The Electronic Resume.

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Are resumes dead? 

If your answer is NO, you can stop reading (thanks for stopping by and please tip your waitress).  If you said YES, am I under any obligation to notify the next of kin?

You can probably guess I think paper resumes have outlived their usefulness.

You can also probably guess that I’m not comfortable delivering the unfortunate news of death (but that’s a whole different blog).resume

Email (along with texting for you crazy kids) is replacing snail mail.  Land lines are being put out of commission by cell phones (how I miss the rotary phone and the party line).  Newspapers are getting crushed by the internet.  And the Kindle seems to be every librarian’s worst nightmare.

Since technology seems to be changing every facet of our lives, why should resumes be any different?

Maybe it’s time to lighten my mailman’s load.

Maybe it’s time to stop killing so many trees.

Maybe it’s time to stop wasting money on stamps.

Maybe it’s time to shift the focus from fancy resume paper and cool fonts to what a candidate has really accomplished.

Maybe the new resume should be electronic.

Maybe it should be a personal website, wiki, blog, a series of podcasts, or even a summary of a candidate’s online presence.

Maybe this could be a mandatory class in every college education program.  Just think, we could produce graduates who understand technology and how it can be used in schools to benefit students (a novel concept I know, but call me a dreamer).

I haven’t worked out the details (don’t worry, they are just details), but resumes should be more than a phone number, an address (snail mail… it’s dead people, move on), an odd sounding objective statement, embellished job history, and three references.

While the classic resume drives me crazy, nothing angers me more than the three references at the bottom of the page (yes, I said one page… don’t even think I can wade through 5 pages of your resume… I’m just not that into you).

Who’s idea was the whole reference thing?

When did this become the standard end-of-the resume space filler?

When did we convince ourselves that it was so important to ask potential employees to name three people who think they are great?

I get it, your pastor loves you.

Your pastor loves everyone.  That’s why they are in the pastor business.

Your pastor might even like me (okay, that’s just crazy talk but you get my point).

Do we actually believe people who are desperate to find a job will list references who think they are lazy, incompetent, and don’t deserve to make a living wage?

I know resumes are simply a way to narrow down a group of candidates into a manageable number of interviews, but how great would it be if you could just get online and learn a candidate’s personal history.

To me, knowing someone’s technology ability is far more important then if they were on their high school swim team or a member of swing choir.

I can Google a person’s name and find drunken inappropriate pictures of them, but I can’t access their technology skills online.

It just doesn’t seem fair.

Or very 2010.

As an added bonus, electronic resumes mean less paper cuts.  And I don’t care who you are, that’s always a good thing.

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10 Responses to “The Electronic Resume.”

  1. TimGee3
    on Feb 24th, 2010
    @ 8:56 pm

    And yet, there is something very satisfying about receiving and or sending a hand written note or letter written on fine linen stationery to people.

    I’m not sure snail mail should be dead…

  2. Olwyn Hughes
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 12:14 am

    Gotta say that I agree with Tim…snail mail is such a pleasure, a luxury even and I love to not only get snail mail but send it as well.

    That said, I don’t think that snail mail is the best thing for job hunting. Our school board makes us fill in a separate page for every job (during postings new teachers are often applying to 80+ jobs) and hand deliver them – faxes are not accepted. Seems a bit of an archaic way to find an employee. Now if all they were looking for was a thank you card that would be entirely different!

  3. Richard Byrne
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 6:00 am

    I’m so happy to read about a school administrator that gets this. I cringe and laugh every time I see a school advertise a position for a “technology integrator” or similar position and in the application details they write “no emails or faxes.”

    On a related note, Visual CV provides a nice transition between the standard paper resume format and the online portfolio. You can post your “traditional” resume format and on the side column add examples of your multimedia projects.

  4. Angie
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 7:36 am

    Hey, you’re the superintendent! Make a rule for your district – no paper resumes accepted; they all have to be submitted online. Viva la paperless revolution!

  5. Diane
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 6:34 pm

    Hi there,

    I am a hopeful, future principal wondering about your comments regarding the paper resume. There is no way that my work experience can fit on one sheet of paper…

    So what do I leave off? Do I shorten all of my responsibilities and accomplishments that I have had at each new work experience?

    Please respond as I am hoping to start the resume tango again soon!

  6. Jenny
    on Feb 25th, 2010
    @ 6:51 pm

    I was applying for jobs in Indiana this past summer. While I was in college, we were required to keep an e-portfolio. I was told at a principal panel that most (but not all) principals don’t take the time to look at your e-portfolio, but a few really like them, so I stuck the address on my resume. My mom went to a different school (for the same degree, at the same time) and they required an e-portfolio that would fit onto a DVD or small Flash drive, so that she could hand out one of those to each school. We did have a website made from our Educational Technology class. I think schools are at least trying.

    Almost all of the applications I filled out were online only, and many of them were completely independent (so I had to spend ages typing out every qualification that was on my resume’ anyway… and then attach my resume). I still sent out some resumes and letters through the mail, too, or hand-delivered them, but I had heard from multiple principals that I was in a stack of well over 100.

    After an interview, I left a brochure with my picture (in case they forgot which one I was), my contact information, my e-portfolio information, my official credentials, and the things that made me stand out. At the very least, I hoped it was less boring (yay color!) and more unique than the typical resume.

  7. Duff
    on Feb 26th, 2010
    @ 12:46 pm

    Exactly what I was thinking, how can such official crudentials be incorporated into a resume? A reference is someone who will make or break an interview, I definetly know that I want a reference who speak highly of my abilities, yet be truthful on the same token.

  8. Frau M.
    on Feb 27th, 2010
    @ 11:41 am

    On the flip-side, I am annoyed when a district asks for papers. Not so bothered that I won’t apply for an adminstrative position (someone has to bring that school into the 21st century, and it might as well be me), but bothered nonetheless.

  9. Mike Krol
    on Feb 27th, 2010
    @ 5:34 pm

    Ha I agree! I think that the funny thing about resumes is that almost everyone’s is the same. I have been trying to think of different ways to do it. My new idea which I am going to try out at a job fair is a baseball card resume with my picture on the front and the info on the back. Funny thing is that I went to a school district last week and went to give them a paper resume and they would not even take it! Nice blog!

  10. Julianne VW
    on Feb 28th, 2010
    @ 10:41 pm

    As I am facing the dreaded process of updating my resume for another year of applying for a teaching job, I appreciate your opinions (and humor).

    I love the idea of a resume being a personal website. I just don’t feel like my creative talents, passion for teaching and knowledge of technology can be appreciated by filling out yet another online application in Times New Roman font. I have gotten every job I have interviewed for in person but now have not received one phone call from the dozens of online applications I have filled out. A website could be the next best thing to meeting me in person. I hope you find that your ideas will be common practice in the future!

    (I, too, attended Greenville College in Greenville, IL. Go Panthers and Jars of Clay! I am now a student of Pete Post at Trinity Christian College in the Adult Studies program for Special Education.)

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.