Of Diplomas and Resumes

So, I’m getting my hair cut and the topic of the stylist’s minimum-wage employed daughters comes up. They are both in their 20s and working in the fast-food industry. My stylist is lamenting about how they’ve sent out “thousands” of resumes but can’t find a job. “They need to get their bachelor’s degree to even have a shot at finding careers,” she states definitively.

She’s bought hook, line, and SINKER what society is selling even though the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming!

It’s beyond sad to me that the main pathway in most people’s minds is the traditional one. Study hard, get into a good college, get good grades, score an interview, and land a job in the field of your studies. Hah! Maybe 20 years ago that approach worked to some extent, but today stories like that are the exception to the rule. Statistically, only 15% of people end up working in the field of their studies.

I tried to say all that, but she was buying none of it. She was convinced that it was only the lack of a bachelor’s degree that was holding them back.

Here’s what I definitively know as an employer and someone who has seen many people succeed in finding good careers…

It’s who you know more than what you know. If you want to earn an interview with a company don’t only attempt to open the door with a resume, open a window through networking.

Passion sells. If you want to sell yourself to a potential employer, sell yourself by being passionate about what it is the company does. If you can’t get passionate about their products or process, keep looking until you find something you can be passionate doing.

Be a student. Getting good grades in college is fine, but to get ahead at work you better be a student of the “game” you’re playing – namely the company that employees you. Learn all you can about how that company makes money and help it to make even more!

…Or you can just take the traditional path, pay for a degree, send out resumes, and hope for the best.