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Resumes in a Web 2.0 world

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.
Written by Christopher Dawson, Contributor on

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.

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