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.

Guest Post: Social Net Works!

I believe in social networking! As a career consultant I use social media tools to help job seekers by sharing blog posts and relevant news.  What I’ve found over the past several years is that I’ve built real friendships with interesting people all over the country and all over the world. This has enriched my life and grown my network. I have developed mutually beneficial relationships with connections, followers and friends.  I am never quite sure when, where or why we’ll need each other; however, I do value them all for different reasons: a future client referral, a potential guest blog post, a promising partnership, great thought-leadership and new ideas, or just for fun.  I am in this game of networking for the long haul and I hope you think of it that way too.  The follow story helps explain how social networks can help lead to a job.

The Social Exchange

I am fairly active on Twitter and I am dabbling with Google Plus. Though most of my exchanges are on Twitter, there is something really nice about being able to have a dialogue on Google Plus because you are not limited to 140 characters and you can see the string of exchanges, very much like you can on Facebook. This is exactly what happened when I shared a post on Google Plus and received the following response/comment:

Careersherpa, "hannah morgan"

I loved this description of what they were looking for and I immediately posted it on a LinkedIn group for job seekers in our city. There were several people in this network who responded and at least one of the inquiries turned out to be the Goddess!

This is why it worked:

1. The job description, though brief, served as an insightful teaser for further conversation. (for more on job descriptions you can read Employers: Your Job Posting Sucks, Part II from YouTern.)

2. Because many job seekers aren’t active yet on Google Plus, I knew I had to share the opportunity where it would be found- a LinkedIn group of high caliber job seekers.

3. Most importantly, I knew the company, not well, but had been following them on Twitter for at least a year and we had shared information with each other previously. There was an existing familiarity and I was happy to help. I was also familiar with the group of job seekers, many of whom I had met. It was easy for me to post this description on the group and serve as the intermediary because I personally believed in these job seekers.

Trust, familiarity, and willingness to help. This is why social networking works!

The Employer’s Story

Now, from the employers side of the desk.  I asked Kelly Cheatle to tell her version of the story and this is what she said:

My partner and I have a pretty unusual business, we create large-scale balloon installations and balloon-based illustrations (You really need to see for yourself: www.airigami.com) Business has been going very well- but as we’ve been growing- our need for someone else to help manage all of the details that come along with that growth was becoming more and more apparent. So we spent many an evening trying to craft the perfect description of our ideal candidate, what skills they might have, etc. And we could never seem to list them all- we jokingly said we needed to hire someone who’d know what they were supposed to be doing.

When I first posted to your google+ page, in response to a discussion about hiring/job openings in Rochester, I rather cheekily said we needed a Goddess and listed a few super-powers. It was enough to intrigue a candidate to apply for the position. We hired her. She seems, (and her references glowingly agree) to be the sort of person you could put into any situation, and she’d find not only the most important things that needed to be done- but facilitate getting them done. This is EXACTLY what we need, and I’m glad we snatched her up!

THANK YOU!!

I am fairly certain, many smaller employers are perplexed and a bit overwhelmed by how to hire the right person. It is a daunting task and one they do not enter into lightly nor want to repeat. Social networking tools allow small and even large employers to tap into their networks and source candidates (for free). JobVite’s 2011 eBook “33 Essential Recruiting Stats“ cites a Burson-Marsteller study which shows the social networks being used by Fortune 100 companies.

Jobvite ebook Job Seeker Survey

More Proof That Social Networks Work

Jobvite’s Social Job Seeker Survey 2011 finds:

Jobvite Social Job Seeker Survey 2011

I hope this has helped convince you that using social networks to stay in contact with past employees, family members and all sorts of friends is more important than ever before- and there are tools to make it easy.  There is so much more to be said about the benefits of social networks, but the point I am trying to make is “don’t miss out” by not participating!

Hannah Morgan, aka @careersherpa on Twitter, provides advice and insights for job search, personal reputation management, and social media strategies via her site Career Sherpa.net. As a Career Consultant, Hannah draws upon her experience in Human Resources, Outplacement Services and Workforce Development to guide those new to job search through the process and towards their goals. Feel free to follow if you like what you see here. You can also find her on Google +, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

The Entrepreneur Age is Limitless!

entrepreneur, startup, "job search", entrepreneurship, "business dveelopment", "small business"

I recently read an article in the NY Times talking about how the job market for teens this summer was limited.

I remember thinking about summer jobs. In my family we had one car growing up. I know that sounds almost crazy in this day and age! That issue, however, created some challenges in my job search. For example, the nearest mall was about 30 miles away (another crazy thought in this day and age; being 30 miles away from a mall!) so working in retail was not an option. But, if I wanted to buy the stuff I needed as a teenager (clothes and music) I needed to find a job. I turned to babysitting. Now that I think back to it I see so many similarities to starting my own business as an adult. I leveraged my parents to reach out to their friends (networking) and started from word of mouth. Pretty soon I had my regular families that I would work for. I also landed a work-study job after school to supplement the babysitting income.

