Online Resume Rules Sound Like Offline Resume Rules

from the uh...-wait-a-second... dept

USA Today is claiming that the rules have changed for resumes, now that they’re mostly sent via email instead of snail mail. However, when they get into the details, they sound amazingly like the “rules” many of us learned back in the days before you emailed resumes: focus on results from previous jobs (read: throw in lots of useless percentages to make it look like you improved something), use “descriptive or significant terms” (read: make sure you include the BS buzzwords-of-the-moment to make it through that first pass filter), don’t send the wrong cover letter to the wrong company (read: don’t be completely stupid), and don’t apply “above your skill level” (read: don’t waste HR’s time so much). I remember hearing all of these years ago as well, and they don’t seem any different in this “new age of electronic resumes” as the article would have you believe. Then, of course, there’s the biggest recommendation for this supposed new age: they suggest you spam as many companies as possible. Again, has there ever been a time when people were told to send out fewer resumes? If anything, it seems like this strategy is the wrong strategy in the digital age where HR folks are so inundated with resumes that some have found that going back to paper resumes is much more effective in getting attention.

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Comments on “Online Resume Rules Sound Like Offline Resume Rules”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

My rule about electronic resumes

If you’re sending it to a headhunter or “career broker”, send them a .PDF file instead of a Word .DOC or plain .TXT file. That is unless you want to be caught unawares in your first interview when you discover that the headhunter has ‘revamped’ your resume and changed information to better reflect the market trends’.

If they object to a .PDF file, ask them why exactly they need an editable version of your resume.

Some headhunters will ask politely before making changes, a lot of them just go ahead and do it.

Another great rule is to always bring a copy of your resume with you – it helps you keep your lies straight. 🙂

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