The Secret to Exciting Resumes

Pink ResumeI was updating and formatting my resume today, and truly saw it for how dull it really was. Not the content- I’m an extremely experienced individual with some great skills 😉

But, in general, theResume_Left whole idea of the resume is dull. I think Elle Woods from Legally Blonde might have the right idea- a pink, scented resume is a lot less dull than the blinding white paper with black type. That got me thinking about a post by Dan Schwabel of the Personal Branding Blog, in which he discussed the changing face of resumes. I think we can even take this a step further than Elle, and break into the area of interaction, as Dan discussed in his post.

The Idea

In today’s internet-dominant world, why send a paper resume by mail, or even an email with your resume attached, when you can just create a website to represent a brand new type of resume- the interactive experience and skillset log. Okay, so maybe the name needs a little work. But the idea of it is just the opposite of today’s resume-dull.My Big Idea

Imagine giving potential employers at a job fair a business card with the URL of your “new type” of resume on it instead of carrying around a hefty stack of your ordinary paper resumes. Not only will this be easier on you, but your superiors will be impressed with your adoption of new media.

What makes it interactive?

Okay, so let’s further define what I mean by an “Interactive” Resume. I envision a web page including much of the same headings that a traditional resume would include, only all above the fold. This means that all of your most impressive experiences, skill-sets, GPAs, etc, would be right there on the main page of your interactive resume- no scrolling required. But how would we do this? Hiding and expanding. The relevant, but maybe not most impressive experiences would be there, expandable simply by pressing a + button beside the title of the position or experience.

Interactive Resume Mock Up

I also envision having links to relevant samples of the applicant’s work. For example, in a job description, the creation of online banner ads are mentioned, and a link is provided. When a viewer clicks on the link, a visual of the banner ad pops up in a smaller, new window.

What else? References! I can’t tell you how many resumes I have seen with the words “references available upon request” in the footer. This is done because there is only so much space available on a resume. We can eliminate this sentence simply by placing a “References” link in the footer of the “web page resume.” This link can open a new tab/ new window, with the names and contact information of references, as well as some quotes about and ratings of the applicants’ skills, much like Linked In’s referrals.

On the Interactive Resume, there should be a “print” feature that allows potential employers to print the content of the resume in a format consistent with that of the traditional resume, as many interviewers like to have a copy of the applicant’s resume on hand during the interview process.

Here’s an example of Russell’s Resume. This individual had the idea of an interactive resume and took it above and beyond.

Why should I bother?

One of the major problems I have with my resume is getting all of my quality experiences and skills to fit onto two pages. Two? I thought a resume should be one page? No. If you have quality experience that should be included but will not fit, do NOT omit it simply to get it to fit onto one page. Throughout high school and college, I was told repeatedly to omit non-relevant information so that I could have a one page resume. I understood their point, but what if all the information included was relevant?

Advantages of an Interactive Resume

The reason you’re often told to fit your resume on one page has two main purposes:

  • (1) encourage you to only include relevant information that can help you get the job (if you’re applying for a marketing position, I’m not sure your potential employer will be so impressed that you were secretary of the local canine fan club), and because
  • (2) many resume reviewers have fifty or more resumes to go through for a position, and they will most likely not look at the second page unless they are extremely interested in you.

Creating an online, interactive resume removes the problem of fitting all of your experience onto one or two pages. By default, simply reveal all of your most impressive experience and skills, and “hide” (via the + and – buttons) those that may be less relevant or not as impressive as other portions of your resume.

Samples and references included right in the initial resume will save your potential employer time, as they will not have to contact you to get access to these if they decide they are interested in contacting you for an interview.

It will also save you time, money, and paper and printer ink. You will not need to answer emails asking you for references or samples, you will not need to invest money into more than a few portfolios and samples to send to potential employers, and you will not have to print out as many resumes as you have in the past.

This type of interactive resume will help you be more organized, and appear more professional.


6 thoughts on “The Secret to Exciting Resumes

  1. I look at 1000 or so resumes a year and I can tell you that none of the fluff matters at all.

    Relevant and I mean relevant work experience is the only thing I want to see on the initial pass through. I will get to the fluff during the interview.

    If you have enough relevant information then 2 or even 3 pages is more than welcome. The 1 page resume (imho) is an idea invented by college guidance counselors or people who have never hired anyone.

    I think an interactive resume is a neat idea although I don’t know if most companies are high tech enough yet…I know mine isn’t. I print em and take them with me but I am somewhat of a dinosaur.

    Is it wrong that Legally Blonde is one of my favorite movies? I shouldn’t admit that publicly should I? Please don’t tell anyone.


  2. I liked the idea very innovative!

    Too bad companies just want to read a plain boring paper looking for experiences instead of searching for creativity.It all depends on what is your profession! This is great for designers like russelsResume because in there he can put his actual work and the things he have created.

  3. It’s probably a good idea if you’re applying for a job where your design skills are applicable.

    Use your good common sense as always, adjust to the receiver’s / employer’s assumed taste.

  4. @Blog Entrepreneur – I agree that the “fluff,” or content in the resume doesn’t really matter. However, the way its presented could definitely make a difference, especially if you’re in the design industry. Thanks for the comment!

    @TzuVelli – This is a great idea I hadn’t thought of. Thanks!

    @Bennie – I also think that this is very innovative! And I agree that many larger companies are still set in their own ways. However, I have a feeling that everyone who has searched through resumes to find somebody to hire would appreciate a different, memorable resume.

    Nedreck: Great point: as a best practice, you should always, always alter your resume to give your potential employers what they want. Thanks for visiting eMarketing & New Media!

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