We’re launching a new weekly Web TV show on Tuesdays. It’s an, “Ask the Career Coach” platform. To kick it off, we invited our community to send us questions to be answered on the show. Guess what the most popular questions were about? Resumes.

Here are just a few we received:

One page or two?
Objective statement or not?
Font size 11 or 12?
Education at the top or the bottom?
Include dates or not?
Change it to fit each job posting?
And yet, none of the answers to these questions matter if you don’t have one thing: a strategy for getting your resume directly in the hands of a human being who is connected in some way to the hiring process.

A Resume Only Works When Someone’s Expecting It

All the formatting in the world will not get your resume noticed. Especially, when you submit your resume online and it goes through a company’s ATS (applicant tracking system). The chances your resume will be an exact keyword match is slim-to-none. Which means, the recruiter or hiring manager will never even see it. Wasting hours on end trying to create the perfect resume is a big time suck that doesn’t provide a good return on investment.

Your Resume Doesn’t Get You the Job – Your Reputation Does

If you want your resume to be useful in a job search, then it needs be put directly into the hands of the person you want to read it, along with a recommendation that it’s worth reading. That way, instead of “screening you out,” the person reading it will want to “screen you in,” based on the referral. If you are looking for a job, you know the statistic: 80%+ of all jobs are gotten via referral. You must leverage your professional network so when a job you want is posted, you can reach out to your colleagues and ask them to help you get your resume in front of the hiring manager. Don’t have a big enough network? Well, that’s why you’re here on Linkedin! It exists to help you expand your professional connections.

Now, I’m Not Saying Resume Design Doesn’t Matter

Please know, I’m not suggesting you ignore the design of your resume. You still need a clean, focused, error-proof document to submit to a human being. Otherwise, all that hard work to get it in the right hands will be for nothing. I’m just telling you if you think constantly tweaking your resume and submitting it online is what will get you hired, then you are going to continue to look for a job for a very long time. In fact, if you watch our Web TV show, you’ll hear me explain why “less is more” when it comes to resumes today and how to use a simplified resume to get more calls from recruiters and hiring managers.

Just remember, a resume is a marketing tool for your business-of-one. Without the right audience to give it to, it’s useless!

P.S. – First time reading my posts?Thanks for taking the time to stop by! Not only do I write for Linkedin, but I’m also founder of a popular career advice site,CAREEREALISM,and currently run the career coaching program,CareerHMO. I hope you’ll check them both out!