Working Mother

Changes in resumes benefit working moms

An article at CNN Money asked the question, “Is the resume dead?” While the resume still has it’s place in the hiring process, changes in that process are quite positive for moms returning to work.

“The résumé has probably gone from about 40-35% of the hiring process to less than 10%,” said Macy Andrews, senior director of human resources at tech giant Cisco.

The traditional resume, with it’s focus on brief descriptions and timelines, works great as it is intended – an introduction to you and your skills. However, it does not give a very good picture of your soft skills and personality.

When I have been on the hiring side of the equation, I am much more focused on personality and work ethic than on the hard skills people have. I can teach someone how to track in a CRM program, but I cannot teach them how to have a positive relationship with a client.

So, what has started to replace the resume?

Your online presence

Online professional platforms (typically LinkedIn but also career specific sites) are quickly becoming the best way to present your entire professional skills and abilities.

Similar to your resume, you can list your job titles and basic responsibilities. However, you also can share bigger and smaller successes. Finished a big project at work? Share your pride and gratitude. Attended a professional conference? Share your biggest lessons learned.

In addition, the articles you like and comment on (as well as share), share your personality much more than job titles can ever do.

Showcase your career history online, and be sure to give specific examples of your success.

LinkedIn tends to be the first stop for many hiring managers and recruiters, so be sure to have a completed profile that highlights your past experiences but also what you’re looking to do.

This is really good news for moms reentering the workforce, or currently working moms looking for a change. You can tell so much more of your story with your online presence. Gaps in your work history and job titles that don’t match you skills set have much less power in your online presence.

Maybe your job title is Executive Assistant but you are also responsible for the business website. Follow, like and comment on articles covering website management. Your activity on social platforms will tell so much more about you.

Networking is key

In addition to your presence online, who you network with (both online and in person) is vital to your professional growth.

Networking has always been an important tool for job seekers. But even though it might seem dated in today’s online world, don’t underestimate the power of a referral from someone you have a relationship with.

Whether online or in person, a referral from someone you know is a huge boost in your career search. As I mentioned above, I am much more interested in someone’s personality than their hard skills. A personal referral can tell me so much more (good or bad) than a well-written resume.

This is great news for working moms for whom a personal reference can explain or reassure a hiring manager about any work absence you may have had.

Your resume only tells so much of your story. Your connections, online and offline, can give a much better picture of who you really are and what you can bring to a new position.

Yes, you still need to polish that resume once in a while. However, spend much more time cultivating connections online and offline to better share your whole story.

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