Wordless Thursday – Crafting the perfect Resume

Resume writing is critical throughout your professional life. Resumes open the door to an education, a job, and a lifestyle. While in the past a simple paper resume did the trick, with the messy job market and fast growing technological resources resumes definitely need a sprucing. The slow growth of the job market and the large numbers of graduates makes for a very sticky situation. Of the hundreds of applications, how does an employer choose just one? If your resume doesn’t sparkle, you may just get left in the dust.

Wordless Thursday is this blog’s attempt at bringing interesting infographic to all of you. Hope you have likes them, and like always be Inquisitive.

Create your own QR Codes in 5 simple steps

QR codes are slowly growing to be popular, and people are using them more and more. Recently in a bit of work for one of my freelance clients, we introduced the QR code into their business card, brochure and even their print ads, being well received by all this was a great feeling. But like a lot of people in the creative field will tell you, people around the UAE don’t really feel the need to experiment. This being the main reason for why most technology does not really get completely adapted well here. Getting back to the main topic on hand; QR codes are really getting more and more interesting and innovative not only in their applications but also with their designs.

If you’re unfamiliar with QR codes, not to worry I have a introductory guide written before. Those fuzzy boxes on business cards and promotional swag are easily scannable information barcodes. Essentially, you point your camera at the image and get a message, website, or other piece of content beamed directly to your smartphone or computer. Try the one above here. QR codes are still a relatively foreign concept for most casual users, but they have a lot of potential to change the mobile game. I am sure all those Android users will know what it is already as well as the Blackberry users with the introduction of QR codes in their BBM.

Since you are reading on the Inquisitive Mind, here is a small tutorial for the creation of these QR codes for yourself.

1. Decide the content 

Although the QR code can hold a bit of information, if you do properly you can maximize the small black and white chequered board for marketing, operation or some other innovative usage. A client of mine who is a Computer service person, uses the QR codes to be a sort of a information holder on when a computer was last formatted and when it was last services, by whom as well as which office. Another client uses the QR code to redirect the scanner to his business website on the back of his business card. So first of all decide what is the information you are going to embed in the code.

2. Find a QR code generator 

There are many QR Code generators online, I usually use the kaywa creator, you can find the creator here on their website. The swiss site is one of the simplest I found for the generation of QR codes.

3. Add your Content 

Based on the usage, you would need to pick if you would like to add in a URL, text only, a Phone Number or an SMS and add it in the relevant fields. I am creating one for my blog. So will chose the URL feature and add in the code. Hit Generate and wallah, its there.

4. Check that it works 

The next step is to ensure that the CODE works. Pick up your phone and scan the code, to ensure that the result matches with the exact same text or url that is added. 

5. Share it, use it, print it, save it 

One of the best places I have seen these used is at the back of a Business Card, information can be scanned and saved on the phone without the need to actually store the Business Card. Other placed include Social Network Profile pages, email signatures and Resumes. These will definitely help put up an innovative touch to your communication.

Another awesome way of using these codes, especially if you want it in print and you want the content to keep changing is the usage of Bit.ly. You can create a custom shortened URL for yourself on Bit.ly and then use the link to create the QR Code.  Then based on the source of the information that will be added in, the source of the Bit.Ly URL can be adopted. True if you are updating resumes, using linked in or Facebook versions for people etc. Another advantage of using the Bit.Ly method is to gain some analytics information of the Code. Bit.Ly will by standard provide you with analytics to use the code.  Try it out and let us know how the QR code is working.

From nutritional information on groceries, or comparison shop for textbooks, to addresses, games and free giveaways and bonuses at community events, these QR codes are really coming soon to a mobile phone next to you.

Proven, Creative job hunting techniques that will amaze you

Social Media is the buzz these days, but what really is Social Media. And there are people and businesses doing what ever it takes to get on to the band wagon of Social Media. But there are a selected few who are actually using it, in ways that would make us stand up and take notice. Job Hunt. Yes the field where you send in your resume wait for an interview to be arranged, and then hope you have done well to negotiate your job. Yes there have been really creative resumes, like the ones highlighted on another post here. But what if you could short cut the process with Social Media.

image credit

Well yes of course you have a Linked In profile and are findable on Google and yes your resume reads right as well, but still there are 100 Million other people on Linked In as well doing pretty much the same. And to make things worse, we don’t even use Linked In the way it is meant to be. So are you confused what to do, well these things should give you some inspiration. When faced with the unenviable task of searching for a job,  and marketing yourself,  the web and social media provides a variety of opportunities that wouldn’t work with other mediums. These creative job hunters have thought outside the box and leveraged the web to get themselves noticed.

