The jobthinker directs all his attention at a single form of documentation, a resume.
He overlooks alternative ways of communicating his value in his quest to make the resume as perfect as possible.
This obsession is unfortunate not only because it means he is putting all his eggs in one rather fragile basket, but also because he is likely to lose sight of the “forest” (what he has to offer) for the “trees” (wording, layout, font, format, stock, etc.)
It is because people get hung up on seeing one or two 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper as the golden key to a magic door that I told the group of Bentley College alumni (see Preface) that they would be better off throwing out their resumes.
I of course didn’t intend it to be taken literally. I understand that a resume is necessary for presenting your credentials to an organization where you would like to find work, if—and it’s a big if—you are approaching it as an individual, i.e., on a person-to-business basis.
What I meant was, don’t let the resume control your thinking.
File it under Business Forms, and the next time a friend or colleague offers to pass it along to someone, say to them, “What I’d really like is to have a brief conversation with the person instead.” Then the resume would be something you would leave behind as a reminder of your qualification after the meeting.
The resume should be considered merely a part of the etiquette of work search, something you have to have to follow the rules.
When it is seen as the engine that drives it, when it starts to control the scope and direction of a career, something is seriously out of whack. Form and protocol have replaced innovation and initiative.