BIOBLOGS: 21ST CENTURY RESUMES

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It was about one year ago that BIOBLOGS: RESUMES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY was published, introducing a new art form to the world of resume writing/reading. During these 12 months I have crawled and scrolled my way through thousands of websites and blogs relating to employment, recruiting, writing, creativity, business, human resources, careers, college graduates, graphics, communication arts and the business of blogging. Like a suspect run through a series of waterboarding, I feel like I have been wordboarded: O.k., I give up, I confess, I started the resume revolution! I splashed the first big wave in years by calling into question the very authority of “action verbs” and “keywords”. And I admit that I intended from the git-go to bring the castles of the resume writers down, to shake the very foundations of those hallowed halls of the Professional Resume Writers’ Association and all the certified professional experts on “personal branding” and even those women who claim to have the “courage to reduce a resume to 1-page.” I confess! I did it! I doubted their power and value, and wondered more than once whether mere words and a semantic mix of job descriptions cum braggable achievements would really cut the mustard! Why? Because I dared to imagine that the “real story,” the core of the whole shebang, lay in the missing parts, the ones that were mostly connected by the glue of the resume owner’s character at work; this I thought important–the role of the person’s character traits within the game played by the workplace dynamics and the tribal nature of the organization–not so much the job duties and tools provided, but the jobber’s perceptions, actions, and resources.

But I must have been wrong. Despite having succeeded in sparking a kindling fire for the topic of “bioblogs” (which simply did not exist in 2006 before my book), and latching onto ownership of the term “bioblogs” (trademarked; mine), I overlooked something beyond the total dedication to the traditional status quo of those who are busy selling it: The lack of initiative in the American worker and his/her fear of wandering off the beaten path. Most are happy to fill out the form and be 1:40,000,000 resumes in Monster.com’s database; that’s how different they think they are; that’s how confident they are about their creative character. Follow, follow, follow; don’t dare stand out.

It looks like in the USA just about everyone active in the job market is happy to stay on the same track as everyone else, and that view is supported broadly by those who make a $ on it, charging excessive fees for standard crap that wasn’t even exciting resume-wise 30 years ago when resumes still had an affect on people reading them. While the experts talk about “personal branding” from one side of their mouths, they babble about building keyword strength from the other, as if you can be short and tall at the same time, or a leader and a follower simultaneously. Unless you are a politician, don’t buy it.

That the use of graphics in a resume is such a cold fish to these folks amuses me, and I believe it is mainly because they don’t know how to do it so they don’t like it. Personally, anyone who can’t write their own word-driven resume today probably needs to go back to school because it aint that complicated to satisfy the scanners and the HR folks, especially if all you are aiming for is a narrative of your job obits.

But if you thought long and hard about your future (with work as a part but not all of it) and tried to capture your value in words, you would find they could use a little push and punch, and that’s where graphics come in. Advertisers figured this out about a million years ago. Why is it taking everyone else so long? Stop listening to the clowns who want to sell you the same thing they sold the last 500 people and demand something different for yourself. You should deserve it, and if you don’t think you do, go pay somebody big $$ to crank out a sheet to feed the machines. After all, it’s important to get your life summed up in bits and bytes in the database, isn’t it? Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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Written by 1stbioblogger

December 12, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Posted in resumes

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