Resumes in a Web 2.0 world

Resumes in a Web 2.0 world

Summary: Guidance and career counselors, take note: this is 2009. It's no longer about helping kids get into college or find a job: it's about helping students build a brand and sell themselves in a very different world than the world into which most of us were born.


By the time kids leave high school, they should be able to write a resume, right? It won't be a long one as they obviously have pretty limited employment experience. However, they should be able to sell themselves to post-secondary educational institutions and potential employers. While the traditional 1-page paper resume is hardly dead as a snapshot of a potential employee/student, I saw something on Twitter this morning that gave me pause (thanks to @AlKrueger):

I'd also hope that the resume I received was a social media resume/online portfolio with video and more.

This is completely taken out of the context of the Twitter conversation, but it still makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? This is 2009: what can you bring to your employer or to your professors/instructors in terms of modern skill? Obviously, the idea of selling yourself on one piece of paper means that you have to be quite compelling in a short space. Yet it hardly provides a picture of a modern young person.

Employers will check MySpace and Facebook profiles before hiring candidates. Why not, in addition to keeping one's social networking profiles clean (please stop posting those killer bong hits, kids), provide an employer with a full digital portfolio? Don't make them dig up your Twitter or Friendfeed; provide them in a clear, well-organized, online format. Make it a blog, or a wiki, a full-blown website, or a video site. Make it compelling, interesting, and to the point. Make the link prominent on that paper resume you provide in an interview or letter of interest (or on your college application, for that matter).

Guidance and career counselors, take note: this is 2009. It's no longer about helping kids get into college or find a job: it's about helping students build a brand and sell themselves in a very different world than the world into which most of us were born.

Topics: CXO, Browser, IT Employment, Social Enterprise

Christopher Dawson

About Christopher Dawson

Chris Dawson is a freelance writer, consultant, and policy advocate with 20 years of experience in education, technology, and the intersection of the two.

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  • RE: Resumes in a Web 2.0 world

    Yeah so great idea to have your Resume include
    the "social networking" component...2 things I
    see wrong here: 1: Most companies put a block
    on all social networking/blog websites. (yes
    most IT Admi'sn can un-block them, but why?) 2:
    Do I want my future boss knowing what my FB or
    myspace URL's are --- NO!! And you should be
    proud of your shots of bong hits!!! (as long as
    you're not Michael Phelps!!! ) ha ha.....I do
    agree that a video can be a positive thing if
    it is done well. jmo!
  • I have to disagree on the Facebook/Myspace

    There is this thing, it is called professionalism. Facebook is a place for me to meet up with friends and family, and if what I say and do is being critiqued by a potential employer, well then maybe I do not want to work for that employer.

    Now the idea of building a brand is a great concept. Adobe provides excellent tools in its latest releases of CS. There are other "portfolio" type websites where you can build content, built specifically for employers.

    If an employer told me that they would want to see my facebook, I would probably thow up a mock one.
    • They won't ask

      [i]If an employer told me that they would want
      to see my facebook, I would probably thow up a
      mock one.[/i]

      They won't tell you that they want to see your
      facebook. During the hiring process, they might
      just sneak a peek, and all they'll tell you is
      if you were hired or not.

      The solution? A private MySpace/Facebook page.

      I agree with you, though. I wouldn't want to
      work for an employer who would do that either.
      It's too bad there's no way to tell which ones
      do and which ones don't.

  • RE: Resumes in a Web 2.0 world

    Welcome to the double edged sword of the internet. With
    so many social networking/blogging sites open to the
    pubic for anyone to see and allowing for hundreds and
    hundreds of like minded friends, it also opens the door for
    prospective employers and schools to learn more about the candidate. You can be proud of your bong hits, and
    drinking binges, but if you are airing it all out to the
    public, don't say its not fair to be discriminated about that.

    There is a way around all that, DON'T make your
    facebook/myspace etc open to the public.. OR don't use
    the same email on your resume that is linked to your blogs
    and such.

  • Craig's List or twitter, not Facebook

    Social sites are picky on their content. I wouldn't go to Facebook to find someone for a position at my company, but rather find out if they do eccentric stuff that can hurt the company. "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
    People look for anything they WANT on Craig's list, even people, so why not post there. Yeah you don't want to post everything, only what the employer wants to hear.

    Anytime you do advertise, you need a portfolio. Saying you have a Certification or a degree is not enough anymore. You need Proof and a foot in the door to get the job today.

