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The state of resumes, circa 2012

Tradition and modernity are at war right now, and employers and employees are not always on the same page when it comes to the resume. However, one entrepreneur has found a way around the divide.

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resume 2012

resume 2012

The split between tradition and innovation

Let’s face it, the traditional HR department is relatively predictable, no matter the industry. People wishing to be employed submit a cover letter with generic buzzwords, a clean resume that looks like every other Microsoft Word resume since 1987 (as depicted below), the HR gatekeeper decides whether the pieces of paper shuffles down the line or not, and the predictable interviews begin, and so goes the assembly line of the hiring process which usually ends in dozens of candidates throwing their resume into a black hole and never hearing anything.

boring resume

Despite this outdated assembly line still existing today, some companies, especially startups and small businesses, feel differently about the hiring process and seek to improve the process to match the rest of their company’s culture. In that vein, digital creatives have taken to (duh) getting creative and making infographics out of their resumes, which the traditional assembly line typically ignores, but companies with more innovative hiring practices are responding well to. This movement has spawned dozens of websites that are visual resume builders or virtual business cards like Kinzaa or Flavors.me.

The next generation of creativity

Candidates are getting creative and using social media to stand out, like Austinite Stacey Knupple who is using Pinterest as her creative resume, and entrepreneur Aaron Brazell, author of The WordPress Bible, who asserts that resumes should be turned on their heads, as the traditional format of chronological listing of jobs is insufficient.

Brazell writes, “The traditional way of building a resumé is to provide a chronological context of every school and degree you’ve received along with every professional role over the last 7-10 years, give or take. What do you do when you’re in the tech space and the requisite skills are constantly changing? What do you do when your role at the last 3 companies were essentially the same with little deviance in the job description? Do as I do… flip your resumé on it’s face.”

“If a company is going to hire you into a role,” Brazell adds, “they want to know that you’re going to be innovative in your approach to the job and that you’re willing to think outside the box to do the best job you can. If they don’t, you probably don’t want to work for them anyway as they are plainly hiring you to just follow marching orders and that, let’s face it, sucks ass. There’s no place to achieve and rise to the top because you’re just doing things the way you’re told, by the book, all day every day. Sounds like a reason to drive off a cliff, if you ask me.”

Unlike some infographic formats, Brazell keeps with the tradition of giving any HR wonk the exact information they need, and even chronology, but suggests flipping the resume to begin with achievements and relevant skills as he has done with his resume.

The takeaway

Resumes can be boring, and the assembly line is nowhere near dead, so finding ways to get attention of employers can be done through creative measures that still fit within the boundaries an HR person needs so they don’t immediately throw it away. The problem in this era is that creativity stands out, but many people (not all, of course) behind that HR desk are not creative, and they are not looking for something that stands out, rather must stick to the data points their boss is looking for.

While the assembly line is outdated, promoting your assets like Brazell suggests can set you miles ahead, while still showing that you can follow instructions. On the flip side, when you’re applying as a graphic designer for a design job, an infographic is likely the way to go, so context matters a great deal.

When hiring, consider the state of resumes in this era, and be open to creative means people are using to get in front of you, because that attention to detail is far superior to a generated resume from Microsoft Word that is crammed full of corporate, meaningless buzzwords.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

Business News

Skilled workers can live in any city they wish and still get work [study]

(BUSINESS NEWS) A 2018 study reveals that remote work is on the rise, and the ultra skilled workers can work from any city they wish.

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skilled workers

A 2018 study that surveyed 1,005 hiring decision makers commissioned by Upwork sheds some interesting insights on the attitudes around remote workers and the challenges hiring managers are experiencing finding talent. The remote workforce is the future after all and this study offers both insight into challenges and solutions.

It was noted that talent is becoming harder and harder to find (up to three times more difficult than in past years). Meanwhile, remote work is on the rise, according to 55 percent of managers.

The overarching attitude toward offices becoming temporary anchor points is increasing, indicating that commutes are becoming less common (albeit slightly). Companies are increasingly embracing remote work, and according to 38 percent of those surveyed, it will become the predominant workforce.

A major challenge remains that company policies aren’t caught up to remote work – they are lagging behind or non-existent according to 57 percent of organizations.

Over half of all companies surveyed are using more temporary, contract, or freelance workers and the majority of hiring managers believe agile teams will become the norm in the near future.

Perhaps the juiciest tidbit, the fact that skills are viewed as more important than location suggests that at the end of the day…

remote workforce

If you have the skills, you can live basically anywhere. Remote and freelance work offers a variety of opportunities and means you don’t have to be synchronously local to a team to get work done. This means that you don’t need to be in a big city like New York or Los Angeles to get the big work and have access to opportunity.

