In answering a retired military officer’s question about how to put his broad skills to work in a non-defense job, headhunter Nick Corcodilos suggests scrapping the resume altogether.
In a PBS article, he writes:
When you hand your resume to an employer, what you’re really saying is this: Here’s everything you need to know about me. My education, my credentials, my work history, my accomplishments, my skills. So go figure out what the heck to do with me!
Instead, he suggests doing enough research to create a narrative telling the hiring manager how your skills can solve his problems. No, job hunting is not about you.
Corcodilos offers this advice for actually getting that meeting with the hiring manager:
The best way to “break through” is not to mail in your information on a resume, and then wait for someone to figure out how your military experience fits their commercial needs. …
Find and talk to people near the operation: customers, vendors, other employees, consultants — anyone who touches the business. Never ask for job leads or to “take my resume in.” Instead, ask for advice and insight about the manager and his department. Then, close by asking if there’s someone on the team you might talk with to learn more. This chain of contacts can lead you directly to the manager.
Employers like narrative that links the past and the future, writes strategy consultant Dorie Clark in a piece at Harvard Business Review:
It’s also important to identify the underlying themes that connect your professional experiences, because people generally prefer narrative continuity: a story is “better” and makes more sense to them if they see it as a logical extension of the past, rather than a rupture.
Going forward, stress the value you bring to the organization, she says.
If you can connect the dots between your past, present, and future; identify the underlying themes in your career trajectory; and explain the unique value you can bring to your new endeavor, you’re on your way to winning [others’] support.