Are paper resumes outdated?

A recent article from CNN makes a pretty good case for the single page, double spaced resume to go the way of cassette tapes.

The article quotes Gretchen Gunn, a principal at MGD Services, a staffing firm in Stockton, New Jersey as saying she doesn’t accept paper resumes and instead asks for them electronically.

Further, potential employees are becoming more and more creative in their applications. Like this Living Resume by Rachel King, “An ongoing collection of decidedly cool things I’ve done in my career, side gigs, and other projects.” The novelty helped her land a job at Adobe, according to the article.

Separating yourself from the other candidates is important. If you can do that in a creative way, you’ve got the attention of the hiring manager, who’s next step is probably going to be to check your social profiles.

Social sites like Facebook and Twitter give hiring managers a better sense of a “person’s judgment, personality and communication skills” thus making the formal resume obsolete. In the era of verifications, a quick Google search can reveal more information about a candidate’s work history and personality that type on a piece of paper.

The obvious first place for online resumes is LinkedIn. Though job seekers would prefer a job search function on Facebook, according to this Mashable article, the infrastructure isn’t there yet.

Facebook doesn’t have privacy screens or a way to separate personal and professional contacts,  the article states. Until Facebook offers these options, job seekers should look to the established sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

The answer of whether or not paper resumes are outdated can be best answered by the trends in the industry you’re applying to work in, so do your research. As always, you should read the job descriptions carefully and look for keywords like electronic, email, and look at the LinkedIn profiles of the person who is most likely to receive your cover letter.

Unlike in the past when all resumes looked the same, when it doubt it might be in your best interest to err on the side of standing out, rather than blending in.

TMI at Work

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Some people are great sharers. You will always know what they are thinking and feeling because they will tell you. Usually, I’m one of them. You’ll know where I stand on issues, topics and projects.

Then there are those people who share a little too much. I realize that bonding over ailments is something athletes (professional and recreational) do regularly. “A stress fracture, yikes, I’ve had one of those and here’s my story,” is a fairly common conversation during a run, in that context. Only. But telling me at work about your stomach issues, or other very personal maladies, will make even me uncomfortable.

There’s a great article from the CNN about 13 Things To Keep Private At Work. I emphatically agree with all the points.

Now, for how to address these all too common faux pas. If you notice your co-workers avoiding you or their body language indicates they are uncomfortable (blushing, leaning away, etc.) you might be over sharing. There are different bench marks for different topics. Such as would you tell a total stranger on the metro about your health issue? Would you let your children overhear you talking about your ex-wife that way?

I’ve found it is much better to err on the side of caution and share too little than too much. If the person wants to know more they’ll ask and if you are comfortable sharing, then go ahead. Otherwise keep your mouth shut.

My Thought’s on CNN’s: Twitter can give edge to job seekers

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I’m not sure how I feel about CNN telling everyone how to use Twitter to get a job (article here). Without a community to engage I can’t see it working.

While the general overall advice is very sound (I checked with those who speak on such things) and I agree with the points, I am imagining my [insert family member] hopping on Twitter much like they did Facebook and leaving out certain crucial steps.

Such as forgetting the entire purpose is to build relationships and communities with other people, not to constantly push your job search without interaction. Besides, if you are not interesting and interactive, no one will follow you. If no one is following you, no one knows you are looking for a job.

Moreover, just because you know someone in real life, does not mean you need to comment on every little thing they tweet. I was never so happy as when Facebook invented the like button so certain relatives could just click like instead of typing an irrelevant message on my wall.

My favorite point in the article is: “If all you can offer is a retweet of other people’s messages, then you probably don’t need to be on Twitter.” That to me, means have a viewpoint. Have opinions. Have ideas. Find things that interest you and share them. Engage in conversations with others about those subjects.

To me, Twitter is about sharing. It gives me a place to share and learn about topics I might not explore otherwise and gain greater knowledge on topics I am already knowledgeable about it.

I have met people I never would have without Twitter. Many of whom I view as mentors and friends. Just like I wouldn’t have a one-sided conversation with a friend over dinner, I don’t want to have a one-sided conversation with someone on Twitter.

As for the Twitter haters, I’m over them. There will always be people unwilling to embrace a new technological tool. I didn’t see the value until I started using Twitter personally. I try to share why I find Twitter valuable, but there are some people who just refuse to understand or accept that it works for me. I’ve decided that’s ok.