It’s the first Monday of a new decade, flush with opportunities for the seizing — unless the résumé you’re e-mailing employers is comparable to an antique parchment relic.
Today’s unemployed can explore an abundance of unorthodox tricks to creatively catch the attention of prospective hirers — from posting video, flash, or HTML-based résumés to taking out pay-per-click ads that plaster your credentials whenever a bored boss anywhere Googles “accountant.”
But for fear of the unknown, as résumé coach Laura Smith-Proulx notes, all too many are sticking by their one-page PDFs, as if the career world is desperate to hire more candidates versed in Mesozoic Era traditions.
“The single-page résumé with an objective up top really went the way of the dinosaurs,” she says. “A lot of people are still very reluctant to create something that’s cutting edge because they’ve never seen a résumé that looks cutting edge.”
If your idea of a breathtaking CV involves a Microsoft Word template, re-route your efforts to a free online résumé builder like VisualCV.com, recommends Louise Fletcher, president of Blue Sky Résumés. “Those kinds of things are great additions to a personal website,” she says. “You can get a lot more information on there than on a traditional resume, and you can show your personality more.”
Plus it’s convenient — people can choose to click on the link or not — and for overworked recruiters inundated with attached résumés, that can make the difference between “why not?” and “next, please.”
How to send it smart
After you’ve prepared your fancy new résumé — be it a video, new website, or Web art — don’t bother sending it out to the company’s HR department. “When you’re doing something different, part of it is coming up with the creative presentation and part of it is being creative about who you get it to,” Fletcher explains. “Don’t try to go through the HR rep or the recruiter, because they get thousands of résumés a week. Send it to the CEO.”