Thursday, January 17, 2013

A resume for the 21st century

The workhorse of job-searching is your resume.

It's like the little black dress, pearls and pumps for women; the charcoal pinstripe suit and white shirt for men. Timeless, classic.

I've seen many claims that the resume is dead--being replaced by (say) a LinkedIn profile, a video resume, something involving clever pictures and graphs (whether on paper or online), etc., etc., etc.

But I think the durability of the resume lies in the familiarity of the basic form. Anyone hiring has been around long enough to know the conventions of the resume, and to be able to locate key information without having to think too hard about the semiotics.

When I see a resume which follows the rules about where the various parts fit on the page, which uses a plain-jane typeface without requiring that I learn an exotic new visual language to understand what it all means, I feel comfortable. I can get to the point without straining to read it.

That said, your resume should be written for the 21st century. You don't sign your letters "the subscriber hereto begs to remain your humble servant." Likewise, you don't want to use gunky language--the word "objective" at the top is now considered passé, as is the phrase "references available upon request."

Fine-tune your resume-writing for 2013 with the links above.

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