Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Resume Trends You Should Know

Attaining Success Through An Alternative Route

About a decade ago, I received a resume from a job candidate that was rolled into a scroll and slipped into the knot on a brand new sneaker. A card that came with the box read, "I just wanted to get my foot in the door." Did it work? As a matter of fact, yes. I was impressed by the applicant's ingenuity (although I wondered just how many pairs of sneakers she had bought for the sake of her job search). It was a risk, though as some recruiters would have been instantly turned off by her gimmick.

These days, alternative resumes go even further. Some job applicants send video resumes, audio resumes, Power Point slideshow presentations, or links to their personal websites. Others have posted resumes on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. Before you jump on the alternative resume bandwagon, be sure to think carefully about your choice of alternative resume. Your choice should be uniquely appropriate to the industry or position you are applying for. Here are five types of alternative resumes that you might want to consider - and the situations in which you should, and should not, consider them:

  • A slideshow resume, such as a PowerPoint presentation. A PowerPoint slide show presentation is a good way to present visual information that can be contained in a still photo shot, while also providing the basics about you, your education, and your experience. It also shows that you know how to use PowerPoint! You can store a slideshow resume at a website such as Slideshare, SlideRocket, or Prezi. However, do not turn your resume into a PowerPoint presentation if you do not have any visual information to convey. A traditional resume already has short sections and bullet points so breaking it up into a slideshow will not add any additional information. All that will accomplish is requiring a human resources manager to take more time to look at it.

  • A video resume. You can make a video resume at websites such as BriteTab.com, OptimalResume.com, InterviewStudio.com, and ResumeBook.tv - or you can simply make your own. You can store a video resume at sites such as Vimeo or YouTube. It makes sense to provide a video resume if you are applying for a job where charisma is important, such as a job in sales, or a job where creativity is important, such as a job in marketing. Don't send out a video resume, however, unless the video and audio quality are stellar - or you may do more harm than good.

  • An audio resume. An audio resume is a good idea if you are applying for a job in which your phone skills are crucial, such as a call center job or a receptionist. It gives a recruiter a chance to hear and assess your voice and to determine how professional you sound. However, most recruiters tend to like to have a physical document to read through for easy access. If you provide an audio resume, be sure to send along a transcript as well.

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