As part of Aquent’s sponsorship of the American Marketing Association, I write an “Ask the Expert” column about marketing careers on their site. One question I get a lot goes something like this, “I’m applying for jobs and sending my resume out but I’m not getting any responses. How can I get my application to stand out?”
My standard response goes something like this, “The best way to make your application or resume stand out is to establish some personal connection between yourself and the hiring manager.” In other words: network, network, network.
Upon reflection, I had two thoughts about this. One thought was that establishing that personal connection requires time and effort, which is why people turn to staffing agencies like Aquent in the first place. If we have anything to offer job seekers, it consists of the actual relationships we have with hiring managers at companies y’all wanna work at. Saving you time and effort means that we are providing you with a valuable service. If we can’t do that, what’s the point of working with us?
My second thought was slightly different. I put it to myself this way, “Networking will only help your resume stand out if it already has ‘stand-out-icity.’” You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear or get blood from a turnip. Knowumsayin’?
Aquent can’t create a match between your skills and a client’s needs or your work preferences and a client’s actual work environment. We can and should, however, help ensure that your resume reflects your strengths and experience in the best possible light. Helping you improve your self-representation is, again, an actual service and that’s where we come in. Ultimately, though, you’ve got to bring the stuff to represent, and, at the end of the day, the client will decide if that’s the “right stuff.”
I will now sit back and wait for the folks from PETA to call me on my metaphors. You can feel free to call me on the value of my advice or Aquent on the value of our service.