Resumes the Way of the Dinosaur? Not in this Century!

DinosaurI recently read a blog post that suggested resumes may soon be a relic of the past. In the Forbes post, 2013: The Year of Social HR, the author points to trends indicating your Internet presence will be more important than your resume. The article states that “before you’re interviewed by a potential employer, expect the recruiting manager or hiring manager to check out one or more of the following sources about you: 1) the top ten searches on your name on either Google or Bing, 2) the number of Twitter followers you have and last time you tweeted, 3) the size and quality of your LinkedIn community, 4) the number and quality of recommendations you have on LinkedIn and 5) your Klout score.”

This begs the question of how you received the interest of the potential employer in the first place. Might it have been a resume? I certainly agree that a LinkedIn profile and online Web Portfolio can complement the traditional resume, but you’ll still need to tell a compelling story about your experience and expertise in the content of those online tools, especially at the executive and upper professional levels. How many executives are spending hours on social media, generating a following through entertaining tweets. And if they are, would your really want them running your operations?

I can see a strong social media presence being important for someone in marketing or advertising, but don’t you want your executives to be spending their time contributing to bottom line growth, running the company or their division? Even if you’re fresh out of college and just starting your career, do you really believe a 140 character tweet will get you in front of a hiring manager? And whether social media will completely replace traditional marketing as far as yielding ROI is not even up for debate at this point, it doesn’t and probably never will. Social media is just another arrow in the quiver of marketing managers.

Remember in the mid to late 90’s when there were dire predictions of Apple’s demise? The last time I checked, it remains an industry leading, technology powerhouse and has not gone the way of the dinosaurs. So too will resumes, in some form or another (LinkedIn, Web Portfolio’s, Online Resumes), always be with us. There’s no better way to share you skills and expertise.


New Year, New Job: 3 Steps to Achieve Your Resolution

Careers 2013Among the most common New Year’s resolutions, besides losing weight, getting into shape and spending less money is finding a new job. This is true for both employed as well as those currently unemployed. In fact, according to a survey of 2,250 U.S. adults conducted by Glassdoor, one in three employees plan to look for a new job in 2013.

As we all know, while important, it takes more than resolve to achieve your goals; it takes a plan. The following are the first three steps you should be taking toward achieving your career resolution:

Step 1: Set Your Sights on a Target.

It’s important to begin with the end in mind. Without a destination it’s difficult to map a route. The same is true in a career transition. In what has become a very competitive job market it’s essential to first have a goal in mind and then create a compelling, consistent communication strategy and marketing message that conveys your personal brand and value proposition as it relates to that goal.

Step 2: Get Your Resume In Order.

With your goal in mind, update your resume. Remember resumes need to be targeted towards the position you’re seeking. It should include a scintillating marketing statement, your outstanding business achievements (quantified when possible), of course your career history in reverse chronological order and your education.

Step 3: Update Your LinkedIn Profile.

LinkedIn continues to dominate as one of the most effective tools in a career transition. Having a captivating LinkedIn profile can mean the difference between a fast, efficient job search or a long, drawn out campaign. Not only do recruiters and hiring managers mine for candidates on LinkedIn, it’s the most useful tool to target companies in which you have an interest and to improve your network exponentially.

As Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Here are three steps that will get you started on your new path and a new position that could be a thousand times better than your last. But, if you really want to fast track your journey, hiring an expert in career transition could be the best and most important step you take.


Should You Include “Other Interests” On Your Resume?

ResumeAre your other interests interesting? Obviously they are to you, but how will the recipient of your résumé perceive them?

In a recent blog post, Employers Hire Potential Drinking Buddies Ahead Of Top Candidates, the author cites the results of an academic study by Lauren Rivera, an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s  Kellogg School of Management. Rivera found that people hired candidates who they liked and to whom they could relate rather than the most qualified person. Shocking? No. But Rivera’s accompanying anecdotes are very instructive.

She found that résumé reviewers looked at the “Other Interests” section of the résumé and would frequently make interviewing decisions based on the contents. In one instance, rejecting a candidate out of hand because the applicant enjoyed lacrosse, squash and crew and therefore would not fit in with the rough and tumble culture of the law firm to which he was applying.

However, at another company, the resume reviewer played squash and said she loved anyone else who did as well and would therefore be partial to that person.  The author of the article concluded you should include a section for “Other” or “Interests” on your résumé because “Your passion for squash or for running marathons might wind up getting you the job.” Or it might get you eliminated before you even have a chance to interview.

In my experience, the real estate on a résumé is precious and should be filled with your skills, accomplishments and relevant career history. Logistically, there often isn’t room for an “Other” or “Interests” section. But, more importantly, why take the chance of having an interest that will take you out of the running before you even reach the starting line. Save the other interests information for the interview where you can establish a rapport and see how well your pursuits and personal pastimes are playing.

I do have one caveat, if the corporate culture is a significant part of the company’s brand, i.e. The North Face, and your own personal passions and pursuits align with their extreme outdoor activity culture, then by all means add it to your résumé.