Resumes vs Relationships: Which One is the Key to Landing Your Dream Job?

One of the most nerve-wracking parts of the job hunt is figuring out what exactly needs to go on your resume.

I regularly receive questions like this from clients:

I took off ten years from work in order to raise my children, how do I make my resume stand out?

What is the difference between a CV and a resume? Which one should I have?

Should I add my student rotations or internships in my resume?

Where should I add my education in my CV?

How many pages should my resume be?

What if I had a gap in between roles, how do I explain that on the resume?

All of these questions can seem incredibly overwhelming, especially if you really want to land a new job.

Because the truth is that putting together an effective resume IS challenging.

Over the last five years, I’ve had the opportunity to review thousands of resumes and CVs. Yes, thousands.

After reading, editing, and providing feedback for these resumes, one of the biggest points I’ve come to appreciate is this: every step in your career needs to lead to a bigger picture. This is so that potential employers can clearly see how you are the perfect fit for their organization and for a specific role.

Being a generalist, a jack of all traits, or “good at everything” only works to a certain point.

So... here is the real skinny on how to create a perfect resume: putting all of your energy into building a perfect resume will ultimately lead you down the wrong path.

Is your mind blown yet? Good - let’s start talking about why that’s the case.

Resumes vs Relationships: Which One is the Key to Landing Your Dream Job?

If you are more focused on building your resume than taking on new opportunities that add VALUE to your career, then something is missing.  

Let’s take a step back and ask ourselves some tough questions:

  • Is getting one certification really going to differentiate you from the other candidate?

  • Is taking on one extra side project going to make YOU the stand out candidate?

  • What if other candidates have the same certifications or experiences as you?

So many professionals focus on all of the nuances that go onto building a resume, like what specific word to use or which font looks better. Instead, I would love to see each and every one of you focus on shifting your mindset into career building instead of resume building.

Get into the Right Mindset for Career Building

Building an effective resume IS one piece of the puzzle to the dozens of other things you need to be doing to land you a new career.

A quick recap from my blog on the perseverance principle: your background + your education + your skills (+ perseverance) = new job.

This time, I’m going to add a twist to this recipe:

Your background + your education + your skills + your RELATIONSHIPS (+ perseverance) = new job.

Ultimately, your transferable skills, niched knowledge, and the relationships you build will land you a job – not JUST your perfect resume.

The best thing I learned from one of my mentors, who just so happens to be my late dad, is that you need to become a subject matter expert in something. Be known for something.

Here’s some insider info: When I am looking to bring someone new on to the RX Ashlee team, I don’t ask for a resume. Why? Because our relationship and that person’s ethic should tell me enough. Where they did their training, their gpa, their specific experiences, how long of a gap they had between jobs is incredibly less important to me than if they’re reliable, appreciate the values and mission of the company, create great outcomes, and understand the critical role they play in the company.

The Takeaway: If you think that you may want to jump to a nontraditional career, or simply get a better job, you need to put way more emphasis on building relationships, connecting with colleagues, and creating your brand than worrying and sweating about your resume.

Why Your Job Hunt Needs to be Strategic

Once you build and invest in your professional relationships, you’ll be on the right path to getting the career you’ve been dreaming of. When you have a supportive network and a job opens up, it’s likely that someone will reach out to you or point you in the right direction. Then you’ll have to send in your resume and nail the interview. However, it all starts with a relationship.

So: don’t wait until you are absolutely dying for a different job. Don’t sit at your desk saying how much you hate your job and then try to put your resume together and apply online to anything that sort of matches your interests. I am very fearful that this path will ultimately lead you down the path of most resistance.

Having control of your career is something that no one really talks about. Everything from landing your dream job, building a resume and CV, and working your way up in your industry requires a strategy.

It’s time to stop thinking that you need to escape and instead create a plan to exit – and that’ll require you to build a strong foundation where your resume can truly and meaningfully represent you.

Before you ask…. Let’s Get Back to the Basics: What’s the Difference Between a Resume and CV?

Because this is one of the most common questions I receive, I wanted to briefly cover this topic.

Depending on your industry, and the specific employer, you may be asked to send in a resume or CV with your application.

A resume is a short, precise, and very objective piece of paper outlining your career.

In contrast, think of your CV as a laundry list of everything important you’ve done professionally. This includes your accomplishments and awards, presentations, volunteer experiences, notable studies and papers you’ve published, and your work experience.

Though both of these pieces of paper will give a potential employer information about your background, it is clearly NOT everything about you.

Leave the Hard Work to the Professionals

When you’re applying to your dream job or trying to create your perfect non-traditional role, it can really benefit you to hire a professional resume writer. Don’t waste your valuable time rewriting or wordsmithing your resume.

Contact my friends at Academy & Apothecary.  This small pharmacist owned business is THE resume building company that I send all of my clients to (they did mine too!), and I have yet to see one of their products that I am not absolutely salivating over.

Moreover, this is an investment that is worth the price… I promise this is like magic!!!

***BONUS: Use the code rxashlee and they will hook you up with a discount!***

So, Do You Really Need a Resume or CV?

YES. OF COURSE.

Despite the fact that your resume and CV aren’t what you should be placing all of your energy into, they’re very important documents that allow you to represent yourself in your profession.

Having a well written resume is essential in many ways. It showcases your experiences, shares your skills with others, provides a background of your education and training, and gives someone an insight as to who you are and what you’ve been up to.

Want Specific Tips About How You Can Create the Perfect CV?

After reviewing thousands of resumes and CVs, I know a thing or two about what makes a solid resume stand out. And to be honest, resume writing is just NOT MY THING. It is tedious and requires a ton of long hours on a computer!

Instead of putting all of my secret tricks into today’s blog, I’ve created a downloadable guide of resume tips for you to have. Simply sign up with your email and name below, and you’ll be sent this great guide to help you through your professional journey.