The Evolution of the Resume

The Evolution Of The ResumeIn the beginning there was man . . . and man had a job, to be fruitful and multiply . . . and it was good. Finding a job was easy. Of course you had to be appealing to the opposite sex in order to fulfill your responsibilities, but while you may have needed to interview well, you didn’t need a resume. As humanity evolved, merely being fruitful and multiplying wasn’t sufficient. As the earth became more populated, the competition increased, to be fruitful and multiply one had to become more appealing and develop new talents to attract a mate, thus great hunters and gatherers were born. Again, the fruits of your labor were apparent without the need of a resume.

Still the world continued to transform and to survive in the ever changing landscape, men and women adapted. Merely hauling a bison body on your back or gathering grains and bearing berries would no longer suffice, now people needed to do more to compete for mates, they needed good jobs with benefits, that meant acquiring more modern skills and oftentimes an education.

Since the fruits of their labor were less obvious and it would be difficult and unwieldy to take your cave drawings to a potential employer, the resume was born. Evolving from a document written on parchment with a reed or quill pen, we advanced to paper, typewriters and white-out. We started with an objective statement and we sent out mass mailings.  Oh, but we have come a long, long way in the evolution of the resume. Objective statements (what I want) are passé and have evolved into marketing statements (what you, the employer wants that I have) and we’ve learned that mass mailings don’t work, we need to use our caveman instincts with a focused target to win in today’s job hunt.

The resume has transformed to the point that not only do we not put pen to paper, we may not even print to paper. With the advent of email and the Internet, sometimes your well-crafted, beautifully formulated document never gets printed at all. It’s created, sent and viewed entirely online. It has also transformed beyond a mere resume into an online presence on LinkedIn, where hiring managers, executives and recruiters can find it instantly. And most recently, the resume has also entered a new evolutionary phase, becoming an online presence in and of itself in the form of a cutting-edge web portfolio.

Do we still need resumes? Absolutely! They’re the basis for your online presence; some people have not gone entirely paperless, and you should print your resume (and if you’re an executive, your bio) and bring it with you on your interviews. But, if you want to truly demonstrate that you’re progressing and growing with the changing world, you need to leave your caveman days behind and join Gen Z in a competition that’s morphed from earthbound hunting grounds to cyberspace and the World Wide Web.

~ Linda

An Executive Decision: What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

question_markDoes anyone really know what they want to be when they grow up? I’m posing this question because I think it’s one that most of us ask throughout our lives. While it’s an obvious question that young people ask themselves, surprisingly, it’s also often asked by accomplished executives who’ve had very successful careers.

When you think about it, it’s actually not surprising at all. These are people who are goal driven and ambitious. They’re often visionaries and innovators. They create ideas and strategies and  implement them, seeing them through to completion before moving onto their next challenge. So, it actually makes sense that these leaders would not be content to rest on their laurels, would not be able to spend their “golden years” on the golf course, would not easily retire and would be asking the question, “what do I want to be when I grow up?”

Personally, I’ve asked the question myself as I’ve made a variety of career moves in search for a new challenge. Many years ago, before googling became a verb, I even googled the question. While that’s not where you’ll find the answer, you can read some interesting articles. The answer lies within us and arriving at the answer requires introspection as well as pragmatic thinking.

The introspection is to determine what you truly enjoy, what makes you jump out of bed in the morning, what energizes you. The pragmatic involves looking at the skill sets you’ve developed over the years, your record of accomplishments, the things that make you most marketable.

While most executives can answer the question about what they enjoy, it often takes a seasoned coach to draw out their transferable and marketable skills; to help them really brand and market themselves as they determine their next career move and to help them see where the introspective and pragmatic intersect.

Other alternatives for finding the answer … well, I guess now instead of googling the question, you can just ask Siri.

~Linda

4 Tips to Leverage LinkedIn

LinkedInI’m on LinkedIn, now what? That’s a question I hear from time to time. Or, I’ve filled out my profile on LinkedIn and nothing is happening. Those are comments from passive job seekers, those that are sitting back and waiting to be “discovered.”

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for job seekers, but like any tool, it takes more than just having it in your toolbox, you have to use it. First, you should optimize your LinkedIn profile with your most marketable attributes and skill sets. Include quantifiable successes, key words, a professional picture, recommendations and make sure your profile is 100% complete. For some people, with skills that are in high demand, just having a great profile on LinkedIn can be enough because recruiters do use LinkedIn to mine for candidates.

However, if you’re truly interested in making a career move and doing so in a timely manner it takes time and effort. Spending quality time on LinkedIn can lead to a rewarding position. The following are four tips your competitors who are waiting to be “discovered” are not doing:

1. Build your professional network.

Once you’ve perfected your profile now’s the time to show it off. Reach out to friends, colleagues, alumni, and acquaintances. It’s not necessarily about the quantity of your connections, it’s more about the quality. True, having a lot of connections will give you more information when you run searches on LinkedIn, but having quality connections who you can reach out to for introductions is more effective when you’re trying to network into a company.

2. Use the Advanced Searches.

When you see a job posting anywhere, your first step should be to run an advanced search on LinkedIn and see if your connected to someone at that company. It is about who you know to get your foot in the door. But more importantly, LinkedIn is best if utilized to target the unpublished market by networking. If you’re serious about finding a job, you should be using LinkedIn to build your network and target the unpublished job market.

3. Target and follow companies for whom you’d like to work.

Use the advanced search to target companies and identify people at those companies to connect with. Also, if you follow companies where you’d like to work you’ll see their posted activities including job openings or updates about their business that may inspire you to reach out to them regardless of whether they have an opening. Yes, companies will create positions for the right candidate.

4. Participate in Groups.

You can expand your network on LinkedIn by joining groups in your area of interest and asking to connect to other group members. Additionally, by participating in group discussions you can show off your expertise and become recognized in your industry.

Remember, just having a hammer and some nails won’t get that house built, like everything worthwhile, it takes applying yourself thoughtfully and intentionally to build a solid career.

Linda Lupatkin – The Imagemakers, Ink! LLC – Resumes, Bios, Career Coaching and Consulting