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/Career Portfolio) - With almost 4 billion resumes distributed annually, there's growing frustration among job seekers that they are blending into the competitive landscape. While the economy plays a role, some experts believe resumes might also be a reason for this anonymity.
Traditional resumes weren't a necessity until the 1950s, and their evolution has been marked mainly by enhanced delivery methods. While Facebook revolutionized connectivity, and LinkedIn provided tools for networking, they merely brought the crowd, not the methods to stand out in one. A resume today looks a lot like one from 20 years ago.
Joe Weinlick is VP of Marketing at Beyond.com, a career network of over 30 million members that connects job seekers to employers. They've introduced a new tool called Career Portfolio that reshapes resumes, making them more dynamic and visual. On average, recruiters spend 30 seconds on a resume, and Weinlick feels this graphical approach will change perceptions during interviews by allowing recruiters to learn more about candidates, faster.
"If the only resume you have is one you can recreate on a typewriter, you're missing a big opportunity," said Weinlick. "We surveyed hundreds of HR professionals in our network, and 55 percent responded that the biggest problem they see is a failure to use a resume effectively. What makes a resume unique to a recruiter isn't the font; it's how easily they're able to scan for relevant skills and experience."
Weinlick provides three ways to spice up resumes:
1. Information Location. Make sure your best attributes are front and center. The company doesn't know you yet, so don't bury what makes you special.
2. De-Clutter. Avoid confusing jargon and overwriting. This is the first chance you have to show your communication skills, and you want to be as clear as possible.
3. Sea of Sameness. Look past the constricting traditional resume format, and prove you can approach problems differently. If you aren't unique when applying, you won't be unique when working.
For those who feel their current resume works, Weinlick challenges them to send it as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org
, where Beyond.com will transform it into a Career Portfolio and provide a free membership.
"Career Portfolio can't change your work experience, but it can change how people view it," said Weinlick. "If you are serious about getting interviewed, it's time to give your current resume a serious makeover."