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17Feb
February 17th, 2012,
multimedia resume

By Kyle Lagunas

In an attempt to circumvent the keyword-laden resume game, job seekers are taking a more creative approach to captivating recruiters. Rather than dropping the resume altogether, the trend seems to be a breakaway from over-automation and a return to the heart of what makes a good hire. Laurie Barkman of The Resumator explains, “We’ve been told for a long time, ‘This is how you do recruiting, and here’s what matters,’ but organizations are now more interested in interactions that help to determine a good fit. And more nimble organizations are looking at people beyond the resume.”

Sounds nice, but what’s working and what’s not? There are certain guidelines that you should always follow, regardless of mode of delivery, but today’s resumes and the mulitmedia techniques are being used are essentially marketing tools. As Barkman states, “The question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Can multimedia enhance that message?’” If the answer is yes, there are four channels a candidate can tap into to accomplish this:

  • Adding a Face and Voice with Video.
    By replacing a cover letter with a quick video pitch, job seekers can showcase skills and abilities lost in translation in a traditional resume. As Bruce Hurwitz of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing says, “Video can increase my confidence in a candidate’s ability to successfully interview–Is she professional? Is she articulate?–or eliminate a candidate from consideration.” Of course, time is money, and candidates need to give recruiters a reason to keep watching. My advice: personality is great, but don’t get too cute. Balance is key.
  • Bringing Flat Resumes to Life with Infographics.
    Breaking out of the traditional resume template isn’t easy without a degree in design. But presenting a recruiter with a more visually stimulating overview of experience and qualifications can go a long way in setting a candidate apart. Thankfully, it doesn’t take an Adobe Illustrator savant to turn a boring old resume into an interesting infographic. Not only are these easy to create, but they’re easy to share across multiple channels.
  • Providing Insights into Culture Fit via Social Media Profiles.
    It’s no secret that recruiters investigate candidates’ social media profiles to obtain a more rounded picture of the individual. Job seekers are responding to this shift in recruiting practices by beefing up their networks, expanding their professional profiles and adding recommendations on LinkedIn, driving conversations and connecting with thought leaders on Twitter, and cleaning up their Facebook profiles.
  • Showing Off on Personal Blogs.
    Blogs are an excellent platform for candidates to showcase their hobbies, writing and communication skills, and general interests. Think they’re just for marketing candidates? Think again. Even a meat cutter at Whole Foods can run a successful butcher blog to establish expertise and share experience with an avid audience. And candidates for and candidates for artistic positions can showcase their portfolio of work.

Multimedia Resumes: Here to Stay?

The basic function of a resume isn’t going anywhere. What’s changing is how that function is executed. “We’re not leaving behind the resume,” says Steven Savage, a technical project manager at Mobclix and a writer and speaker on geeky jobs, “but we’re using it as a trigger point for more.” To that end, many college campuses are taking it upon themselves to give the next wave of workers a competitive advantage in the job market of tomorrow.

What successes have you had in using media to find work or place a candidate? What challenges do you think employers are faced with when reviewing a new form of application? Will media continue to impact the job market, or will it simply be swallowed up as one more way to stand out from the crowd?

Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice, an online resource for reviews of talent management systems and applicant tracking software.