If you’re looking for a new job, I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret. Human resources folks like candidates that flash. Flash their ability to evolve, that is.
Most of us can see invisible dinosaur tracks on resumes. We’re not in the business of recruiting folks who can’t evolve, adapt or change. Early clues of dinosaur remains include: the dreaded candidate picture, calling your resume a CV (and you’re not from Europe or Canada), a funky font in a Microsoft Word resume (that’s a two-fer), and Hotmail addresses. Even worse, cutesy, custom email addresses with “guru”, “iluvcats” or “warcraft” included in them. Finally, when we call, if your cell is a “magic jack” or your voicemail greeting isn’t friendly and personalized it makes us think you’re dodging something. This is bad. These are fossils.
Content aside, if you want to make it easy to spot that you are evolved try these tips:
- A link to your digital portfolio
- A PDF format
- Zero. Spelling. Errors.
- Access to your LinkedIn, Facebook and/or other social media profiles
Why does your HR person even care about these details? Because we know that evolved candidates consider their careers their own branded business. They are attuned to their audiences, and proud of their work. A good candidate makes it easy for the company to access information about them. Their resume is interactive.
I love this quote from the author of a new book called “Brain Bugs.” In it, neuroscientist Dean Buonomano says, “When attacked, a skunk’s natural inclination is to turn around, lick its tail and spray a noxious scent. That works when a skunk faces a natural predator in the wild, but it’s not as helpful when faced with, let’s say, an oncoming car.”
“They didn’t evolve to deal with that circumstance,” says Buonomano. “And humans suffer some of the same consequences of living in a time and place we didn’t evolve to live in.”
The fast pace of change in technology and social media is the car facing those looking for jobs. You can’t do it the same old way and get acceptable results. You’ll become extinct.
What about content? That’s the good stuff, right? A good friend of mine, and a CFO for a major company, summed it up best. He said, “I read every line of a resume saying, ‘So what?’ If I can’t answer it, it gets tossed.” Quantifiable content is evolved. Here’s an actual example of a recently received resume filled with skunk vocabulary, the shortest of the long list was:
- Gained solid knowledge of variety of markets
Well, there’s a waste of a perfectly good space on a resume. Evolved words might have been:
- Achieved 5% growth in market share in Hospitality vertical in North America
When it comes to preparing yourself for your next career move, flash away. Make your HR person happy. Chances are they’re tired of finding dinosaurs in their inbox.