Make your resume work for you


Pat Brien | January 3, 2022

Do you make your resume work for you? Does it have a full-time job? Is it out there every day, advertising your skills and achievements to employers who need talent?

Or is it a sleeper agent, sitting unused until the moment you spy a new opening? Something worth brushing it up for before sending it out? Perhaps special occasion agent would be the best name for it?

If so, that isn’t good for your career. Here’s why.

Your resume as talent agent

Talent is a great word in this context. In a way, a resume that’s fully employed is like a talent agent. It’s out there while you’re resting, or working, or playing. No matter what you’re doing, it’s advertising your skills and experience, getting attention, and being available for that big break.

Whether you’re aware of it or not.

Funny image of a businesswoman asleep across the top of a photocopier.
Is your resume sleeping on the job?

Your resume’s product is you

resume with a career considers your needs. Your desired job title(s)? Check. Your desired career-level(s)? Check. Your desired location(s)? Check. Your desired salary? Check. You want to work remotely now? No problem. Check.

There aren’t many job openings today that don’t attract huge numbers of applicants. The internet makes it so easy to apply for jobs that recruiters and hiring managers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) technology just to deal with them all.

So recruiters do what works for them.

They sign up with jobs sites like Ladders and conduct targeted searches for qualified applicants. In the same way that you search for jobs, they search for the best talent. And where you see companies, job titles, and job descriptions, they see…

Take a guess.

Recruiters read resumes

During a job search, you target your searches and bring up job openings. On Ladders, 22,000+ verified, high-end recruiters, target their searches at talent and bring up resumes. They do this every day. And Ladders members with uploaded resumes are in that talent pool.

Which brings us to Sir Roger Moore.

Sir Roger Moore & your resume

From its humble beginnings to its celebrated international highpoints across cinema and television, Sir Roger Moore’s charisma-fueled career spanned a massive 72 years; his work with UNICEF leading to his knighthood in 2003.

Famously self-effacing about his acting talent and huge international success, he did once tell reporters who noticed that his wife’s foot was bandaged: “She was helping me count my money and she fell off the pile.”

So what has this to do with your resume? Well, when he was asked about how he’d achieved success in his career, he gave a straight answer (for once); and it was this:’Real World’ star Danny Roberts reflects on Julie Stoffer’s alleged homophobic letter: ‘It was damaging’PauseNext video1:20 / 6:14Full-screen

“It’s no good being the best actor in the world if nobody sees you because you didn’t happen to be there on the day a part was being cast.”
– Sir Roger Moore

You can’t be in the spotlight if you’re not in the right spot.

Every day, thousands of high-end recruiters conduct searches for resumes, while talented professionals like yourself keep their resumes hidden from the world, waiting for inspiration to strike; the perfect dream job to suddenly appear.

Of course, those who understand this gain a huge advantage.

He also said of his career: “It was 99.9 percent luck and a minuscule bit of talent.” His modesty aside, the statement above shows how doggedly he worked at creating that luck.

As his career took off, his agent would have done the legwork on his behalf; but, before he had a power agent, he made it happen himself. He knew that being there was half the battle.

And he was right.

Your resume – dressing for the part

Your resume is your agent – or your advertisement. The point is, its job is to be out there drawing employer attention toward your skills, qualifications, and talent. When you turn up on the day yourself, it’s because you have been invited. Interest has been created.

So how does your resume dress for the part? It is an important question.

Your career competitors are probably more concerned about dressing up their resumes for those special occasions than they are about making their resumes work for them every day.

Conduct an online search about getting help with resumes and you’ll see a plethora of websites showing huge varieties of resumes of various designs: multiple columns, highlight boxes, images, colors. One type of resume for this job, one type of resume for that job.

They look great – even if the words are generally conjuring nonsense.

People like things that look great and pander to their vanity, so they use them. Just like a shopper wandering through a store looking at designer clothes, they search around for the perfect killer outfit to dress up their expertise.

Google also likes these sites. All that content serves the customer well, it thinks. Tons of colorful designs, explanatory text, links and downloads. Wonderful! So the sites go up the rankings and even more people are drawn in. Soon half the world is in agreement on the issue.

Apart from hiring managers and recruiters.

And ATS (applicant tracking system) machines.

The ATS machines get to chew up those colorful, multi-format resumes like so much candy; but hiring managers and recruiters still have to trawl through the hundreds that make it through.

Relevant information is all over the place; no two look the same. And after a lot of scanning, they are inevitably left with the usual dull descriptions of duties, rather than short, easy-to-scan accounts of successes.

So recruiters tinker with the ATSs.

Which means awkwardly adding lots of criteria to the ATS, in an attempt to find only “perfect fit” candidates. According to a Harvard Business School report, this is contributing to a “broken” hiring system in which millions of viable job candidates are automatically dismissed.

These qualified experts are known as “hidden workers.”

The best way to ensure that you aren’t – and don’t become – a hidden worker, is to dress your resume correctly and make sure it turns up on the day, every day.

A business standing smiling in a smart suit.
A spinning bow-tie would stand out, but it wouldn’t get you the job.

Here’s how that’s achieved.

  1. Upload your resume to Ladders free and join our talent pool.
  2. See how your resume looks when processed by an ATS, free.
  3. Download a free editable resume template that’s ATS and recruiter-friendly.
  4. Have your resume rewritten free by experts at Leet Resumes.

Remember – uploading your resume means taking an action (however simple); and taking action is the only thing that earns results.

Sir Roger Moore became a legend because he understood that.

And acted!