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IT hiring: Your text resume is soooo last century

Mary K. Pratt | Sept. 4, 2013
Old-fashioned resumes may not work in future.

Tim Ondrey has glimpsed the future of the job-search market, and it's going multimedia.

Already, he has had one friend using a blog and a 30-second video to apply for a marketing job and another, an IT colleague, interviewing via Skype for a developer position.

Ondrey figures it's just a matter of time before he — and everyone else — uses more than just an old-fashioned resume to land his next job.

"I'm kind of nervous about it, but we're all going to be in that same boat, figuring out what works and what doesn't," says Ondrey, an active member of the SHARE user group. An applications report specialist at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Ondrey isn't currently looking for a job, but, like a lot of his colleagues, he keeps an eye on the market.

What he's seeing is that video, graphics and social media are becoming part of the job-search landscape. Recruiters and hiring managers say younger workers, who grew up online and use FaceTime more than landlines, are more apt to show off their assets via personal websites, blogs, videos, and online portfolios with embedded examples of current work and links to online communities in which they're active.

It's no coincidence that LinkedIn recently began encouraging its users to amp up their profiles with videos, illustrations, photography and presentations. And Toronto startup has attracted 200,000 users to its tool, still in beta, that turns text-based resumes into online infographics.

"People are open to new formats, new ways of presenting credentials," says John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, an IT staffing firm based in Menlo Park, Calif. "People are trying to figure out how to stand out in the crowd, how to bring life to their profile and experience, and they're using social media tools to do that."

Reed says that neither he nor his colleagues have seen a lot of applicants submitting videos yet. When they do, they function more like cover letters than resumes. "The videos are 'let me introduce myself before you look at my resume,'" Reed explains. "The companies look at it and say, 'That's cool, that's an interesting twist, that makes the candidate stand out.'"

That's the thinking at the Washington, D.C.-based staffing company Hire IT People LLC. Owner Dan Nandan says his firm is moving into videos as a way to showcase its IT talent.

"We felt they'd have a more powerful impact if a video resume was submitted" in addition to the traditional paper CV. "And it's working," he says, explaining that well-done videos presenting candidates' skills and background "definitely make a big impact."

Nandan recently worked with Neeraj Uppal, a technlology project manager who had made a video in which he talked about his background. The Hire IT People staff used the video to evaluate Uppal and were impressed enough to recommend him to a client company, which led to the conventional application process, with Uppal sending a text resume, then interviewing and getting the job, a contract position.


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