Thought Leadership

Resume Metamorphosis?

A resume is a resume, or is it? The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on the changing views regarding the classic resume. The article's premise is as Gen Z begins entering the workforce, the old school resume might have gone the way of the Baby Boomer - tired and retired. The new style resume can look like an Instagram post, or even look like a marketing piece with illustrations and icons to denote hobbies. Some Gen Z resumes are even showing one's favorite emoji to express ideas. This approach may work in some situations, but my view is to process with caution! If you want to be taken seriously, a resume that looks like a dating site application will not get the job done!

There is no denying that in today's world of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the job search process has profoundly changed. Today's job search process often begins with a digital form resume which is electronically uploaded to an employer's website or job search portal. As organizations have expanded their career sites, where recruiting is done via their online portal, a well thought out and properly constructed resume is still needed.

There are important factors to consider when thinking about how to construct your resume. First, we go through many career stages as we progress through life. For example, someone applying for their first job after college graduation verses a mid-career professional changing jobs after ten years experience in the workforce - your resume will reflect your work and life experiences differently in these situations. As you progress through your career, more information will be needed on your resume to reflect your skills and accomplishments.

I have a friend whose son just graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Business. A bona fide Gen Z, he wanted a job with a major New Your bank, which he did get. His resume did not include a picture of him surfing his favorite surf break in southern California, nor did it include a flashy illustration that he was a serious cat lover. I doubt Goldman Sachs would have hired him with these additions, but you never know.

On the flip side, individuals looking for opportunities in advertising, video game programming or entertainment, may take a completely different approach in constructing their resume. These industries are looking for creative people; some creativity with your resume may be a competitive advantage.

Three final points to sum up this topic:

1. Your resume should be used to tell your story and sell your brand.

2. Your resume must attract the attention of potential employers and provide a focal point of conversation.

3. Depending on where you are at in terms of career stage, your resume will look and reflect your information differently.

The bottom line is your resume must reflect your uniqueness as a person.

Until next time...

Jim Ward