Alec Brownstein

Alec Brownstein, a writer, needed a job. So he chose the names five top NYC advertising directors that he’d like to work for. Knowing that large bigwig executives would probably (like all of us) Google their own name, he bought an advertisement in Google that would be displayed when each person searched for his own name.

He got two job offers. The cost was just $6, a fine example of creative job hunting. He later published this YouTube Video explaining how it all happened, which itself went viral on the web – with nearly 1 million views at time of writing.

Talk about Social Media on steroids, this campaign was the reason I really started looking at some other similar examples, the next two are as good.

David Wood

David Wood, an unemployed Sales Representative from Bristol decided enough was enough after spending two years writing up to 30 job applications and scanning newspapers and websites for paid work. He decided to put an advert together on auction website EBay auctioning himself off to the highest bidder.

After some initial exploration on Twitter of using the medium of EBay to sell himself, David was approached by a PR firm who helped him create the campaign.Although his first advert didn’t make the cut (EBay don’t currently allow services to be auctioned on the site) he amended the advert to become much more product focused.

His advert reads: ‘For Sale an Experienced Sales Representative’ and describes him as a 1965 model who is ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘motivated’. With this his profile has shown up on numerous blogs, like mine, TV shows local newspapers, providing him with the reach that has kind of made him a local celebrity. Check out a screenshot of his eBay page below.

Victor Petit

Victor Petit is a french graphic design student looking for an internship. His recent Video on Vimeo shows perfectly how a little creativity in your C.V. can really grab the attention of your audience. His combination of mobile QR codes and an interactive experience is quite brilliant, taking the traditional C.V. and turning it on it’s head.

Absolutely fantastic work I should say, and we all know how QR codes are taking on the world. You can read about QR codes here if you are interested.

I dont really think that all of trying the same thing will work too, this is just for inspiration so you can think out of the box too.

RESUME, C.V. and BIO-DATA – The difference

I know I write a lot of technical happenings in the world, but one topic of mine that you will see coming through every once in a while is the topic of Resumes, Business Cards and such. I believe like most of you would that these resumes, business cards etc are more or less like an advertisement for yourself. Consider yourself as a brand; these would definitely be on the top of the list of the marketing materials for the brand. If you look it up, the process of creating a personal brand statement is increasing exponentially within the design community. However, there is nothing stopping form anyone creating a personal brand about you. After no one loves you more than yourself right?? Oh don’t worry I am not questioning is any of us is being a megalomaniac, just that we care about how we are perceived, in terms of looks behavior, mannerisms etc. So these documents should reflect the same. But before I go into what I think is the right and wrong approach and what we can do to increase awareness etc, I want to point out the difference between the above 3 documents if you may.

People use the words RESUME, C.V., and BIO-DATA interchangeably for the document highlighting skills, education, and experience that one submits when applying for a job. On the surface level, all the three mean the same. However, there are intricate differences as I found out and as I would like to share.

RESUME

If you look up the meaning of the word, you will see that RESUME is actually French for summary. So ideally this document should be a summary of one’s employment, education and skill set. This would help in applying for a new job. Ideally a Resume being a summary should not exceed 1 or 2 pages. The idea of a Resume is not to have a list of all your educational experience, skill set and experience. On the contrary, the Resume is to identify only the specific skills customized to target the job that you are applying for.

Additionally a Resume should be broken down into bullets, and importantly is written in third person to appear formal and objective. I think the third person writing, was initially written as a summary of one’s skills etc, by another person who would have to be the person used as a reference of your work, and credibility. Not sure if I really like the concept of third person writing though.

An ideal structure of a Resume in this case then would have to be

  • Brief Summary of Qualifications [ Relevant to the job]
  • Areas of Strength or Industry Expertise Keywords
  • Relevant Professional Experience in reverse chronological order
  • Personal Affiliations, Computer Skills and Education

While writing the experience it would be of at most importance to focus on the most recent experiences and prior experiences summarized.

C.V. or Curriculum Vitae

This document is a lot more like what most of us have. The C.V or Curriculum Vitae is a Latin word meaning Course of life. And as the name says it would be a lot more detailed than the RESUME, wherein it would include details of a regular or particular course of study pertaining to education and life.

This contents of this document is not restricted by the size of the document itself, meaning it can be as long as you wish it would be. However, I would not suggest a 50 page booklet talking about that neighborhood cricket tournament you won, or that dance competition during Holi in Mumbai. Keeping in with the skills related to work that you have acquired over the years showing the progression of work, this document would be a course of your life, academically and professionally.

This is not written in third person. This would be as if you were telling a person what you have been up to and what you are capable of. So ideally a structure of this document would have to be a bit different.

