Is A Résumé Service A Good Idea?

John asks Dave if he would hire a résumé service, and if so, which one would he choose. Dave says he wouldn't, because as Dave explains it, résumés don't get you very far.

QUESTION: John in Texas asks Dave if he would hire a résumé service, and if so, which one would he choose. Dave says he wouldn’t, because as Dave explains it, résumés don’t get you very far.

ANSWER: I wouldn’t, because I hire a lot of people, and very seldom do we hire somebody off of a résumé. Very seldom do they even get the interview off of the résumé. They get the interview off of other things. If it’s a technical field, you need to be sure you list the technical skills that you have, but résumés are not magic wands. Any employer who hires solely off a résumé, you don’t want to work for them. They’re too stupid to work for. If you were hiring somebody, would you hire off a stack of papers and go through them and hire based on what’s on that piece of paper? No, I’m going to hire based on the interview, the next interview, and the next interview, and the next interview. I’m going to hire checking their references. I’m going to hire by checking out their skillset. Different people in our company are going to talk to them. I’m going to talk to their spouse. Their spouse is going to ask us questions. We’re going to go through a thorough process to make sure we’ve got a good person who has the skills. We don’t hire skills; we hire people who have skills.

What I would do is broaden your goals a little bit past aircraft. You’ve got skills in spatial things—try to get in with someone who’s doing that. You could find a whole career in something that’s related to that rather than looking at a narrow scope. The point is, I don’t think a résumé is going to get you this. You need to clarify exactly what it is about these things that you like, and I think you can get a position with one of them. A lot of companies that do things like manufacturing and involve engineering are willing to pay for you to do your continuing education. It’s possible. I think you might be able to finish up your degree that way while working for someone else.