclusion is inevitable: if you want job interview calls, you need something more persuasive than the average resume.
The interview-generating resume you need
Instead of an average resume, you need a customized self-marketing document that proves you can meet critical performance goals and consistently achieve important objectives. Submitting such a resume makes you stand out from the crowd at once.
And since many hiring managers will only look at each resume for 15 seconds or less, your resume must make that critical first impression – and engage the manager’s interest – within those very few seconds.
Crafting a resume that meets this challenge is not easy.
Your writer must know the full range of skills and achievements you’ll need to succeed in your targeted position. Then, he or she must combine that knowledge with a master interviewer’s capacity to uncover almost-forgotten accomplishments and the powerfully persuasive presentation skills of a top-flight copywriter.
So it’s no surprise that professional resume writers charge more than the average typist.
In the final analysis, however, the work of a good resume writer is worth much more than your investment. In fact, in the long run, a professionally written, interview-generating resume doesn’t cost you a cent.
Instead, it makes far more money than you paid for it.
The resume you need doesn’t cost you anything
“How can this be?” I hear you ask.
To answer that question, you need to ask – and answer – another question:
“How much will using an average resume really cost me?”
To find out the answer, divide the salary of your desired job by 50. This gives you your gross weekly salary apart from benefits. Multiply that amount by the length of the average job search, in weeks, and you get your total income loss from being out of work.
The size of the numbers may surprise you. Consider the following examples:
* If you want a $30,000 income, your weekly salary is $600, and a 16-week job search will cost you $9,600.
* Or, if you want a $100,000 income, your weekly salary is $2,000, and a 16-week job search will cost you $32,000.
* Finally, if you want a $200,000 income, your weekly salary is $4,000, and a 16-week job search will cost you $64,000.
So the real cost of an average resume is not the hundred dollars you paid to have your notes typed and properly formatted.
The real cost of that resume is the figure you get when you plug in your chosen salary and multiply it by the time that the average job search now takes.
Once you have that real cost, ask yourself this additional question: “Can I really afford to risk paying that much for an average resume? Would I risk paying $9,000 – or more – for anything else that didn’t do what it was supposed to do?”
Making more interviews happen faster makes a big difference
Now, on the other hand, assume that your professionally written resume makes interviews happen not 5% of the time, but rather 50% of the time (a hit rate that professional resume writers routinely meet or exceed.)
If you apply for ten jobs in your first week, and your resume is 50% effective in generating interviews, the odds are that you will have five interviews by the end of your third week. It’s also likely that you’ll have received at least one job offer from interviews two through five.
You might even receive a second job offer from those interviews. And that’s very comforting when you negotiate your compensation package with your preferred employer.
So instead of taking 16 weeks, your job search has taken only three. Your Fast & Focused resume has just enabled you to earn an additional 13 weeks pay. This means you will pocket an additional $7,800 (for a $30,000 salary), $26,000 (for a $100,000 salary), or $52,000 if your new salary is $200,000, or perhaps even more.
Now, you can finally ask yourself the real question. “Is it worth investing between 2% to 4% of the $7,800, $26,000, or $52,000 in additional salary that a professionally written resume will earn me so I can maximize my chances of winning the job – not to mention saving me from months of anxiety?”
Which is why investing in an interview-generating resume is one of the best investments you can make.
Or to put it another way: investing in a professionally written, interview-generating resume doesn’t really cost you anything.
Instead, it makes both dollars and sense.
To your success!
Tim Cunningham, CPRW
Fast & Focused Resume Service
Vancouver’s professional resume writer