A different resumé

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The traditional resumé entails that the first impression an employer has of us be on a sheet of paper, that we must sell our person, essentially, without the aid of a personality. This may be irrelevant for certain professions, but still employers have begun manipulating modern technologies to get a better idea of who their applicants are beyond the boundaries of an 8.5 X 11 stationary. Similarly, job seekers have also begun to take advantage of these technologies by means of the emerging form of video and visual resumés. The question is, are they as adequate and acceptable as their predecessors?

“There are definitely a lot of websites that are starting to sprout up that are encouraging people to create those types of resumés,” said Lauren Friese, founder of Talentegg.ca. “[However] we work with a lot of employers and there are very few of them that will accept a visual resumé.”

“That being said …. It really depends on what industry you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a job in marketing, something creative, then visual resumés are awesome and they really make you stand out.”

Talentegg.ca is an increasingly popular online career resource for graduate students and is based out of Toronto, Ontario. Friese emphasised that the traditional resumé is still a staple of job hunting, but that newer forms of resumés are a definite benefit to the process.

“I always say to students that when you find a job that doesn’t ask you to apply through a form, take the opportunity to stand out, to do something a little bit different. If they ask for a resumé and cover letter, give them a resumé and cover letter but maybe send them a link to your video resumé … [it is] not a mainstream tool for job hunting, but something that can augment a job application.”

There are various style options for visual resumés, such as the slide show format, an online slide hosting service which allows users to share and view visual presentations.

“Other non-static resumé formats that we prefer for candidates to use are linkedin.com and visualcv.com,” recommended Keturah Leonforde, career consultant of graduate and professional programs at Laurier’s Career Centre. Each offers an interactive posting base for your resumé which links employers to your other online networks. However, linkedin.com presents a more standard variation of the resumé format while visualcv.com includes more videos and graphics.

Although this new form of promoting ourselves to employers has not fully been integrated, there are certainly other ways for us to manipulate our current technologies in order to create a positive, lasting impression.

“Students need to remember that employers are Googling them,” said Friese. “Google yourself and see what comes up and make sure what’s there is an amazing personal brand.”

We may not always have the capacity to hand employers a particular image of who we are initially, but we can certainly determine what they find if they happen to go looking for one.

“The most important thing from an employer perspective is that you have a demonstrated interest in that industry… start a blog, comment on somebody else’s or build an online portfolio. Do what you can to build an online presence around whatever it is that you’re passionate about, whatever career you’re interested in pursuing,” concluded Friese.

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