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Taking Resumes to the next level with Microsoft Word

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  • User profile image
    Keli

    Hi members,

    I am a high school teacher. I have been developing an exercise with my students where they try to develop a CV ( Resume ) fit for the Electronic age.

    I usually start off by giving them a sample of what resumes were in my "day" when most were printed off and posted to prospective employers:-)...I am 35 years old.  And then I try to get them to think about what additional features might be incorporated in 21st century resume that lives and is consumed in cyber-space and therefore is probably less likely to be printed.

    So the obvious differences would be to try and include
    (1) Some multimedia
    (2) Alternative ways of contact ( email and blogs ...etc)
    (3) Hyperlinks as references to supporting information.
    (4) Tooltip or expanded descriptions

    As the students explore different layouts strategies and incorporate these added features - the obvious question is how successful has 
    each feature been after they have launched their resumes into cyber space.

    Electronic Briefcase technology allows users to understand/track the modified differences between the main file and its "briefcased" orphan - is it possible that something similar exists for understanding how a resume document was used by its recipients.

    Yours truly,

    Keli 

    PS If anyone knows a guy called paintedblue and how I could get in touch with him that would be great ... my email is keli_mutiso@hotmail.com.

    Thanks again

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    If I would hire somebody, I would ask for a hand written resume... That's real work! Printing a digital something is easy. But writing is more work - and only people who want to work for my (fictional) company are going to write something on a paper.

    By looking at the hand writing you can also understand if somebody likes to do clean work or does everything fast, just to have it done.

  • User profile image
    Massif

    littleguru wrote:

    By looking at the hand writing you can also understand if somebody likes to do clean work or does everything fast, just to have it done.


    You'd decide whether to hire someone based on highly dubious understanding of how handwriting shows your personality?

    You'd be opening yourself up to get sued no doubt, I'm sure that could be considered prejudicial.

    As to the question, I have no idea whether it's even possible to track a documents usage after it's been distributed. You could try creating website resumes, they might be more trackable.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Massif wrote:
    
    littleguru wrote:
    By looking at the hand writing you can also understand if somebody likes to do clean work or does everything fast, just to have it done.


    You'd decide whether to hire someone based on highly dubious understanding of how handwriting shows your personality?

    You'd be opening yourself up to get sued no doubt, I'm sure that could be considered prejudicial.

    As to the question, I have no idea whether it's even possible to track a documents usage after it's been distributed. You could try creating website resumes, they might be more trackable.


    It's you that said that! Look there is people who write on a piece of paper and everything is a mess - just because they did it very fast to have at least something - and there is people, who perhaps care about the position and do a well done paper...

    That's the only thing I would look at! Nothing more, nothing less! I'm not somebody who interprets in somebody's writings! I would only check if somebody cares to get the job or not!

    Or am I wrong here?

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    littleguru wrote:
    Or am I wrong here?


    Do you want to write your resume by hand?

  • User profile image
    Massif

    Hmm... I suppose I didn't quite understand what you were getting at.

    But couldn't you get the same impression by seeing how much time they'd spent making their CV readable and relevant?

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Ugh.

    Consider how most people apply for jobs; through recruitment agents. Having been on the recieving end of this for years now agents edit your CV. They cut, paste, highlight. Half the time they use their own standard templates, so you can kiss all the effort you put in goodbye. They will also cull all your contact details.

    They use automated readers to extract keywords as well, which are then used when they're searching for position matches.

    Unless you're applying direct then a fancy CV is wasted, and even then I usually end up printing them and looking at them over lunch or whilst commuting.

    I think I'd be put off, unless I was hiring for a snazzy graphics artist position, in which case a portfolio is key.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    littleguru wrote:
    If I would hire somebody, I would ask for a hand written resume... That's real work! Printing a digital something is easy. But writing is more work - and only people who want to work for my (fictional) company are going to write something on a paper.

    By looking at the hand writing you can also understand if somebody likes to do clean work or does everything fast, just to have it done.


    What about those of us with the sort of carpel tunnel that makes spending any time writing with a pen or pencil an extremely painful experience?

  • User profile image
    Lee_Dale

    blowdart wrote:
    Ugh.

    Consider how most people apply for jobs; through recruitment agents. Having been on the recieving end of this for years now agents edit your CV. They cut, paste, highlight. Half the time they use their own standard templates, so you can kiss all the effort you put in goodbye. They will also cull all your contact details.

    They use automated readers to extract keywords as well, which are then used when they're searching for position matches.

    Unless you're applying direct then a fancy CV is wasted, and even then I usually end up printing them and looking at them over lunch or whilst commuting.

    I think I'd be put off, unless I was hiring for a snazzy graphics artist position, in which case a portfolio is key.


    Exactly what I was thinking when I read it...

    'So Mr **** what was the last company your worked for Nagistaghuio Softwere Limatad'

    LOL thanks Monster!

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    littleguru wrote:
    
    Massif wrote: 
    littleguru wrote:
    By looking at the hand writing you can also understand if somebody likes to do clean work or does everything fast, just to have it done.


    You'd decide whether to hire someone based on highly dubious understanding of how handwriting shows your personality?

    You'd be opening yourself up to get sued no doubt, I'm sure that could be considered prejudicial.

    As to the question, I have no idea whether it's even possible to track a documents usage after it's been distributed. You could try creating website resumes, they might be more trackable.


    It's you that said that! Look there is people who write on a piece of paper and everything is a mess - just because they did it very fast to have at least something - and there is people, who perhaps care about the position and do a well done paper...

    That's the only thing I would look at! Nothing more, nothing less! I'm not somebody who interprets in somebody's writings! I would only check if somebody cares to get the job or not!

    Or am I wrong here?


    I'd have to say you are going to miss out on some potentially decent employees. 

