Resumes, Resumes, Resumes 2 Comments

Like many job searchers in the social media field, I have more than one resume. I have the one that highlights who I am in the social media and online spaces. I have one that highlights my technical skills. I have one that shows every job I have held since 1991.

I recently went to a job fair that offered resume advice. I decided to test out what they would do with a resume like mine. I had three goals:

  1. To see if they had any ideas on how to create a resume set that showed both the technical and non-technical sides of my career.
  2. To see if there was any way to shorten the resume other than going to a font size smaller than 9.
  3. To see if they knew of any new ideas in creating resumes for today’s online world.

The first thing the woman said when I sat down was “You do design work don’t you?” I don’t really. I mean, I do PPT for a living. But design? Nope, I am a technician – not a designer. What caused her to ask then? My resume looked different than any she had seen:

Beautiful design, isn’t it? I can’t take credit for it. I started from the “Professional Resume (Streamlined Layout)” from Word 2007’s template set. Yes, I played around with it. But not much. And the changes I made were minor enough that you could do it too.

Ok… So that is the first lesson learned:
Create something from a start that no one else has thought to use yet.

Question 1: Creating a multifaceted resume set
I know that I need different resumes for different jobs. I get that – really – I do. But… that doesn’t really work for what I need. When I send in a resume that has been targeted for one or the other of my career foci, If I get a response, it asks, “What about all these gaps? What did you do then?” Or (worse yet), “You know about the software creation process? How come? You don’t show anything about that in your resume!” Not a solution at all… So, I asked the expert.

Her response? Along the lines of “Well… you could take out some of the details, but I wouldn’t want you to take out these, or these, or these, or…”, all the while pointing to the smallest sections in the resume.

Not much help there. But the conversation led to…
Shortening my resume

Here, we did come up with an idea that I liked. She suggested that I make the front page more of a “landing site” style. She thought that a business card with the URL for my social media landing site and my blog on it would do the trick. As I walked around the room, I tried it. Being a good business owner, I always have business cards on them. Most of that info was already on the card. The result? “Do you have one of your resumes with you as well?”

I think that the problem at that job fair was that people weren’t looking for people who do what I do. I got some interest, but no strong leads. I have gotten more responses from this online. I have created a version of my resume that follows the look above, but adds my online stuff before the job details. That section looks like this:

But that gives us the first second learned:
Rearrange your information. Put the interesting stuff on top. Even if you are doing a chronological resume.

As for new ideas…
I was really looking for some new way to make my resume stand out and sparkle. She didn’t know any or any ways to make the resume submission process any faster.

I wouldn’t have even gone to the job fair if it weren’t for a good friend who wanted company on the drive across town. Once there, I learned that I am further ahead of the game than many – I have a resume that works. I can get people enthused about connecting with online communities. I need to be patient until the right job comes along.

What’s more…
My connections online and offline will come through for me. Like the friend who encouraged me to join her at the job fair, other friends make sure I am motivated and keep chugging. Even with all the hassles of doing an online job search, connections will keep you smiling and chugging and trying. After all…

Thanks to a set of connections on Twitter, I found The Talent Buzz and learned that there (finally) several recruiters on Twitter. Guess it is time to pull out the old 160 character job search tweet and repost it.

And… Thanks to Jane Chin, who I know via Plurk, I checked out I like the idea of a non-traditional resume style. It was work to get my information in there right, but hopefully it will get noticed.

So that is the third lesson learned:
Connections help!

Submitted by Kathy Jacobs for the August 2008 Talent Buzz blog contest.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

Tags: ,
  • Posted on: Monday, August 25th, 2008