    Personally I don't like the idea of paying for friends, but Frats and Sororities do help in the long run on locating or being a step ahead of the other people applying for the job. But if no one from your chapter or any chapter is there, than it's best used for networking.

    Finally, career day or job fairs. Make sure the company rep there are hiring or just advertising, because you want to lock in and "sign that contract" so you are there for the long haul. The contract comment is so they don't change their mind about you.

    NOTE: PROOF, PROOF, PROOF! Without it they think you could be lying.
    Maarek Stele
  • RE: Resumes in a Web 2.0 world

    Absolutely--and as an adult in my 30s, I see an online portfolio as a necessity, especially in the tech and media sector.
  • learning to stick out

    I'm a university co-op student and every 4 months, I
    compete against every other student in my school for a
    handful of jobs. Nowhere else (except maybe at Google)
    would you find this kind of job competition. We learn
    fast that impressing a potential employer quickly and
    memorably is the key to success. The expectation is
    that students, at the very least, develop their own
    unique resume style (any standard format resumes are
    looked down upon as showing lack of creativity).
    Beyond that, many students build and host their own
    extensive professional web pages: arts students post
    their portfolios, programming students post code
    samples, etc. These pages also include every little
    piece of helpful experience. Most of these websites
    are of a grade that would put many business websites
    to shame.

    We do this every semester, and it's like having
    another class added to our already full schedules. Why
    does the faculty add this extra stress? Because high
    school student resumes are laughable, and because
    things like our current economy are going to have a
    negative effect on job prospects and it's the people
    who have experience like what we get at school that
    are going to keep having job offers pouring in while
    everyone else is left out in the cold.

    It's time high schools got with the program. Have
    career services people go out and speak to the people
    who do the hiring at big businesses in the area: ask
    what they want in a resume. Teaching students about
    wiring a one-page resume with no spelling mistakes is
    important, but finding a job goes so far beyond that
    now. You need more.

    By the way, there's no excuse for a student to not
    have any experience by the time they're in high
    school. This is another thing that's a problem with
    resume-teachers in high school: experience doesn't
    have to come with a job. One of the best things I have
    on my resume as experience is a project I did in a
    high school computer class, fixing and rewiring the
    computer lab at the end of the year for our summative

    Last but not least: It's time to stop putting the
    emphasis on experience. Even including non-traditional
    experience like I suggested above, a high school
    student's resume probably isn't that impressive in the
    experience department anyways. Skills are what are
    important now. Experience is simply there to back up
    the skills you claim to have. No one cares if you were
    a McDonald's fry cook; what's important is that you
    may have taught someone else how to use the cash
    register (leadership) or solved a problem for a
    customer (customer service and conflict resolution).
    Those are the experience that develop skills and
    that's what should be highlighted on a resume.
    • You need to re-think some of that.

      [b][i]"Last but not least: It's time to stop putting the emphasis on experience. Even including non-traditional experience like I suggested above, a high school student's resume probably isn't that impressive in the experience department anyways. Skills are what are important now..."[/i][/b]

      Which is precisely why it's [i]never[/i] time to stop putting emphasis on experience. Experience separates liars and braggarts from proven performers. Every applicant claims to have the skills, but the experienced ones have proven it.

      When it comes to qualifications, I put experience ahead of even education, and for good reason. A certificate or degree tells me you can sit through lessons and test well, But your diploma tells me little to nothing about your creativity, work ethic, or your ability to perform in the workplace and interact well with co-workers, all of which are as important as your academic skills. Experience and references tell me you can apply your knowledge, work with a team, and get things done. The difference is neither subtle nor insignificant. If you've got both experience and education, all the better, as it should be.

      It isn't what you [i]say[/i] you can do that matters... it's what you've [i]shown[/i] you can do. Stop putting emphasis on experience? In your dreams.
      • Not rethink, necessarily...

        ...but perhaps rephrase, or at least explain.

        I agree entirely with what you're saying.
        Experience is important on a resume. The point
        I was trying to make was that a lot of high
        school students tend to write their experience
        like this:

        McDonalds Fry Cook; 2004-2007
        - operated deep fryer
        - filled and cleaned fryer after a shift
        - helped other cooks when required

        That's not particularly impressive, mostly
        because there's nothing about skills in there.
        A job description should reference as many
        skills as it can, like:

        McDonalds Fry Cook, 2004- 2007
        - maintained high standard of cleanliness and
        safety while operating the deep fryer
        - managed time effectively in order to provide
        customers with a high speed of service
        - worked with other members of the McDonald's
        employee team to ensure all tasks were
        completed in a timely manner

        See? Much more impressive, and a potential
        employer can see, at a glance, that this person
        has a healthy respect for rules and
        regulations, time management skills, and
        teamwork (and possibly leadership) skills.

