Why Skills Based Resumes No Longer Work

Mar 8 2012 in Featured, reCareered Blog, Resumes by Phil Rosenberg

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So many things have changed about job search, now that we’re in a job market featuring job shortages.

This makes job search even tougher for most of us who have grown used to job markets that featured candidate shortages. For most of us, it’s all we’ve known.

But employers behave very differently in markets of job shortages.

It makes it more difficult to identify what no longer works and adapt to new tactics designed for today’s market of job shortages.

Especially since so many of the old tactics are so ingrained, so reinforced by others, that they have become not only habits … but appear unbreakable.

One of these habits is the skills-based resume.

Just about everything you’ve been taught about resumes, just about everything you’ve seen reinforced (by government, ministry, alumni career advisers, outplacement, recruiters, career authors and coaches) … all teach skills-based resumes.

So what’s a skills based resume?

A skills based resume focuses the reader’s attention on your skills and qualifications. It made a lot of sense when there were candidate and skill shortages from WWII through early 2007.

When there are shortages of skills and skilled candidates … doesn’t it make sense to describe yourself based on your skills and qualifications?

This is why most everything you’ve heard, learned about job search, just about every article on resumes you’ve read, just about all the feedback you’ve gotten from career advisers, outplacement, recruiters, and career coaches … has been describing skills based resumes.

Skills based resumes are so prevalent and so ingrained that you’re probably thinking … when applying for a job, how else could you describe yourself other than by your skills?

But these tactics were developed for a job market of candidate/skills shortages.

Wait a second – Isn’t the problem today that there are job shortages? How could tactics developed for candidate shortages be effective when there are job shortages? They aren’t …

I’ve never been one to let tradition or habits stand in the way of helping people find jobs …

Why don’t skills based resumes work today?

There’s a simple answer:

  • When there’s a job shortage, there’s no longer a candidate/skills shortage
  • When there’s no longer a candidate/skills shortage, it’s easy to find many candidates that have minimum skills
  • When there’s no longer a candidate/skills shortage, it’s easy to find many qualified candidates
  • So … When it’s easy for employers to find many qualified candidates who meet minimum skills, skills and qualifications are no longer enough to win the job

What works?

So if you skills and qualifications are no longer enough, what works today? What works in a market of job shortages?

Value works. Rather than demonstrating you have minimum skills, demonstrate that you’ve provided value to your past employers.

This is a really foreign, uncomfortable concept for most of you … so how do you do that?

Well, that’s a whole other article. Stay tuned for an upcoming article on value based resumes.


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Source: http://reCareered.com
Author: Phil Rosenberg

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