ZipRecruiter has over 25 million resumes posted on their website. Another 660 million people have a profile on LinkedIn.

The question I have is, How are you supposed to stand out in a noisy world?

I have two friends recently looking for employment. The first one after close to 25 years of service finally had something open up for him to move up. He was passed up for someone much younger. The second friend went back to school to get better credentials and is now looking to be rewarded for those efforts and manage the debts that she has accumulated. I offered her an opportunity to create her own position with us. The catch was that she had to go get the funding but she would get to keep the profits. She is still waiting to be picked by someone else.

Before I started Pivot Adventure, I was a recreation programmer for a local city. How long would it take me to be a CEO of another nonprofit or a Director somewhere? 15 years? 20? Perhaps never. Yet, the day I left that job to start this one, overnight I was instantly in charge.

You are never going to be rewarded waiting around for someone to pick you. The alternative then is to pick yourself.

There is this nickname that really good investigative journalist earned during the Progressive Era (1890’s – 1920’s). It was Muckrakers. The nickname came from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress describing a person with a muck-rake who rejected salvation to focus on the filth.

Bingo. This is the work of a true professional.

Someone who is willing to dig deeper than a quick Google search. Someone who is putting in the hours day in and day out behind the scenes that is getting better at their craft. The person who is persistent in their search for truth or mastery. The one in the trenches.

Do you honestly believe the answer to finding a vocation is to spend more time spamming recruiters or waiting for a promotion?

Of course not.

The problem isn’t your resume. And volume isn’t going to change anything either. A resume is just another chance to sort you out. Don’t speak a second language? Don’t have a Masters? Too bad. They have a stack of a couple hundred that do.

You don’t need to polish your resume or get more education or wait to be picked. What you need is more guts. And most importantly, get your hands in the muck.