How to get the interview without the perfect resume

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What does it take to get the interview?

One of the best ways to get an interview for a job you qualify for is to have an awesome resume. One that matches the job description as closely as possible. A resume that shows an outstanding ability to get things done.

But most resumes are not a perfect fit for the job. They are often close to the job requirements, but not an exact match.

Another way to look at a resume, instead of it being the only way to get an interview, is to view the resume as a reference document. One that shows your job history, your accomplishments, and your education plus certifications. You use it as a reference document because another great way to get the interview is through your business network.

Your business network are people you know in your own company for internal openings and people in other companies for openings there.

Outside of my very first job out of college, every interview I ever got was initiated through someone I knew. Every. Single. One.

Yes, who you know makes a difference

People have a lot of bad connotations with “who you know, not what you know” type of comments. They shouldn’t.

Business, as I have often said, is social. You get work done with people. You tend to have friends that have certain characteristics and reject others because who they are doesn’t fit well with you. The same is true for work. It what makes up the opaque “corporate culture.”

It makes perfect sense, then, to reach out to people you know and discover what type of work is being done in their department or company. And it makes perfect sense to ask that person, if you are qualified, how to go about getting an interview.

And a resume had nothing to do with it.

This is how the hidden job market works

If you’re a Cubicle Warrior, your business network is so good that you’ll find out about jobs before they are ever posted. If they are posted, it will be because it is a formality — you’ve already interviewed and are just waiting for the job offer.

In this situation, the resume did not get you the interview. It becomes a reference document; a leave behind after the interviews are done.

Both resumes and your business network can get you the interview

The best approach, of course, is to have a fabulous resume that matches a job description and an extensive business network where you can search for open positions.

To be fair, the business network contacts will trump the resume every time. But that doesn’t mean resumes don’t count to get the interview — they do.

If you’re in the job search mode, you really help your chances of getting the interview by having both — the killer resume and the extensive business network.

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