  • A detailed summary of qualification in terms of courses, affiliations etc
  • All areas of strength including every skill set acquired over time
  • Professional experience in terms of al professional jobs undertaken ( could include part time jobs as well) in chronological order.
  • Educational Qualifications with possible marks put in
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Courses and Seminars attended
  • Computer skills and interests
  • Personal information and References

A CV is then a document that shows your general talent and not just be restricted to the specific skills for any specific positions. As you can see it’s like putting your professional and academic life on paper.

BIO-DATA

This is a very Indian term, seldom used in countries outside the sub continent. The BIO-DATA or Biographical Data is the sort of Old fashioned term used for Resume of CV. But more importantly the emphasis in a bio data is on personal particulars like date of Birth, Religion, Caste, Race, Nationality, Residence, Marital Status and so on and so forth. For those of you who did not know, some of us Indians are quite racist when it comes to us Indians.

The government supports the fact, to the extent of having reservations for certain religions, casts etc. One of the reasons that this information would be required as part of your job skill sets. This BIO-DATA is used mostly for applying to Government Jobs in India, as you can imagine. Apart from the personal information, this would have the regular information as well and the structure of such a document would be:

  • Personal Information
  • Chronological listing of Education
  • Chronological listing of experience
  • Professional Accreditations, affiliations
  • Specific Skill sets (may or may not be included)

The BIO-DATA these days are slowly coming back as specific formats that companies want to collect information about applying candidates, mostly these are in the form of Online Applications to be filled by the candidate.

Usage

Usage of these documents would be based on the company’s preferences. It is not uncommon to have a RESUME and a CV available to provide it to companies; in fact most people have multiple versions of Resumes for various jobs. The C.V however cannot be altered too much and would just be updated.

A resume is usually used while applying for middle and senior level positions, where experience and specific skills rather than education is important. Resumes present a summary of highlights and allow the prospective employer to scan through the document visually or electronically, to see if you would fit in the position that they have.

A C.V on the other hand is perfect for fresh graduates applying as freshers, inters etc. This as the companies would not really have another form of gauging the caliber of the candidate as they are just outside college.

Like I said the Bio Data is used only in India while applying for Government jobs, research grants etc. They come in handy at the back of a book that you are trying to author maybe 😉

Variations

The variations to the above would be Online CV, Visual CV, and Visual Resume etc which I have written on this blog before as well. For an online Resume you can check out the one I have here are http://melvinpereira.com. I am working on a Online CV and I will share it when done.

 

Visual Resume – why and how ?

Traditionally we are taught through our college systems and our surroundings especially for the scenario of the first job. All of us are not really sure about what to provide as information and what would impress. Reducing 20 years of your learning and adolescent years into a sheet of paper is always going to be difficult. And to make this unsure, a lot of people get into the bad habit of making use of templates from Microsoft Word, which are used by a billion other people.

The best way might be to use some of the templates, but ensure that they would go online to check a visual resume that you have prepared. I know that a lot of you guys are thinking, its not for me. That is exactly why its for you. Not everyone will adapt into it, and it will give you your canvas to draw out your life in form of slides, adding another dimension to your resume. Have I convinced you yet ? No ?? Guess I will have to use this presentation for it.

 

View more presentations from @JESSEDEE.

In the above slides, @jessedee offers some good and compelling advice on why you need to make a visual resume and how you can go about creating one using presentation software that you probably already have on your computer.

A visual resume is obviously not any replacement for traditional resumes yet but it can certainly help you accentuate your achievements and education better. Meaning, your traditional resume can be a way for you to direct someone to go ahead and look at your Visual resume that you have added online.

I know some of you guys will need some inspiration, to get some ideas. However, I would suggest you to look at these only as inspiration, else the entire exercise would have lost its meaning. A visual resume is something that should be personal to reflect you only.

 

View more presentations from Ben Wong.

 

View more presentations from Jason Quann.

 

View more presentations from Ross McLean.

How can I just let you guys leave this post without showing my attempt at the same, be nice this visual resume was built over 3 years ago, and I will be putting up a newer updated version based on what I have done and what I have learnt in these few years. BTW, my Visual Resume has been viewed over 16615 times, Downloaded over 3000 times and shared over and over. So well here goes..

Amazing resume styles and samples

[tweetmeme] Nearly all of us have made a resume at some point of our careers and we have thought how to make it pop out to the person looking at the resume and tell what you are all about. I think it is not generally accepted by people to actually change from the mundane formats unless you are from the design world.

Assuming that you have the skills that they’re looking for, a striking and visually appealing resume will go a long way at getting you the creative job that you want. In the worst case scenario, it will at least buy you a few seconds by catching the eye of a recruiter and may become the difference between getting hired or not.

Interestingly different arent they ? Check out the complete list at Web Designer Depot.