Guest Post: Multimedia – Breaking the Resume Mold in the 21st Century

Qualified candidates are regularly overlooked, and for the simplest of reasons: they didn’t plug the right combo of buzzwords into their resumes. Candidates are taking things into their own hands. In an attempt to circumvent the keyword-laden resume game, job seekers are adopting a more creative approach to captivating recruiters. Rather than dropping the resume altogether, the trend seems to be more focused on breaking away from over-automation and a return to the heart of what makes a good hire.

Laurie Barkman of The Resumator explains, “We’ve been told for a long time, ‘This is how you do recruiting, and here’s what matters,’ but organizations are now more interested in interactions that help to determine a good fit. And more nimble organizations are looking at people beyond the resume.”

All of that sounds nice, sure, but what’s working and what’s not? There are certain guidelines that you should always follow when submitting a resume regardless of mode of delivery, but are candidates simply covering up mistakes with aesthetics? If you ask me, resumes and the mulitmedia techniques being used are essentially marketing tools–and the function they serve isn’t changing. As Barkman states, “The question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Can multimedia enhance that message?’” If the answer is yes, there are four channels a candidate can tap into to accomplish this:

1.    Adding a Face and Voice with Video. By replacing a cover letter with a quick video pitch, job seekers can showcase skills and abilities lost in translation in a traditional resume. As Bruce Hurwitz of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing says, “Video can increase my confidence in a candidate’s ability to successfully interview–Is she professional? Is she articulate?–or eliminate a candidate from consideration.” Of course, time is money, and candidates need to give recruiters a reason to keep watching. My advice: personality is great, but don’t get too cute. Balance is key.

2.    Bringing Flat Resumes to Life with Infographics. Breaking out of the traditional resume template isn’t easy without a degree in design. But presenting a recruiter with a more visually stimulating overview of experience and qualifications can go a long way in setting a candidate apart. Thankfully, it doesn’t take an Adobe Illustrator savant to turn a boring old resume into an interesting infographic. Not only are these easy to create, but they’re easy to share across multiple channels.

3.    Showing Off on Personal Blogs. Blogs are an excellent platform for candidates to showcase their hobbies, writing and communication skills, and general interests. Think they’re just for marketing candidates? Think again. Even a meat cutter at Whole Foods can run a successful butcher blog to establish expertise and share experience with an avid audience. And candidates for and candidates for artistic positions can showcase their portfolio of work.

About the Author: Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice, a resource for selecting a talent management or an applicant tracking system. Kyle reports on trends and best practices in HR and recruiting software—offering fresh insights into the ho-hum of people processes. For further reading, you can find this article in full on his HR blog.

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