Editor’s note: this is part two of the series we’re doing on resumes. If you haven’t already read the first part, check it out here.
When I was first applying for jobs, resumes were more straightforward than they are now. You had complete control over this aspect of the job application process because you wrote your resume yourself.
Potential employers got their information about you from this carefully constructed document, as well as from your references. That was it.
A Second Kind of Resume
Things have changed significantly in the last fifteen years. These days each of us has at least two types of resume:
- The official one we write
- The unofficial one produced by search engines, our public profiles, and our posts on social media, blogs, and websites
Although search engine results are not well organized, they give readers impressions of who you are through anecdotal evidence. This gives you the opportunity to show potential employers a more complete picture of who you are. This is excellent news for multipods.
A Guided Tour vs. A Stroll through the Museum
A common concern of multipotentialites is how to write a resume that’s focused enough to get a job but broad enough to reflect a breadth of knowledge and a diverse range of skills. As I mentioned in part 1 of this blog post, I suggest you think of yourself as a curator of the museum that is your life’s interests and works.
As you curate, keep in mind that the two types of resume act in different ways. Think of your written resume as a focused guided tour – one that points out highlights relevant to the situation at hand. Think of your online resume as an unguided stroll through the museum.
Each type of resume highlights different aspects of your life. The one you create yourself focuses on your skills, knowledge base, and experiences, whereas the one captured by online searches reflects your relationships and therefore your people skills (often referred to “soft skills”).
The combination of the two types of resume has the potential to show multipotentialite strengths in a way that pre-Google resumes could not. Now we can present a guided tour of who we are before inviting potential employers to get an even better idea of our multi-faceted existence through online search results.
We simply have to curate our online presence and work on our skills as tour guides.
Here be Treasure (or Dragons)
Of course, having potential employers study our presence online could spell disaster. So it’s important to take control of what’s up there. There are two steps to doing this:
- Give employers a strong starting point by using your official resume to summarize and organize your experiences and skills.
- Make sure your online presence gives others the impression you want them to have of you.
Curate your online identity by checking and making changes to what others see about you using sites such as Reppler.
As well as checking for anything inappropriate you’d like to remove or make private, you could add positive information to your online resume. One way to do this by making sure your social media profiles are completed as you’d want readers of your resume to see them. Consider both the text and the images you share.
Use Your Two Types of Resume to Your Advantage
In part 1 of this post, I mentioned What Color Is Your Parachute? Guide to Rethinking Resumes by Richard N. Bolles as a helpful resource, and the three things he says resume readers are seeking:
- Competence, including skills, knowledge, and experience
- Compassion, meaning people skills, enthusiasm, and other un-quantifiable skills
- Anything disturbing
Here’s where you can use your two types of resume to your advantage. You can easily show number one – your competence – through your written resume. You can use your online presence to demonstrate number two – your people skills and enthusiasm -, and you can make sure that both your online and written resumes are free of number three – the ominous “anything disturbing.”
Keep in mind that what is disturbing to some is not disturbing to others. For example, I ran my own profile through Reppler and found one “blemish” on Twitter: I used the word “gin” in a caption for a photograph I made of some locally distilled gin. Personally I don’t find this a problem, but then again I’m not applying to teach at an alcohol-free Southern Baptist university. Think about the positions you’re likely to apply for and how potential employers might view your activities.
Two Types of Resumes Can Work in Your Favor
When trying to impress potential employers, use both your written resume and the results of a Google search. Use both to tell your story. Use your written resume as your museum’s guided tour and your online presence to show your people skills and your multipotentialite strengths.
Have you ever used your online presence to your advantage in your career? How might you present yourself in the best possible light online?
Dr. Brenda Scott is a fine art photographer, writer, and cellist. Originally trained as a musician and organologist, she has worked as a curator of a small musical instrument museum and her Stagville: Black & White exhibit has been displayed at the North Carolina Museum of History and is currently on tour. She enjoys teaching and holds degrees from the University of Oxford, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Auburn University, and the Academy of Art University. View her work at brendascottarts.com or follow her on Twitter @brendascottarts.