If you’ve ever looked for a job (I’m assuming that I am now addressing close to 100% of the readers), you’ve taken the time to update your resume. In fact, based on conversations and emails from numerous technology professionals, I’ll venture to say that updating your resume accounts for a considerable amount of time and effort before and during your job search.
You are wasting your time.
"But Matt, you might say, "In your book, you claim that your resume is your ’ambassador to the professional world’. How can you say I am wasting my time updating it?"
You caught me.
I did say that your resume is your ambassador to the professional world. In fact, I went further to say that (along with your cover letter) it forms the most significant piece of your career marketing material. Unfortunately, most of you rely too heavily on your resumes to help you find work.
Although it is a significant piece of your professional marketing material, there are more-influential methods of getting employers to take notice. I am speaking specifically of case studies and other published work.
Credibility = Trust/Trust = Opportunity
When it comes to getting hired, trust is the critical component. The more your potential employer trusts your ability to perform the work and be an effective member of the team, the more likely you are to be hired. Although this might seem obvious, many job seekers overlook critical strategies in creating trust.
The first strategy is, of course, to use professional networking (see my article on this subject). However, short of a direct contact, some type of published work is a tremendous benefit to creating trust through credibility.
In academia, the mantra "publish or die" is well known. The same concept applies to Information Technology (IT) and virtually every other field. Publishing your ideas in one format or another is a critical step for positioning yourself as an expert. Once you are published, you are an expert; once you are an expert, you gain credibility.
Case studies and articles provide the most prevalent platforms for getting published in IT. Of the two, case studies are probably the most effective and are easier to start off with.