Throughout high school, college and graduate school, we’ve been conditioned to believe in the necessity of resumes and cover letters to secure the right job with the right company. Their importance was unquestioned from the 1950s through the end of the 20th century. Career development consultants, staffing agencies, and executive search firms have all emphasized the importance of resumes and the companion cover letters. Company HR departments insist that applicants include a resume with any application they submit. There are resume writing services that charge healthy fees to prepare resumes for job seekers. To complicate matters, there are nearly as many different formats for resumes as there are job applicants.
While resumes are a necessary requirement for the job seeker, they are not a magic key to employment. Staffing agencies, recruiting firms, placement firms and amployers basically use resumes and cover letters to screen out applicants. In fact, most resumes never reach the desk of the decision-maker who has the power to hire.
Over many years, most labor researchers indicate that 80 percent of the jobs in the United States are unadvertized. How can you find out about these jobs? We’ll discuss that issue tomorrow.