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December 2006

by Susan Reynolds

Got a Great Resume? What to Do Next!

So you’ve gotten an excellent resume put together. It reflects your experience and capabilities, and holds you apart from your potential competition. It clearly lets a potential new employer know what they can expect from you. You’re proud of your background and your potential. So now what? How do you make this document do its best job for you?

First, let’s define what a resume should be expected to do. It’s a few pieces of paper, not the actual product (you!), right? Make sure it stays in its place. Your resume is not your “front man”, expected to do your job search on its own. What am I getting at here? Many job searchers polish up their resume and then expect it to do the search for them. Go ahead and post it on whatever Internet sites you think might be effective for you. But don’t stop there.

Identify what roles you envision having in a new organization. Know what industries you’re targeting. Specify organizations that you’d like to consider joining. Who are the decision makers? What’s your plan to get to them? Don’t just send your resume out of the “blue”. It probably will just end up in the trash. Do your homework first.

Whenever possible, use your great resume as a follow up tool, not the lead off. YOU should be the product, not your document. It should be used to close a great conversation, no matter how brief that chat may have been. It should be used to provide detail and reminders of key points you’ve made about your capabilities. That means you can’t have fallen prey to the “send me your paper, and I’ll consider talking with you” approach. That method of using the resume to prescreen does not best serve either the potential employer OR the job seeker. Talk to people. Learn about the organization. Sell your skills. Make it happen.

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers. She can be reached at or 661-755-3308.

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