What Do You Bring to the Table?

Susan Hall

Recruiter and HR consultant Peter Weddle has a sobering take on the 2011 job market. He's been writing a three-part series on what recruiters look for. I found this comment in the third part:

We used to tell people that they would likely go through seven or eight job changes during a 30-year career. Well, that's now old news. In today's world of work - in the 21st century - people are likely to go through 15 or 20 job changes during a 50-year career. To put it another way, they are now likely to be changing jobs every three years or so.

Meanwhile, a post at CNNMoney.com sums up the hiring outlook this way:

If there's one thing that's different in the post-recession job market it's this: Submitting your resume and cover letter is not going to get you a job.

Job-seekers must be involved in social media these days to be successful, the article says, but the face-to-face contacts you make are still more likely to pay off.


The final two points of the article, however, really sum up the situation:

Gone are the days of impressing a hiring manager with experience and education. These days it's identifying what results you can deliver that will ultimately get you an offer.

And this:

Once you are well versed in the company's particular constraints within the current economic climate, identify what you can bring to the table. To do that, [executive career coach and author Ford Myers] urges job seekers to provide measurable results.

I've written that the resume is not about you, it's about how you can solve the new employer's problems. MSNBC quotes Nick Vaidya, managing partner of The 8020Strategy Group, a consulting firm, saying:

I get exasperated looking at resume after resume that talks about what [an applicant] does, or has done. After a while all of the candidates start looking like white penguins on snow. I want the [person] who understands what I need and tailors his or her resume accordingly. I want the yellow penguin.

Yet in reviewing a batch of resumes from IT pros, CIO.com's Meredith Levinson noted, among other issues, a failure to tailor the resume to the position being sought and a failure to tie the work to the business benefit.


There's a nifty resume critique at BNET in which you can mouse over the various parts to see comments. Among the problems found there: Listing job responsibilities rather than accomplishments. It's important to understand the difference.


The CNNMoney article advises promising results by pointing to those you have achieved so far. It quotes Myers saying:

If you can't add value, they're not going to hire you.

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