Get a Job Without Your Résumé

I realized recently that I need to start the move to a new job.  It’s unfortunate because I really do like my current job and employer, but we received some venture capital money last summer, and it’s caused a lot of changes that I’m just not happy with.  I came over here to help out two friends, both of which left the company within months of me hiring on.  My loyalty was to them, not to the new CEO or owners.  After unsuccessfully trying to negotiate my compensation plan to actually give me some sort of incentive to keep working the way I do, I have decided to leave.

I need my network

The challenge is, I need my network, but I’m in a strange situation because I don’t want to bad mouth the current company, because the product is great, and I do still have contacts and friends here.  It is, however, difficult to notify your network that you’re ready for your next challenge without facing a lot of questions about why you’re leaving.

So I dusted off my résumé.

I realized I haven’t actually used this résumé in 10 years.  And when I did use it, it worked well, but I ended up not needing it because I was offered a job by someone in my network.  As I thought about it, I have never really had much luck getting a job from a résumé.  It was always a formality, almost like a business card rather than something used to actually get a job, or get an interview.

So currently, I’m taking on proposals for someone to update my résumé.

Then today, I got a call from one of my best partners.  The contact I’m dealing with has become a good friend over the past few months.  Conversations went here and there, and it ended up coming out that if I get an offer that meets my needs, I won’t turn it down, from any company.  He immediately changed his tone and said, “We’d love to have you here.”  I told him that this was completely unethical for me to have this discussion with one of my partners.  But, since the cat was out of the bag, so be it.

I don’t want to dwell on the how or why this happened except to highlight a few things that I’ve seen happen in my life over and over.  When I make up my mind and commit to a path, the universe seems to help.  I think this is because when I’ve committed to something, my brain, my subconscious, simply helps me along as much as it can, just like it keeps me breathing and my heart beating without me having to think about it.

So I’m holding off on the résumé rewrite for a little while.  Assuming I talk to my partner and get a job offer, this will be the fourth time I’ve gotten a job from my network where the résumé is just a formality like filling out an application.

Your best jobs come from your network

It made me think that there’s good knowledge here that young professionals need to know.  You don’t get your best jobs from blind résumé submission.  I’ve only ever landed two jobs that way in 30 years.  The rest have been because I’ve impressed my network enough that when the opportunity arises, I get an offer to work for someone in my network.

I’m currently composing a list of core ideas that will help someone in their career build their network and increase their personal “brand.”  I personally hate the idea of needing to “brand” myself, but the reality is, that you have to stand out and be better than others to get a job.  It’s the nature of the beast.

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