The Infographic Resume Part II

Now reading Chapter 5, I have some catching up to do! Chapter 1 did a fine job of establishing "how we got to where we are today," and it's clear that job search changes have been fueled by the internet, of course.

Chapter 2, Your Online Portfolio, makes a case for how you should harness some of that internet power in your favour! Creating your online portfolio will "get you on someone's radar." Celebrities prove this all the time: they stay on our radar with antics and theatrics typical of celebrities. A job hunter's goal is also to get noticed, if for different reasons!

The book has excellent ideas for creating "work examples that clearly call out and QUANTIFY your experience and accomplishments that relate to the job you're applying for." (page 14) And that's the key to attraction-generating info - quantifying - and I'll add "or qualifying" - the accomplishments and experience you have. The info must be relevant as well, a fact that many self-written resumes tend to either forget or not consider (perhaps most people don't know how to make it relevant?).

The list of possible portfolio content includes a bio or summary, text and infographic resumes, testimonials, awards, special recognition, and samples of work. The samples could be flowcharts, phtos, metrics, presentations, Gantt chart, spreadsheets, reports or training that you created - relevant examples of what you have done and will do. And there are more ideas suggested; do check these out!

(I would add a reading list of favourite books, and of those books that perhaps shaped the work you do today.)

The author, Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa.net, suggests that you create your own website, and provides links to a few of these online portfolio-style websites. They are eye-catching and ultra professional.

Herein lies the challenge of today's job search, according to Ms. Morgan: you must think like you are a business and wear PR, marketing, graphic designer, and copywriter hats. "Your challenge is to think like the marketing department at a big corporation like Coke, Ford, or the New York Times." (page 15)

Yikes! That's a major statement and audacious undertaking.

Having served job hunters for several years now, I'll say with confidence that no, you don't need to go to this degree to land a job today. Superb foundational documents - resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn presence - are doing the trick for my clients. But I'll keep reading and reviewing the contents of this book ... perhaps I'll be persuaded?

The Infographic Resume

(Reprinted from my post on LinkedIn)

A few weeks ago I was contacted by McGraw Hill Education and offered a copy of their new publication, "The Infographic Resume." Written by Hannah Morgan, Founder of Career Sherpa.net, it walks the reader through creating a visual portfolio that showcases skills and lands the job.

I'm finding it a great read, and am taking my time, making notes and highlighting interesting tidbits. Here's one:

"About 18 percent of new hires come from job boards, according to the CareerXroads 2013 Sources of Hire study."(page 3)

Just 18% of new hires, around one in five, originate from job boards, and yet I'd say that most job hunters spend far more than 20% of their job search efforts on this one job search tactic.

Here's another:

"This process [recruitment using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)] is incredibly flawed. Good applicants who have poorly documented their skills get overlooked." (page 4)

I could not agree more - I've been saying that recruitment is "broken" for some time and my reasoning also revolves around the use of ATS. I'd suggest that applicants must get serious about learning to document their skills properly in an ATS-friendly manner.

And just one more quote to share, and from my point of view, it's a doozy:

"It shouldn't be so hard to find the right candidate for the job with the tools and talent available. But when the resume is the primary and initial form of communicating such a complex message, it is no wonder the results are dismal."

I agree with the author that it shouldn't be hard to find great help; talent abounds, great candidates are applying, and the internet makes it easy to reach the talent and software makes it easy to assess the talent. Some resumes work; after all, some candidates do land interviews. The disconnect is not in the resume, in my opinion, it's not the resume that is at fault for "dismal results"! The disconnect lies elsewhere.

In my opinion it's a lack of communication between companies using ATS and their audience, the job searchers, about how to navigate ATSystems. I also take issue with the unspoken rules about what kinds of applicants are worthy of an interview. Apparently those who are out of work aren't as "good" as those who are working. That's nonsense! Who amongst us hasn't been either laid off or terminated, without cause, or knows of someone who has endured this confidence-sapping exercise. I've worked with many such job searchers and their work history is chock-full of wonderful examples of real workplace value; they were not let go for lack of productivity.

As I stated, the recruitment process is broken. I'll let you know what else I learn from The Infographic Resume. Perhaps it holds the secret to overcoming the obstacles in today's recruitment process?