Networking is the New Résumé

You’ve spent more time proofreading your résumé than it actually took to fill out the application. Your cover letter has the perfect blend of humor, professionalism, and self-salesmanship, and your résumé couldn’t be better tailored to the job description. A month later, with several unreturned voicemails and a little LinkedIn stalking, you discover that someone far less qualified landed the position.
Their secret? All signs point to a better network.
Now, I’m not going to say that a résumé is completely useless because it still serves as a way to show your accomplishments and potential abilities to future employers but the secret that nobody wants you to know is that your résumé is mostly a waste of time.

Networking is the New Résumé

Résumé’s don’t really matter if you don’t have one thing; that is a way in which you can get your résumé directly in the hands of someone who is connected in some way to the hiring process.

Here are three quick tips to keep in mind while thinking about your résumé and looking for a job or internship.

1.) A résumé is great for when someone is expecting it
Think about it: when employers are getting hundreds of applications to the same position, it’s extremely hard to stand out with a handful of words. Chances that someone will actually see your résumé is slim, unless you can prove that your expertise in the area is more qualified than others with just a piece of paper. Even with qualified skills, though, it won’t guarantee you a job. Remember everyone’s reading the same advice blogs, getting similar degrees, and applying the same “tricks” to their applications.

2.) Your reputation gets you the job
Ever wonder why companies ask for references when applying for a job or internship? It’s because they want to know more about you, as a person, rather than just what’s on a piece of paper. If you want to save yourself some time, in a job search, be useful and put it directly into the hands of the person you want to read it, along with a recommendation that it’s worth reading. This way, instead of “screening you out,” via a computer program the person reading it will want to “screen you in,” based on the referral. As Peter Thiel mentions in his book Zero to One, “The more we compete the less we actually gain.”

3) Great networks are more valuable than a résumé
You know the statistic that 80% of people are hired through networks. In some cases you won’t even need a résumé to get hired. If you know the right people and maintain good relations with them, chances are they will be willing to help in any way they can. Start getting involved in your community and making valuable connections. You will be surprised how many people will want to give you career advice and connect you to the right people. Check out some networking tips if you need help getting started.

Lastly, remember, you are a brand whether you like it or not. Just handing out a résumé is not going to be the most practical or successful way for you to get noticed. Build your personal brand and network while making the most of the time that you put into your job search. You will be delighted to find out how much more efficiently you can use your time.

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