Are paper resumes outdated?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The answer of whether or not paper resumes are outdated can be best answered by the trends in the industry you’re applying to work in, so do your research.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.

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Overtime

Image from: http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/w/working_overtime.asp

Overtime is a sticky subject. Obviously, there are legal issues, but there are also culture, relationship and budget factors in the equation.

First and foremost, you should always refer to your letter of employment, employment contract and your employee handbook to answer questions about overtime in your specific company. The second set of resources are your direct supervisor and your Human Resources person. The third is observation. If you are just starting in a position, observe your coworkers. Are they putting in overtime? Are they including it on their time sheet?

Have you seen The Pitch on AMC? The culture in those offices is to work until the job is done, period. Now, granted, most of those employees are salaried, but the culture of the company is to work more than 40 hours a week.

No employer likes to be nickel and dimed. No employee likes to be monitored like a hawk for every five-minute increment. It’s time-consuming, micromanage-y and petty on both parties.

Let’s say for example, you are an hourly employee and in your letter of employment you are eligible for overtime. You typically work your 40 hours a week, but occasionally you’re asked to come in early or stay a little late. Usually, your direct supervisor considers the extra time to be “comp time” and lets you take a longer lunch or go to an appointment to balance everything out. In this instance, unless otherwise told by your direct supervisor, you should not be putting in for overtime pay. The unspoken rule could be interpreted rule that under three hours should be considered compensation time. When you adhere to this office culture practice, you’re showing you are a team player, conscientious of the cost and budget implications of paying you overtime.

What’s the overtime culture in your company?

Resume Gaps

Image from:http://www.survivingtherecession.net
A recent tweet from BrazenCareerist made me feel better about my own resume and gave me a sigh of relief. “Gaps in your resume are a good thing if they are filled w/ interesting projects and adventures. Makes you look more interesting. #HireFriday”

As a young journalist, I followed my then fiancée (now husband) to a new state practically half way across the country. Twice. This left me with some gaps in my resume.

Some older HR people frowned on these gaps and one recruiter flat-out told me it looked so bad the company would never consider me. This comment initially left me crushed. Then I realized, I probably didn’t want to work for this company if they were willing to judge me by the few months I wasn’t working instead of the time I was working.

While searching for a fulltime position, I waited tables and I freelanced as much as I could for whoever would pay me. Mostly, I realized just how much what I did for 40 hours a week defined me. The extra time allowed me to think about what I like and dislike about every job I’ve had and answer just about very interview question possible.

I truly hope that with today’s economy, those who frowned on my employment gaps have the sense to look beyond the gaps others may have.