Friday, May 3, 2013

R.I.P to the Traditional Paper Resume

By Alyssa Ramirez

Times have drastically changed and technology is evolving every second. The use of the Internet has dramatically escalated in both our personal and professional lives; we practically live on the web. Due to this radical change in technology, the job market is evolving as well and the traditional rituals when applying for a job are closer than ever to becoming obsolete.

So what does the old-fashioned, black and white, paper resume make of all this? Not much. The possibilities that the Internet has created for us are endless and the capabilities of social media, program software, and online design tools can show you off far more than can a plain piece of paper that looks identical to everyone else’s. And that’s exactly where the future of the resume is going: on the web.

Gone is the day when we are forced to cram all of our experience into one page on Microsoft Word. So long to all of the strict verb usage and different synonyms to describe your experience in such a dull and uninspiring manner.  But it seems as if not everyone has gotten the memo that visual resumes are the way to go.

See, what people haven’t caught on to yet is that when employers list a hot job position that is available on the web, they receive millions of resumes via email every day. Now this employer has to work through all of the resumes – which all happen to roughly look the same – to search for a select few that stands out to them to respond to. Sadly, having an excessive amount of awesome experience isn’t going to cut it anymore – if they don’t take the time to see past your name on top of the page – especially in a time when employment is hard to get for a new college graduate or anyone, period.

You have to make your resume stand out from the crowd. You have to capture the attention of the person hiring, and there are many great ways and tools to do so. But only a few of the brave have stepped out of the box and turned their boring resumes into something that is more creative and compelling. Most job seekers haven’t caught on to this new trend that is little by little making great changes. They continue to send in the traditional resume and then wonder why they never got a call for an interview. Now this is not saying that everyone shouldn’t keep one of these on hand, but we should all consider “selling ourselves” in a more captivating and exciting manner.

It’s called “personal branding.” Yes, this means that it is in now in our best interest to find ways to advertise ourselves to people looking to hire us. Be creative; what do you represent? Display your interests, hobbies, and online character for the world to see and you’re guaranteed to get at least one employer interested in what you have to offer.

There are many ways to fire up your personal brand or resume. You can get the most out of social media resumes, video resumes, or visual resumes. Websites such as LinkedIn, an online network for professionals, are made to highlight your professional attributes and experiences. Employers are jumping on to LinkedIn each day to search for potential hires and much of their judgment on you comes from that one profile, so it’s in your best interest to polish it as much as you can. You are also encouraged to clean up and polish your personal social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter, because they’ll be on the hunt for those too.

Job seekers should also consider creating a website that displays their skills, interests, and background in a unique way. But it doesn’t stop there; the possibilities are endless. You can make a creative video about yourself and what you have to offer and launch it on YouTube or the new video app, Vine. You can create a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation and share it on SlideShare. You can find unique ways to brand yourself on Instagram or Twitter. Everything is fair game and employers are actually interested in seeing how innovative you can get.

Alyssa Ramirez is a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas College and is graduating this May with a Bachelor's degree in Social Science and a minor in Public Relations. After graduating she is interested in pursuing a career in public relations, marketing, and event planning.


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