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In this episode...
What's Up With Resumes?
In the past, paper resumes were standard fare. Today? People don’t even know whether to submit one, let alone what to put on them. Episode 58 of Faithful on the Clock clarifies what’s happening in the resume space so you can put your confusion to rest.
[00:05] - Intro
[00:29] - People still are using resumes, but they’re becoming a digital search tool. This means you don’t have to worry so much about traditional elements and should focus more on including relevant keywords and key phrases for the job you want.
[02:20] - One of the biggest resume-related trends is to have candidates do AI-based testing during the interview process. These tests set out to discover the skills and ways of thinking you have that are relevant to the company and fit their operations/team. They can open additional job opportunities if properly used.
[03:47] - Candidates are using three big resume alternatives. These include LinkedIn profiles, video resumes, and professional websites.
[06:24] - Personalization still matters. If you can submit directly, make sure you’re customizing your resume or alternative to the company. It’s good to have both a generic and customized version of your material.
[07:17] - It’s critical to be truthful on your resume, not only because God values truth, but because it can be risky for your career and legal standing to commit resume fraud and lie. Don’t envy or be upset with people who lie, because it ultimately will bite them in the end.
[11:03] - Some people recommend sending gifts with a resume, but I personally don’t like that advice. It can come across as too much like a bribe, and it prevents people who might not have good financial footing from competing fairly. If you must use this method, don’t be exorbitant and try to make the gift relevant and clever.
[12:02] - In general, just follow the rule that you should adjust your materials based on your sense of the business before you apply.
[12:18] - Prayer
[13:03] - Outro/What’s coming up next
What’s coming up next:
Monitoring employees can protect businesses from legal issues and help companies find ways to improve results. But what exactly can companies monitor, and how can employees and employers come to an agreement about what will be tracked? That’s in Episode 59 of Faithful on the Clock.
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Welcome to Faithful on the Clock, everybody. This is the podcast focused on getting your faith and work aligned. I'm your host, Wanda Thibodeaux, and today we're talking about resumes. Does anybody even still use them anymore, and if they do, how should you be formatting them, and what should you include? That's coming up right now.[:
Diving right into this topic today, the short answer to the question of whether or not people are using resumes is, yes, they are. But they are using them in dramatically different ways than they used to in the past. And I found some really great resources when I was doing the research for this episode, and I'll put all the links to those in the show notes for you. But the first point is that resumes aren't about showing your skills anymore, okay? So you can forget that. What they are about is making you searchable in a digital way. So if you think of the resume like any traditional document, that document is going to have relevant keywords and phrases that relate to your field or industry or your skills. And when you put your resume online, companies are going to use different search technologies to find your resume based on those keywords and keyphrases. So it's not necessarily that they are going to pour over the resume. They're just kind of using it like a filter to get a start on finding the best candidates. Now, that is not to say that you don't want the resume to be really clean and polished. But it does mean that you don't have to worry quite so much about the format that you use or you know things like chronology or how the resume looks aesthetically. And even then, if they do look at the resume, I think we are at a point now where companies have seen a lot of different formats or styles and they're more willing to consider those. That said, if they are using the resume as a search tool, then you really have to be on top of your game in terms of understanding exactly what search terms companies pay attention to for the type of job that you're after. So if you use something like Google AdWords or something like that, that should give you a good start on that.[:
Now, all that being said, the next logical question is, well, if we're not using resumes to really present ourselves, then what are we using? And the biggest thing by far here is artificial intelligence or AI. So in addition to using AI to help with the keyword search process, what companies are doing is, once they find you and pull you in for an interview, they then give you one or more tests that are AI-based. And what those tests are trying to figure out is, one, how are you thinking, but also, what is your capability around specific skills. And then what they do is they take the result of those tests and they compare your results to the high performers from their specific company, because they want to make sure that you can be at the same level and in the same mindset as people they know have achieved well for them. And this I think is a good thing, because it can be more objective through that process. And what it does is ensure that they are selecting people that can do the job in the here and now rather than selecting people based on the past experience that they might have had. And I think, too, it's beneficial in the sense that, maybe based on the results of the testing, they might discover that you are actually a really great fit for other opportunities that they might have. So I think it kind of opens up some doors for you that would be closed otherwise.[:
But let's assume that a recruiter still wants something to look at aside from just these AI tests. What are you gonna use? Well there are a lot of resume alternatives out there now that people are using, one of the biggest of which is just to make a really thorough, killer LinkedIn profile. And what I like about LinkedIn is that it gives you the chance to show yourself a little bit more broadly. So for example, you can highlight articles you've written, speaking engagements, that kind of thing. And the recruiters can check things within all of your posts to get a sense of your views and personality, so it's just a broader picture of who you are that you can update in real time. Then, some people are doing video resumes. And the video resumes don't just have to be, you know, you just talking to the screen. A lot of the time, you can compile clips from presentations you've given, testimonials, and we know scientifically that video is much more engaging for the brain than text or still images. So it's a great way to capture attention and come across in a little bit more memorable way. And there are a lot of different platforms that you can use to host the video. You can use YouTube, Vimeo is another big one, you know, and everybody has their own preferences there. But as long as you can embed the video or link to it, you'll be in good shape. The final big alternative is to build your own professional website. And this doesn't necessarily have to cost very much, although you certainly can get very serious and hire a developer if you want to. You know, there are lots of hosting companies that will let you purchase a domain and host your site for just a couple of bucks a month, and they've got some great templates that you can use. But the reason I like the idea of a website is that it becomes kind of a one-stop shop for you. You can put your resume on there, you can put other video highlights, contact information, articles or a blog, and you can use an RSS feed to keep the site updated with your social media account posts in real time, too. So there's just a ton of value that you can have from aggregating in this way, because again, you don't want to overwhelm a recruiter or a hiring manager, but you do want to make it very easy for them to find as much information as possible about you in one place. The other thing that's nice is that having a website allows you to link to other things that you are involved in which is important for Google rankings. Because generally, the more of a spider web you can make online with those connections the more important or relevant you seem to Google.[:
