New book recommends you "Forget the Resume" to get a job

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Have you been looking for a job without success? A new book, Forget the Resume, says traditional methods may not be working and recommends a totally different approach.

If you're looking for a job, you're likely writing cover letters, posting your resume online, and attending job fairs. Marketing expert John Lee wrote in his book Forget the Resume, those approaches may not be getting the job done.

If you submit your resume to job search websites, Lee says many companies use technology to scan them for key words related to the job opening. If you don't use the right words, your resume won't get noticed.

"It has caused a lot of people to be left out that are really very qualified individuals," Lee explains.

So rather than only pursuing posted job openings, Lee recommends marketing yourself like a product to companies where you want to work, even if they're not hiring now.

"Find out about all the companies that are in (the industry), that are players in it, that you would like to work for, limited to twelve companies with a backup of four," he says.

Then research the industry and write a position paper about trends and topics, and what you could do to help each company. "I treated myself as a product. So instead of a job search, I did a product launch. And the product was me," Lee told us.

Then he says call the CEO's office. "It's kind of scary, I'm not going to lie to you. At first it was a little daunting for me."

Lee says you don't really want to talk to the CEO, but rather their admin, who can refer you to the hiring manager or executive who oversees your area of expertise. Then set up a meeting to pitch how you can help.

"You have to tailor the message to them. It has to be them-centric, not me-centric."

Lee also recommends volunteering for professional associations in your field. "If you start doing that and start to get a name, people see you as a peer. Then you're getting your name and word out."

He says even if a company isn't hiring now, they could keep you in mind for when they are hiring, or even create a position for you.

By the way, Lee says don't literally forget your resume. You'll need it for the interview. "Forget the resume in a sense of don't use it as a first line of defense. It's not necessarily the most effective because there are a ton of them out there," Lee explains.

You can read more about Lee's book and workshops at