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

Web Portfolios: The Cutting Edge in Executive Job Search

Web PortfolioEven the most accomplished executives need help branding and packaging themselves for today’s competitive market. Besides a well-written, attention grabbing resume that tells your stories and highlights your skills and achievements, you also need an online presence in the form of a web portfolio. Why a web portfolio?

Logistics. A web portfolio designed with HTML5 enables hiring managers and executives to see your background even when they’re on the go. By including the URL to your web portfolio in your signature line or sending a link via email, the recipient can open an impressive display about you on any tablet, iphone, android or mobile device anywhere they have Internet access. You can also include the link on your LinkedIn profile.

Beyond the resume. A web portfolio allows you to go beyond the resume, enabling you to add sections on successful projects, accolades, articles, patents or any other achievements that will sell you and your brand to the decision maker.

Tech savvy and very “today”. Web portfolios aren’t just for creative types, techies and recent graduates. They show you’ve not only embraced our Internet age, you’ve mastered it. This can be very important for more experienced and shall we say mature executives.

Marketing magic. An expertly written, attractive web portfolio turns you into a cutting-edge candidate who truly stands out. Having a sophisticated, polished web presence gives you a leg up on the competition. You can get that leg up at The Imagemakers, Ink!™ LLC with one of our exceptional web portfolios.

A well-written resume and well-designed web portfolio is the one-two punch you need to knock-out the competition and should be a part of every executive and professional career campaign.



4 Must Haves for a Winning Resume

ResumeWith the hundreds of thousands of resumes floating through cyberspace, being handed out at career fairs and passed among your friends, colleagues and hopefully an ever-expanding network, how do you make sure you stand out? The following addresses the four must haves for a winning resume.

1. Targeted. When writing your resume, you must have a goal in mind, a target at which you’re aiming. As Stephen R. Covey says, “start with the end in mind.” If you don’t know what you want to do, how can you expect to get the message across to others.

From top to bottom, your resume needs to have a single purpose: if you’re looking for a sales position play up things like deals you’ve won, teams you’ve built and accounts you’ve managed; if operations is  your bag, focus on processes you’ve implemented or improved and times you’ve cut costs; if you’re in marketing, accentuate the campaigns you’ve created, the channels you’ve expanded into, the market share you’ve won. You get the idea. You want to make it easy for the reader to see that you have everything it takes to succeed in the position for which you’re vying.

2. Marketing Statement. You should begin the document with a powerful marketing statement that really emphasizes your strengths. Remember that when you’re in a job search, you are your product. Therefore, you should stress what distinguishes you in the competitive job market, or in other words, develop your personal brand. That means name dropping if you’ve got great company names in your background, underscoring significant achievements and really highlighting what makes you the best choice.

I’ve had some clients send me the resumes they’re using that are just not working for them. One of the problems, the document begins with an objective statement regarding what it is they’re looking for. Objective statements are passé, from another era. The reason why marketing statements are so much more powerful: an objective statement is about what you want while a marketing statement is about your strengths and accomplishments and how they can be of use to your target audience. It’s not about you, it’s about what you can do for them.

3. Key Words. The importance of key words is twofold. Many hiring managers, recruiters and HR departments use software to scan resumes for key words. Additionally, when you post your resume on job boards or build your profile on sites like LinkedIn, potential employers and recruiters often use key words to search for  good candidates. Besides the electronic aspect of key word searches, highlighting the key words helps the reader see the skills you bring to the table.

4. Results Oriented Accomplishments. For everything we do in our jobs, there’s a goal that you’re striving for; did you achieve it? I often see resumes that talk about what the individual did, but fail to say whether they did it successfully. Also, whenever possible it’s great to quantify your accomplishments. If you grew sales by $2 million then say that, if you reduced costs by 50% that should be in there too. Quantifying accomplishments makes them stand out and adds credibility to your achievements.

I often have clients tell me that they have trouble “blowing their own horn” or they just have a hard time telling their own story. They’ve realized the importance of having a resume that illustrates their personal brand that they can use as a marketing tool to get in front of decision makers and that’s why they’ve turned to The Imagemakers, Ink!, to help them tell a compelling story that makes them stand out from the crowd.