One consideration as you are looking at all these options is personalization. You know, if you're just posting a catch-all resume to a job search site, you can't really customize very much aside from the keywords and key phrases. But if you have the opportunity to submit your resume or video directly to a specific company, then I think the traditional rule of tailoring to the business still applies. And that just means you gotta do your homework, right? You gotta look at the company's website, maybe read some reviews from previous or current employees, all that stuff. And what I usually recommend to people is that they actually create two versions, one being the generic version that they can kind of submit anywhere, and the other version being one that they can create or tailor based off the generic version that plugs in more of the customized stuff.[:
Now here's the key. Regardless of whether you use a traditional resume, a website, a video, or any of your other options, the resource you provide should be a true and accurate representation of who you are and what you've done. Because, I mean, the last thing you want is for a hiring manager to get the wrong impression and then let you go later when they discover that you really can't do the job or aren't a good fit for the company. So it's in everybody's best interest, including yours, to be truthful. But more importantly, from the Christian perspective, we know that God values truth incredibly highly. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” And Proverbs 12:22 says, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight.” And so, ideally, what you want that truth on your resume to show is that you have not only contributed to the growth of your previous team or company, but that you have also genuinely been a personal help to people. Because remember, just like I had mentioned in the last episode about pitching, it's not about coming across like a superhero who can swoop in and fix things. It's about showing that the company can come along on a journey with you of shared values and goals. Because, and this is just my opinion here, but companies can change and go out of business so fast. You know, the market is always changing. Companies are always coming up with new positions based on technology and other things. And I think, statistically, they know that people are not as loyal as they used to be and that it's pretty common for people to look at different positions every once in a while. And I think that the one thing that you can aim for in that context that kind of pulls everything together is that you have been able to deliver that growth and service no matter where you've been or what title you've held. And I emphasize this because there is such a thing–and companies are aware of this–as resume fraud, where people will intentionally lie. And those lies can be on anything from where you went to school or how long you worked, all sorts of things. And it is unfortunately incredibly common for people to do. There was a 2020 study by ResumeLab that found that over half of applicants–56 percent–either outright lied or stretched the truth. And I think the temptation in that environment is to think that you have to fudge things or you have to whitewash your story to be able to work and that's not true. Because like I said, what often happens is, when you lie on a resume, you can only wear that mask for so long before the cracks will start to show in the story. So you run a real risk of losing the position you were hired for and if you do that repeatedly it creates a narrative that says you don't stick around. And I think that only hurts your chances of being successful in the larger picture over time. So in terms of being competitive, don't assume that the person who got the job you wanted by lying for it is necessarily going to be better off. And I want you to be very aware, too, that at least in the United States, you often can be held legally liable for resume fraud. So it’s serious stuff all the way around, and I just encourage you to remember that, when God has your back, He’s gonna get you where you need to be, anyway. There’s no reason to fib when that’s the case.[:
The other thing I want to touch on just briefly is, there are some people who recommend sending along some kind of gift with a resume. And the rationale is that you’ll stand out if you go a little bit above and beyond. But I really don’t like this advice for two reasons. First, not everybody can afford to send a gift. And so gifts to me feel like, right off the bat, you’re making it harder for candidates who might not be as well off to get in the door. And I think if you’ve got some integrity behind you, you want the race to be a fair one and get in on merits aside from money. And I just feel like it comes across too much like a bribe. And not only that, you know, you get to a point where, if a lot of people do it, it’s not really gonna set you apart as much as you might think, anyway. But if by chance, you know, maybe you’re in a culture where that’s just the norm. Well, then I’d say go ahead but don’t be exorbitant about it, and try to make the gift clever and relevant to the company.[:
So I hope this gets you up to speed a little bit on the whole resume picture. And I think that if you just kinda follow the rule that you really try to get a sense of the business before you apply, you’ll get a better idea of what to submit and what format might be best for different circumstances.[:
So if you would, just bow your head for a moment and we’ll take a second to pray.
Father in Heaven, the whole idea behind a resume is to prove that you are exactly what a company wants, that you are good enough. And so often, we worry that we don’t have what it takes. And I pray that you’ll press on our hearts as we prepare to apply how important the truth is. But maybe even more importantly, I thank you that you gave us Jesus, so that, at least with you, we’ll always be good enough, that we always have a foot in the door to be loved and have the chance to serve you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.[:
All right, listeners. So you know how to handle your resume or the resume alternatives, so I expect you to get out there and apply for those dream jobs out there, OK? Let me know on Twitter @FaithfulOTC where you’re applying and, if you’ve got ‘em, share any resume tips you’ve got. In our next episode, we’re covering employee monitoring. What’s OK to watch, what isn’t, and how do you communicate your boundaries or the purpose of what you’re doing? Join me in two weeks for that, have a great couple of days, and be blessed.