    I'm still amazed at some of the truly useless things that companies do to attempt to test out potential employees.  If you want to know how an employee will work out, hire them for 90 days and see what happens.  Very little is learned by asking them to do mind puzzles that won't help them in the job they are being asked to do.  Further, if they don't get hired, you've given them the impression that they are stupid because they can't figure out how to move 7 gallons of water with a 5 gallon bucket.

    I went on an interview where the interviewer spent most of the time talking at me about how hard the job was.  The job was to write code as a C++ programmer, and the only 'test' he could come up with was "write a SQL statement to delete a few rows based on this criteria".  At the time, I had little T-SQL syntax experience, so I failed miserably and had to simply describe what it was that I wanted to do.  His comment was "apparently you aren't as proficient at software development as you claim on your resume".  No joke. 

  • User profile image
    Tensor

    Have to say, that in the real world, As Blowdart says, a plain simple snappy CV that puts accross what you know and why you are good is what works best. In my experience CVs DO still get printed off, faxed, and generaly abused.

    Having said that - the original question is with regards to a School assignment - not how to to right the perfect CV for job agents to eviscerate and send on to potential employers.

    I think the web / blog CV is a good idea for this sort of project. Also depending on the person then portfolios or examples of work could be very useful. Its also a good way of bringing up the point that what is said on the internet lasts forever. A common thing for potential employers to do now is google the names on CVs that come accross there desks. You dont want anything too embarasing coming up when that happens!

  • User profile image
    Keli

    Thanks everybody for your comments and suggestions.

    I agree with most of you that it would be difficult for a resume sender to divine how a recipient ( an employer ) felt about his resume - e.g. whether the sender was found to be suitable for the job or had got the necessary qualifications..etc

    However if it might be useful for the sender to get some feedback on what features the recipient has clicked on or how the document has been used in general sense. Just as the feedback one might get when using the electronic briefcases functionality with windows files in general.

    As for Blowdart's point, I am trying to get my students into the habit of carefully formatting their work purposively. It is sometimes difficult to sell this idea - many students just feel they should download a snazzily designed template and then cut & paste stuff in the boxes. Maybe I am old-fashioned and students need only learn how to use templates in this electronic future.  

    Would it be possible for anyone to put in touch with the Microsoft Word Team working on any of these issues ?

    Thanks

    Keli

    P.S. On a side matter, please could anyone put me in touch with a member called "paintedblue" ?

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    blowdart wrote:
    Ugh.

    Consider how most people apply for jobs; through recruitment agents. Having been on the recieving end of this for years now agents edit your CV. They cut, paste, highlight. Half the time they use their own standard templates, so you can kiss all the effort you put in goodbye. They will also cull all your contact details.

    They use automated readers to extract keywords as well, which are then used when they're searching for position matches.

    Unless you're applying direct then a fancy CV is wasted, and even then I usually end up printing them and looking at them over lunch or whilst commuting.

    I think I'd be put off, unless I was hiring for a snazzy graphics artist position, in which case a portfolio is key.


    It's more and more required here that CVs are written by hand. And yes I would write one by hand if I really want the position or job! I really would, because I  would care!

    Companies, here, dislike more and more this automated and done by someone else approach. They like more and more the personal touch!

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Keli wrote:
    

    P.S. On a side matter, please could anyone put me in touch with a member called "paintedblue" ?



    http://channel9.msdn.com/niners/paintedblue

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    littleguru wrote:
    It's more and more required here that CVs are written by hand. And yes I would write one by hand if I really want the position or job! I really would, because I  would care!

    It used to be required here; back in the typewriter era, CVs had to be handwritten. Today electronic is best.

    I certainly wouldn't handwrite it. My handwriting is terrible; half the time even I can't read it back (and I'm not kidding). The upside of this is that nobody ever wanted to borrow my notes in highschool. Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    bbrewder

    Keli wrote:
    
    (1) Some multimedia
    (2) Alternative ways of contact ( email and blogs ...etc)
    (3) Hyperlinks as references to supporting information.
    (4) Tooltip or expanded descriptions


    I don't think multimedia would be very effective (of course it depends on what you are applying for).

    I think the most important thing for high school students to understand is that anything they put on the Internet is available to prospective employers and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that many employers will Google a potential employee before hiring them (I have no idea of the legal aspects of that, but my guess is that people will do it regardless). This means that they need to watch what they and their friends put on MySpace and other similar websites.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Sven Groot wrote:
    
    littleguru wrote: It's more and more required here that CVs are written by hand. And yes I would write one by hand if I really want the position or job! I really would, because I  would care!

    It used to be required here; back in the typewriter era, CVs had to be handwritten. Today electronic is best.

    I certainly wouldn't handwrite it. My handwriting is terrible; half the time even I can't read it back (and I'm not kidding). The upside of this is that nobody ever wanted to borrow my notes in highschool.


    What shall I tell you. I was asked for a handwritten CV... The letter could be written on a computer, but the CV should have been done by hand. There is more and more asking you to do it hand written and to come at the company to chat for an hour or so... People here want the personal taste.

  • User profile image
    odujosh

    I think blogging or a website is a great idea on a resume.  It kind of spotlights you. What experience do you have with X. Saavy employers would have better questions because they would have already read your blog on X.

    I would suggest you concentrate on doing a few things well instead of a broad survey of options. I think high school teachers sometimes can lose quality in favor of quanity. Least that was my experience during most of High School.

    LittleG: Handwriting has nothing to do with meticulios work ethic. Sorry to burst that bubble. What if the person had an accident and didn't have full use of thier hand so their penmen shipsucked but their coding was subperb.  Legally you can't use that as a criteria unless neat handwriting is needed in the job. (Least in the US) Europe may lack some sanity in that regard.

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