You can find advice on how to build, design and send your resume almost anywhere. They will tell you how to format it, which font to choose and what information to include. Heck, even I’ve written my share of columns on resumes. Despite this, though, I want to offer one more bit of resume wisdom. In this age of ubiquitous Internet access, search engines and an increase in the serendipity of finding the right job for you, the next step may be to make your resume a blog, because, in many ways, your blog might already be turning into your resume.
Even in today’s high-tech world, resumes are still seen as relatively static, paper-based documents. Even if they eventually make it into electronic systems, in our minds we still see them as little sheets of paper that get shuffled around on someone’s desk. Just as the professionally printed resume has long gone out of style, I believe any form of printed resume is on its way out, as well.
In past columns I have preached the gospel of a portfolio-based approach to advertising your skills and work experience. Yes, I use the word advertising purposely, as that is exactly what you are doing. You are advertising what you know and what you do, in hopes of someone buying your services.
Part of building a great portfolio is documenting your interesting projects past and present and documenting them as soon after completion as possible. In some cases, you will probably want to do it even while you are completing the project. You want to capture the best “stories” about your project now so you can use them in your resume and in your interviews. It is these stories of actual work and projects that will best communicate your skills to perspective employers.
So, with these ideas in mind, one great way of exposing your work portfolio and resume to the widest group of potential employers is to put it into a blog. Sure, you will probably still have to produce the standard, one-page resume for those people stuck in the past, but producing your resume as a blog has many distinct advantages.
First, a resume blog allows all your stories to be slurped up by any number of search engines including Google, Yahoo and more. This increases the chance that someone might randomly stumble across you when they are looking for just the right person. Sure, an online version of your paper resume might do in a pinch, but you can do better.
Instead of having only one small description of each past job, I encourage you to post to your resume blog as often as necessary. Minimally, this would include a wrap-up after any major projects or accomplishments. Again, all this information becomes searchable and it helps to lock the stories into your mind so you can easily recall them during interviews or casual meetings with potential employers.
Now, go even further. Document any training you receive and your impressions of how it will be useful to your future work. Describe the hardware and software tools you use and why. The general rule is to include anything that would give a potential employer deeper insight into you and your work. The goal in all of this, beyond finding the best job possible, is to use the easy-to-use features of a blog to capture and share as much information about your work and skills as possible. The more information that is available, the better your chances of getting an interview and a job.
It is so much easier to update a resume blog than updating a paper resume and it can say so much more. Your resume blog can become the hub of your online portfolio, available 24/7 from any where in the world. Sure, you can then use this information to update your paper resume, but my hope is that paper resume will soon go the way of the 386 processor and dot matrix printers — useful in their time, but long, long gone.
Get your work experience, your skills and your career stories out onto the net where they can do you the most good. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine and help build the career you deserve.