The Times They Are A-Changin is one of the most iconic songs of 20th century Americana and Bob Dylan’s lyrics ring true today as much as they did 50 years ago, in 1963, when this album and title song was first released.
The duty of a good Career Service blogger is to always keep this in mind and make certain you do as well, because many job seekers are stuck in the past when it comes to writing a resume, networking for a job, and in the use of social media.
So here are some changes you should be aware of.
Not long ago resumes were historical fact sheets, and resume writers and HR departments alleged they had a somewhat strictly defined convention about how to write them. However as Elaine Boylan, Senior Associate Director at Adelphi University’s Center for Career Development, recently commented on LinkedIn “Over time, my view of what works in terms of resume formatting, font choices, text placement and effective content has become more flexible, as I more broadly define what variations are acceptable.” She hit the nail on the head.
Resumes for certain positions, attorneys for instance, still follow age old conventions. Whereas the resume for say a Director of Marketing can now morph in a new direction with the inclusion or color, pictures, graphs and statistics being acceptable to make a point and establish a unique brand.
No longer should resumes be categorized as chronological, functional or combination. Rather they are now taking on new faces with creative use of formatting and content being widely accepted and even preferred by many decision makers today. Your job is to find out how far, at your level, you can push the envelope in your field.
Gone are the days when people do the majority of their networking face to face at networking events, job fairs and other social events. This is still a good way to network for business but not so much for job seeking. The key to networking for a job today is not to focus on meeting a quantity of people at venues where everyone is there for the same purpose, rather it is best to focus on establishing and growing deep relationships with the right people and staying in touch with them rather than the relationship being one sided with a casual “hi how are you doing” once every few months or once a year.
The biggest change in job-hunting and one that is evolving daily is the importance of social media. Social media has now become a key component of both your resume and your networking action plans, and is crucial for every job search. It is how you get found by people looking for specific talent, it is how you offer quasi-important extraneous information that does not belong directly in your resume, it is how you show your work samples to decision makers who can be swayed by them, and it is how you can present quality references and recommendations that validate your worth. It is also how you find the people you want to know, communicate with them on an ongoing basis, and it is how you learn and grow by being exposed to important information and influencers who can help you plot and accelerate your job search for you.
So no matter how young or old you are, or the stage you are in your career, as The Times Are A-Changin you should change along with them.
As always, I’m available to critique U.S. resumes and LinkedIn pages and offer suggestions to you at no cost. You can send me an email with your current resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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