Current and Future Resume Trends
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post; the word “Resumé” is a North American term coined from the Latin and French words meaning “re-take” and “summary.” It is the word we’ve chosen to define the document which summarizes one’s education, profession and related experiences.
As the world migrates to a digital business community, resume writing has begun to lag behind, sticking to the more staid resume conventions featuring lengthy objective statements and overly flowery language that perhaps lacks real substance. The ‘meat’ would be left for the interview. In the last 12 months however, things have begun to evolve rapidly. More and more candidates are finding that dusting off a resume from 10, 5 or even 2 years ago and simply adding in their most recent job description does not pull in the career opportunities. Employers in today’s market receive so many applicants that your worth must be instantly identifiable. In any job market, but especially in a depressed economy, it is crucial to spend time focusing on the true function of the resume – namely scoring that important interview.
So what does attract an employer?
It’s less about what you want and more about what they need. So, throw out the summary explaining what your objectives are – and replace it with a company-focused value proposition, with one or two well-written sentences about what you bring to the table for your potential employer.
Then, most importantly, you need to get down to the real business of selling yourself. Marketing your own self-worth is not within many people’s comfort zones – but that’s exactly what it takes to land an interview in today’s market. Just as, if you’re a company doing business in 2011 without a website to back up your proposition you will lack credibility, it just doesn’t pay to be a job seeker these days without the whole package. An attention-grabbing resume and well-written cover letter is no longer enough – an active online presence in the form of a social media profile is imperative.
Resume’s worth their salt right now – and going forward – include links to professional networking and self-marketing sites such as LinkedIn and Google+. But if you choose to include a link on your resume to your LinkedIn profile, you have to spend time getting it right. A potential employer taking the trouble to visit your LinkedIn site isn’t going to want to see a bare profile, or an insignificant assortment of connections to your friends. They want to see solid and relevant associations, personal references, a great portfolio and in short – a professional reflection of you and how others perceive you. A good rule of thumb would be 3 or 4 recommendations for every 100 contacts. Be relevant and be thorough. Cover every base; showcasing your public info where hiring authority’s can find you is more important than ever. Don’t forget to update your profiles regularly.
One further trend that we are beginning to see used occasionally in resume-writing is infographics. A dashboard view of your skills and experience at a glance, infographics can be an attention-grabbing demonstration of your capabilities. The resume examples at mostcreativeresumes.com are a case-in-point, showing how graphic designers have managed to get noticed. Sites such as visualize.me and cvgram.me will guide you in that direction. Adding a QR code can help differentiate you as well. This interesting visual representation of you can be incredibly valuable but it must be used carefully. Be cautious in ensuring your resume still has substance (you still need a value proposition). If your career has jumped around all over the place it’ll simply look like a gimmick, but if your infographic shows steady progression or demonstrates experience in a multitude of areas that the position you are applying for requires, then an infographic is a perfect way to stand out from the crowd.
Video resumes or personal video presentations are becoming more popular as well – but proceed with caution. Yes, a great idea for an aerobics instructor or a public speaker, but for a shipping manager? You’d better do it well or you’ll fall flat on your face. Rather than getting the interview, you’ll be standing out for the wrong reasons.
It’s worth keeping an element of control in mind with tools like Skype. It can be easy to sign up to all manner of communication tools, advertise your connectivity and then promptly forget about ever joining, never mind keeping up with yet another profile. If you join and add your Skype contact to LinkedIn, you must ensure you at least have a professional picture, keep Skype open and pick up your messages.
In summary, job seeking trends are following just one step behind the digital evolution. Exploit all the new tools you can, but make sure your online persona is substantial and well thought out, with strict attention to detail. Abide to the old adage – do it properly or not at all!
So will your profile eventually evolve into a sophisticated per-programmed hologram that can interview live anytime?
Is the standard resumé on its way out? What does the resume of the future look like?
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