I think this is the perfect time for our teens to go out and create work for themselves. There is plenty of opportunity around our communities; we just need to be a little creative. In our neck of the woods we need kids that would cut the grass or weed gardens. The average price to have your grass cut is about $35/yard. A teenager could charge $20-$25 and get most yards done within 1-2 hours. Kids can make a good hourly wage and then if they do a good job build their network and bring on new clients. There are many opportunities out there: Walking dogs, yard work, painting, etc. The key is to identify the needs within the community and then offer those services. Young families are busier than ever and any chance to get some help is greatly appreciated. Summers are so busy that I know I would love and extra pair of hands around for these odd jobs.

So leverage this opportunity to develop your business skills and get out there and have some fun. The kicker: You will make some money at it too!

Photo credit: fooyoh.com

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part VI

To finish off our blog series on How to Land a Job After Graduation, we thought we’d provide an update on the status of our intern, Ashley, who graduated just last month.

As background, we started out this blog series under the premise of helping college graduates in the job search process and telling them what it takes to stand out from the competition in the job market today. The series followed our intern and her journey of finding a job after graduation.

Now, about a month after graduation we can conclude the series with a positive note… Ashley accepted a position!

We would like to congratulate Ashley, because we realize how tough it is to find a job right out of college. What also helped boost Ashley’s success were her many internship experiences throughout her college years. We hope that college students will see the heavy importance and the value an internship (or two) can bring to post-graduation careers.

We are glad to have helped Ashley succeed in her job search, and we wish her the best!

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part I

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part II

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part III

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part IV

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part V

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part V

When many college graduates begin their job search, they often wonder “what do I wear to the interview?” It might seem tricky if the company you’re going into is business casual. If the company dress is conservative or business casual, always dress up!Classic shoes

We realize that on a college budget, graduates might have a limited number of suit or dress pieces for an interview. We put together some different interview outfit looks on Ashley, by mixing and matching different accessories to key items in the outfit. This is the best method for any college student to create many interview outfits for less!

Some key items to mix around are:

  • necklaces or scarves with a suit coat
  • blazer or cardigan over a dress
  • classic colored heels with any outfit

For Ashley’s makeup, we used lightweight mineral foundation and blush. For any interview, you want to look natural. To get this natural look, keep the eye shades neutral colored: light pinks, browns, beiges, etc. A brown pencil eyeliner was applied lightly on her top lid, along with brownish/black mascara. We gave Ashley a comfortable and refreshed look for her interview.

Don’t forget the biggest key accessories with your interview outfit…your resume, portfolio, and questions! Good luck!

Ashley's Finished Interview Look

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part I

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part II

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part III

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part IV

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part VI

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part IV

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part I

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part II

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part III

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part V

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part VI

How to Land a Job After Graduation- Part II

I’m Ashley Dingeman, a senior Communication major at SUNY Geneseo. I am currently working as the marketing intern for Whiting Consulting, and with only 47 days until commencement, I am one of many considered to be “an active job seeker.”

With broad major like Communications, I have a plethora of potential professions I would be qualified for. My issue then? Narrowing down what it specifically is that I want to do. On top of that, my growing anxiety is getting the best of me regarding my personal interview techniques, my preparedness for the job world, and the pressure of finding a job in this economy.

You always hear people say that what you learn in college is going to prepare you for the rest of your life. Well, I would have to disagree. Although I have grown as a person and my knowledge has significantly matured, I can’t say that I have been prepped by college for the next stage in my life. I, unlike most students, was fortunate enough to take a class specifically geared toward preparing students for the job hunt. In turn, I was forced to perfect my resume, learn to write a cover letter, create a portfolio, and perform a number of mock interviews.

One thing this class was missing was helping me to pinpoint what I want to do with my life after graduation.  I’m the type of person who has tried many jobs, always loves doing something new, and isn’t afraid of commitment. One of my many passions is food, whether it’s cooking, eating, watching others cook, reading, or writing about it.  Simplified: I would categorize myself as a foodie.

I think to love something so much and to be so intrigued by it qualifies it as a passion. For some, eating is eating and food is food, but to me, it’s so much more. In my perfect world, I would love to do all of the above, cook, eat, watch, read, and most importantly, write. But my world isn’t perfect, and I have to be understanding that my dream job isn’t going to come to me as an entry level position.

In order to stand out from the rest, I’ve been consciously using social media to brand myself and to be heard. Over the next few weeks prior to graduation, my social media profiles will be evaluated and picked apart by the Whiting Consulting professionals, and they will be restructuring them from a college student’s profiles to what employers want to see. This process may not be glamorous, but it’s something that all current graduates should be doing.

Please join me and come along for the ride, learn from my mistakes, and gain these competitive advantages over your peers. You’ll never be more thankful than when you hear those two powerful words from your future employer’s mouth saying, “You’re hired!”

Post written by Ashley Dingeman, Marketing Intern at Whiting Consulting.

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part I

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part III

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part IV

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part V

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part VI

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