        That's what I meant by 'put emphasis on
        skills'. High school students don't have the
        technical experience required to make a resume
        impressive by simply listing day to day
        activities in their job descriptions, so
        emphasizing transferable skills is crucial. Too
        many high schools simply glaze over skills and
        too many students write resumes that look like
        my first example and then wonder why they can't
        get a job.
  • RE: Resumes in a Web 2.0 world

    This is very similar to what the Education depart at my university had students set up. This way prospective teachers and employers looking for said teachers had a commonly known and frequented media medium where the teacher to be could post there experience along with anything else they wanted. One example was a student in her final semester of internship added a 5 minute video of a question/answer session with her students she was teaching. When interviews came employers already had a means to review her skills, albeit an obviously biased one, but better than what some get to see before a hiring.
  • RE: Resumes in a Web 2.0 world

    Web 2.0 resumes? Well head hunters and IT manager want that mushup look to their websites. Ironically since 9/11 and massive outsourcing, there aren't many to fill that gap. Especially since the new application languages and web communications formats originate outside of Universities, computer science programs and software certification rip off courses. There isn't any such thing as a Web 2.0 resume. Why? well in the beginning there were network layer programming and email. Then sgml, html , Perl and mozilla browsers. Now there is such a mix of Object Orientated Programming languages that in order to have a Web 2.0 resume. You must be able to do legacy unix scripting, C, Java, Javascript Frameworks, .Net frameworks and lastly SQL (Oracle,Sql Server, Sybase and DB2) in order for your resume to receive attention! Despite that, you may not get the job anyway.

    To cut down lying about Web 2.0 employers now require websites evidencing your Web 2.0 programming skills! If you are working 13 to 14 hours per day, and burnt out on the weekends(if you actually have one) to create a snappy new Web 2.0 website! A real "Catch 22" situation!

    Basically, employers are asking for and demanding multiple language programmers who are capable of both back end and front end programming in a big way. Even if you find yourself,after hired, dealing with unrelated legacy code! Keeping that revenue stream coming in is a reality!

    In this depression (not recession) there is a glut of older pre 9/11 programmers, ex financial services programmers, a smaller population of new Computer Science majors and a new requirement that's not being taught. Mainly a Web 2.0 programmer with a Web 2.0 resume is harder to find in America than a diamond in the middle of the desert! But never fear, you IT manager can be found at a cheaper hourly cost in India, Ireland, Hong Kong and the Philippines So good luck suckers!

    • Negative much?

      Okay, first, the vast majority of tech
      employers know that it takes a good programmer
      maybe a week or two to get the hang of a new
      programming language (less if they've worked in
      a similar one) so who cares if you're applying
      to a Java job and you only work in C#?
      Emphasize your ability to learn fast on your
      resume and away you go.

      The reason employers want a Web 2.0 resume
      isn't so that you can prove you know every Web
      2.0 language out there: it's so you can show
      how creative you are! Someone which huge
      knowledge in tech and no creativity will
      probably end up with a webpage that will be
      ugly as a donkey's butt, and someone who might
      be new to the scene but has a lot to offer will
      be able to hack together something, learning as
      they good, but it can look really good in the
  • RE: Resumes in a Web 2.0 world

    Students shouldn't take this 'social media' resume too lightly. More is expected from them.

    nuResume, a budding student career network aims to give students a professional online identity by giving them their very own Google-optimized multi-media pages complete with featuring an online resume with portfolio, videos, blogs and more!-all for free. It's also a site to network with fellow students, or employers, career centers, faculty, etc. Our two star student contests are also open to all students looking for internships. More details at
  • no no no no no no

    i think that it is good because kids should know not to cross dress or dress like a slut cuz you can go to jail trust me i know oh my bad you are talking about skool ha opps
    star dust
  • kool

    make donles is very good and the cook i dont get once there was this cook who stuck alot of hair in this one chicks bruger and she was really sick when she ate it ewwwww she found the hair and ate i tand the hair was all curely
    star dust