I'm reading "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill and mentally kicking myself in the pants for not reading it 20 years earlier when it was first recommended to me. Back then, all I wanted to read were those "potboiler" stories featuring half-naked studly guys and their maidens perpetually in dishabille or distress. When all you want is to be loved, you immerse yourself in stories about love and guess what, that's what you get.
Now I want to be prosperous and enjoy the freedoms of an abundant life...hence all the reading about money, wealth and self-development. And I've got plenty of love in my life! Proof that Mr. Hill's dictate, "Keep your mind on the things you want and off the things you don't want" really works.
Chapter Six covers Organized Planning -- Crystallizing Desire into Action. And he actually outlines putting together a "Application Brief" to get a job. As a professional resume writer, I paid particular attention to the opening paragraph where Mr. Hill advises that, " . . . unless the applicant is experienced in the preparation of such brief, an expert should be consulted, and his services enlisted for that purpose." Hill cites companies who hire advertising experts to market their products. He counsels that those selling their personal services for sale should follow suit in hiring those with expertise in marketing. And what is a resume if not a marketing statement? At any rate, I was so pleased to get validation for my passion to help people from such a highly-regarded source. Wow!
Hill goes on to list elements the brief (never uses the "R" word anywhere) should contain, including a photo, references, and an offer to work on probation. Okay, so the book was written in 1937, when our country was in the throes of a depression that echoes today's tough times. Parts of this chapter, though, are still relevant for today's job seeker.
#5 on the list is Apply for a specific position. I can't tell you how many resumes include an objective (employers don't care), but nothing stating what position the person is seeking. Hill emphasizes that you should never apply for "just a position" as it indicates you lack specialized qualifications. In other words, there's no such thing as a generic resume. If you aren't special, why should someone hire you?
#6. State your qualifications. Hill advocates providing full details about why the applicant is qualified and goes on to say this is probably the most important detail of the application. Qualifications based on achievements -- not "responsible fors" are what makes a hiring manager reply to your email.
#8. Knowledge of your prospective employer's business. Back in 1937, it might have been a challenge to find out about the business, but with today's information stream, there's no excuse lack of due diligence. Hill says that if you know about the company, you're showing imagination and creativity. It also means that you're motivated and thorough, all qualities employers are seeking.
There was some stuff listed that well, doesn't cut it in modern times. I got a big laugh from this statement. "Do not be afraid of making the brief too long." Ha! Some of the resumes I've reviewed indicate the writers read Mr. Hill's book. Obviously, that practice won't cut it in today's uber-competitive market. If you're on the Do It Yourself Resume path, brevity should be your watchword.
Napoleon Hill's advice about hiring experts to do what they do best so you can do what you do best is right on target. You have something to offer that deserves to best showcased in the most outstanding way possible. Investing in a service that specializes in highlight who you are and what you've done could add thousands of dollars to your salary.
Everyone who wants to get to their next level of success should read this book. And if you've been in a job search for too long because you're sending out a DIY resume, maybe it's time to seek out an expert who can make a difference.