A New Resume is Not the Answer

/, Career Counseling, Job Search, Resume/A New Resume is Not the Answer

new resume not the answerMany people who are dissatisfied with their career often feel that a new resume is the answer. Far too often, these people just don’t know where to turn.

In these cases, it is comfortable to fall back on what they know – on the tactical tools of a career search that they are familiar with. Our brains do not like to live in the unknown and we will seek what is known. One of the tactical career search tools we’re very familiar with is the resume. A new resume may bring a new job and fulfillment and, oftentimes, a new resume symbolizes hope.

Leaving your old job may immediately alleviate many of the symptoms of your job dissatisfaction. And a new resume is certainly an important factor in landing a new job.

However, the cause of your symptoms in your old job will likely go with you. The challenge is identifying the right job, not just a new job.

A new resume is only one tool

A new resume is one tool in your job search. Like most tools, it does what you tell it to do. It must be crafted to get you the right job but that requires you to know what the right job is! If you do know the right career path and the right job, then your resume will be one of the tools necessary in making the transition.

If you don’t know what the right job is for you, then no professional resume writer can shape your resume to land you that job! Put another way…

Rewriting your resume isn’t where you start when addressing your career dissatisfaction!

A new resume is typically a result of the effort put into the larger process of:

  • defining your career goals
  • understanding yourself
  • identifying your skills
  • determining what is most important to you
  • learning about career paths, etc.

Research from 2,500 people

We recently conducted an analysis of over 2,500 website form submissions we collected over the last 3 years. We did this to see what career services people wanted from a career development coach. The data showed us the top six career services that people seek professional help with. Those 6 accounted for 80% of the results. Here’s a simple graph with the six career services:

top career services people want

Top 6 Career Services People Seek Professional Help With

Career services categories

Here are the definitions of each of these categories of career services:

  • Resume: inquiries who specifically mentioned needing assistance in reviewing or writing a resume.
  • Exploration: you need help determining what jobs/careers would fit you best. You don’t know what career is right for you but you feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled in your current job and career path. You don’t know what it is, but you’re ready to explore who you are and find a better career fit that will result in a great job you love.
  • Transition: There are two common transition scenarios. 1) You’ve had a big change at your employer or in your life and your career needs to change too or 2) you know what you to do or what industry you want to be in and need assistance figuring out how to make that move. In both of these scenarios, you need help leveraging your existing experience, branding yourself properly and then figuring out how to successfully land the right job.
  • Job Search: inquiries who were actively trying to find a job but expressed challenges getting job offers. They are looking for strategies around applying for job openings, networking, and professional branding.
  • Interview Prep: inquiries who were getting interviews but not many offers and wanted an objective assessment of their interviewing ability as well as how to get better.
  • Development: it’s about the future and looking ahead. You want to either 1) proactively develop a long-term career plan, 2) address a short-coming, needed skill set or obstacle or 3) prepare yourself for an upcoming opportunity. You have a vision of where you want to be and need a deliberate plan and an accountability partner to reach your goal.

A new resume is not what people need first

You can see that “resume” is our #1 requested service. There are many cases, of course, where a new resume is all that is needed. We’ve served thousands of clients and dealt with just as many career challenges. We regularly see a request for a new resume where the client needs a lot more help before assessing the need for a resume.

Here are 2 quotes from those form submissions that demonstrate this point.

Relocating back to San Antonio from Colorado. Would like to discuss resume writing and career coaching.

When you go through a big life change, it usually impacts your career goals and interests. This person suspects that a new resume, alone, may not be the answer. In this case, the first step is to understand the life changes he or she has been going through. When you understand your life objectives you can then better define what you want from a career.

I recently quit my current job & need assistance with sprucing up my resume & finding the right job/career path.

Identifying the right career path is a good starting point in this case. The fact that the person recently quit their job (a fairly big life change) brings up lots of questions about what was working, what wasn’t working, defining career goals, understanding what is most important in a career, etc. Here we need to help this individual understand the role of the resume, how the resume fits into the larger picture of their career journey, and how changing the resume may or may not address the entire picture.

It’s tough to diagnose the real issue

It’s often the same for those who request help with their job search – they are searching for a job and not finding ones they like or not successfully getting interviews or offers. Sometimes this is caused by not clearly articulating your brand and match for the job. Other times, though, it is a result of not knowing what career path you are really seeking.

There are a few reasons why this happens:

  • Most people never learned how to identify the issues causing their symptoms. We know we aren’t fulfilled in our job. We might know some of the reasons causing the dissatisfaction, but we might not know how to identify the root causes.
  • Many people were not taught how to “own their career”. They aren’t familiar with the steps for assessing if their career is meeting all of their needs and wants. Nor are they familiar with how to direct their career development and adjust today for changes needed in the future.

It’s tough for many of us to make the connection between career dissatisfaction and the exact help they need. A coach will typically need a brief one-on-one meeting to help you make that connection. That’s why we encourage all our prospective clients to take advantage of our free one-on-one initial career consultation.

Get a consultation from a career coach

At Wolfgang Career Coaching, we find that Exploration, Transition and Development are actually more popular than these figures represent. Those 3 services focus on the underlying goals that set a client’s career direction. The other three – Resume Writing, Interview Preparation and Job Search – come later, for client’s who have a very clear career direction.

If you are struggling with some challenges in your career, ponder how your job aligns with your values and interests. Realize that finding the right job or tweaking your resume will never adequately address that. We help people with this every day, through our career services called Exploration, Transition and Development. Ask us about it and schedule a free 1:1 consultation to find out if that’s the right service for you.

About the Author:

Wolfgang Career Coaching has a diverse and seasoned staff that has helped more than 3,500 clients. They are all certified as career coaches and have decades of combined experience. Not all career coaching companies are the same, so let Wolfgang Career Coaching help you move forward in your career!

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