I remember my first résumé. I think it looked a little random, with lots of sweet-teenager factoids. I included my parent’s address and phone number and typed it on an extra-nice piece of paper. No typos, which took several careful attempts on the typewriter.
Luckily, my first employer read between the lines and saw an earnest, light-hearted, social kid. And at seventeen I became an assistant to four battle-hardened public health nurses who served the skid-row neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. After their long mornings of visiting and treating homeless men with tuberculosis, alcoholism and “venereal diseases,” I could hear them coming up the stairs to our ancient office. They’d drop their notes on my desk and growl, “Come on kid. Let’s go have lunch.” That’s where my education as a coach, mentor and counselor began, as I leaned over Formica table tops in the coffee shop downstairs to soak up their stories and their attention.
Fast-forward a few decades, and job-seekers, young and old have to figure out new ways to get noticed. Last week the Wall Street Journal reported, “No More Résumés, Say Some Firms”. Instead, many companies are looking for links to your “Web presence” and for “short videos demonstrating (your) interest in the position.”
In other words, if you want to be noticed, you’ve got to have your key words and your sentence ready for the robotic hoppers than now narrow the field of interviewees.
Many of the people I coach are in the midst of a career transition. So after I remind them to breathe, I start challenging and supporting them to think about their key words, sentences, images and, yes, their Web presence. What will help them to communicate what they most want to do and whom they most want to serve?
If you are in that restless-but-scared starting point of a transition, this month I’ve posted several of my favorite resources on the new “free stuff” page of my website. So, come on kid. Have some fun and be in touch if you need a little extra challenge and support.