Monday, July 07, 2008

Resumes Not On Paper

My first written resume was pretty darn boring. I had a few summer jobs to list, and my work at my college library, and one teaching assistantship. My bachelor's degree hung out at the bottom of the page, and I had completely left out any technical skills, like MS Office, that I had. But it did get me a job, and a good one--it paid for my master's degree and sent me to a great grantwriting workshop.

My current resume has more jobs to list, and it follows a basic format that I've distilled from talking to tons of people and searching through resume-writing guides. I'm mostly happy with it.

This morning, I came across Marci Alboher's column on virtual resumes. It's an intriguing idea, and I wonder if it would be worth trying out. I think the primary advantage of having a virtual or website resume is the ability to add more details while capturing more of the reader's attention. On the other hand, some more traditional employers might shy away from the idea altogether.

The convergence of new media and traditional procedure creates a number of issues like this. For example, when I met with the recruiter M, last week, she asked me what I had been doing since I left my last job. I told her that I had been blogging, and writing for online networks. Her first question was, "why isn't this on your resume?" It's not there because I worry that employers won't take blogging and online writing seriously. I don't want to be dismissed so easily because of a non-traditional job.

Perhaps it's time to start moving away from the traditional way of doing things. In advance of my last interview, I sent over writing samples and included the Brazen Careerist and Downtown Women's Club urls. I didn't get a negative response from that, so it's possible that as blogging and writing enters the mainstream, it will have less of a stigma attached to it.

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