Companies are struggling to find talent, and despite a lack of policy support, are opening up to remote work. Adding to this challenge is that more and more Americans are less mobile, due to concerns about cost of living (or other things in our lives), hiring managers are having a harder time finding the right talent to fill their own vacancy.

Skilled workers (those who have the abilities that are in demand and desired by their industry) have the ability to pick and choose where they want to live and it looks like now and the future, companies are coming to meet them. This is good news, and offers more and more opportunities, as well as flexibility for hiring managers.

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Indeed and Glassdoor are now owned by one Japanese company – what’s next?

(TECHNOLOGY) Now that Glassdoor and Indeed are owned by an international brand, how will their main competitors (and search engines) react?

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glassdoor indeed

This year, Glassdoor, one of the most popular job and recruiting sites, has been acquired by Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd. (RCRRF), a Tokyo-based firm in a $1.2 billion cash transaction to become part of Recruit’s growing Human Resources Technology segment.

Recruit Holdings operates Three areas of business: HR Technology, Media & Solutions, and Staffing. In 2012, they acquired CT-based Indeed, which continues to be the number one job site in the world. Glassdoor will continue to operate independently as a part of Recruit Holdings, which holds companies in North America, Europe, and Asia, but it is noteworthy that a Japanese company owns two of the biggest players in the job search game.

The possibilities from this merger are not yet clear, but given that Recruit holds both Indeed and Glassdoor, the opportunity for integration and grouped pricing could eventually be useful for recruiters and HR/Hiring professionals. Although the company has not formally announced that integration is a possibility, considering the stiff competition from LinkedIn Jobs – it would be a great way to gain some competitive advantage.

The acquisition could help Recruit take on Microsoft (who owns LinkedIn) and Google to keep the two from dominating the online job boards, to which are essential for job seekers and talent seekers.

Of course, nothing is set in stone, but the possibilities are there. Recruiters should consider the possibilities for pricing and plan for how they will use the platforms (and how they will integrate Google for Jobs) to best collect the candidates they need.

Job seekers be prepared for more logins and more search sites for jobs and recognize that the possibility of Google no longer indexing Glassdoor (just as Indeed is not indexing on Google jobs).

The conflict between Indeed/Glassdoor, Microsoft, Google, and maybe even Facebook (look at Facebook.com/Jobs) is going to be an interesting battle to watch. JobBoardDoctor described the conflict of Indeed vs. Google as an old-west shoot out at high noon.

I suspect that with all four players in – it’s going to be a cold war in the recruiting world. Sit tight folks. Let’s see whats next!

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Business News

This fake company weeds out crappy clients

(BUSINESS) The former CEO of Highrise used a fake website to weed out toxic clients. How can you keep problematic customers out of your business?

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weeding out toxic clients

Sorting through your client list to weed out potentially toxic customers isn’t a process which garners the same attention as a company removing problematic employees, but it’s every bit as important — and, in many cases, twice as tricky to accomplish. One innovative journalist’s solution to this problem was to set up a fake website to act as a buffer between unwanted clients and his inbox.

If you’re anything like Nathan Kontny, your inbox is probably brimming with unread emails, product pitches, and pleas from people with whom you’ve never met in person or collaborated; unfortunately, many of these “people” are simply automated bots geared toward generating more press for their services.

Nathan’s response to this phenomenon was to create a website called “Trick a Journalist” in order to see which potential clients would sign up for the service.

Hilariously enough, the trap worked exactly as planned. Anyone signing up for Trick a Journalist was blacklisted and prevented from signing up for Nathan’s CRM software, with Nathan’s justification being that the CRM software in question should never be used for something so egregiously predatory as Trick a Journalist.

By creating a product which sets apart unwanted clients from the rest of the pack, Nathan succeeded in both attracting and quarantining present and future threats to the integrity of his business.

While this model may not be practicable at face value, there’s an important lesson here: determining the lengths to which your clients will go to gain the upper hand BEFORE working for them is an important task, as your clients’ actions will reflect upon your product or services either way.

Ruthlessness in business isn’t unheard of, but you should be aware of your customers’ tendencies well in advance of signing off on their behavior.

Of course, one minor issue with Nathan’s model of operation is that, invariably, someone will connect Trick a Journalist to his brand and miss the joke entirely.

There are less risky routes to weeding out potentially problematic clients than blacklisting them via a satirical website — though one might argue such routes are less fun — but the end result is essentially the same: keeping unsavory clients out of your inbox and off of your product list.

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