Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Resumes & CV's, what to do?

Today in my inbox was an e-newsletter from eWeek; I really should put it on my bloglines account and get rid of one more e-newsletter, but as usual, I digress. What was the headline topic of today's careers eWeek newsletter? Resumes. Yes, resumes. Is it karma, is it fate, is it coincidence? (Does it matter?) I found it interesting after posting about possibilities of a career move, and wondering if I should send a resume (their request) or my somewhat lengthy vitae (did I mention they requested a resume?) to the institution in question.

Whither the Resume?, by Deb Perelman, poses the following:

"The paper resume went the way of the caveman nearly a decade ago. Web 1.0 recruiting technologies, such as big job boards and vendor-powered ATS, ATS (application tracking systems) on corporate career sites effectively killed the need for a paper resume on 24-pound ivory stationary stock."

I am not sure I completely agree with her premise, but there is no doubt how potential job candidates send resumes to employers has changed in the last several years. Submitting documents via email, resumes being scanned, applications accepted - even preferred - via web site forms, are in some cases the norm. But a resume continues to be a viable way for employees to highlight their qualifications for job openings. It is not, however, the only way. I think job seekers, especially librarians, need to have particular skills sets that include a basic understanding of "web 2.0" technologies. This should at the very least include a simple CV on their personal university/library web page and an electronic portfolio.

The blog article generated a number of reader comments, one that doubled between the time I first read the post before lunch and two hours later when I checked the link for this post. Check out the comments, they are as interesting as the concept put forth by the author. I did a couple of quick Googles and found sites with information pertaining to CV's and resumes. I was curious regarding the thought and definitions behind both documents, as well as what might be preferred.
I also found an interesting article in Chronicle Careers, From CV to Resume, by Kim Thompson and Terren Ilana Wein:

"While both documents represent you as a professional, they differ on many counts. A résumé is designed to sell your relevant skill set and experiences to a particular employer. The goal of a CV is to present a complete picture of the breadth and depth of academic experiences you have accumulated."

I am far from convinced resumes are passe, especially in academics and academic librarianship. It will behoove a job seeker to provide the required information and include links for additional resources. For example, a resume if requested, and inclusion of web links to a CV in the cover letter and supporting documentation. What would not be in my, or any job seeker's, best interest would to ignore what is required/requested.

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