Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Advice from SXSW: Put your passion in your resume

I recently had the pleasure of attending the interactive portion of SXSW last week in Austin. To say that it was overwhelming would be an understatement. With an estimated attendance of nearly 25,000 people there to learn, connect and talk about technology, there were so many sessions I wanted to attend that putting a schedule together made my head spin.
However, one of the sessions I attended offered some great advice on today's digital job hunt. If you have no time to read the rest of this post, then just take away this piece of sage advice: Don't bury the lead.
Don't know what that means? "Burying the lead" comes from the old journalism principle that you should start with the most interesting and unique part of the story to grab a reader's attention, versus "burying" it behind less important or secondary information.

The lead

You should also apply this principle to your resume. Place your most relevant and interesting experience at the top. If you find yourself struggling to make your career tantalizing for a recruiter, always remember that substantial, quantifiable successes prove your abilities. Don't just list out your day-to-day duties.
Remember, your resume is the first opportunity you have to make an impression on a recruiter or hiring manager and should be strong enough to entice the employer to schedule an interview with you. Consider that the employer likely has a few minutes tops to review the resume, so get to the point of why you are an outstanding candidate right away.

Skills, passions

The panel went on to discuss that one of the keys to standing out is by identifying your social identity (via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and syncing your social persona and passions with your resume to create a stronger, cohesive online identity. When you can tie your passions into your career objectives or show how those passions are related or help you in your career, you are seen as the "whole package." Skills are one thing, but to find a passionate employee who can fuse it all together -- that's a person who truly stands out.

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