Creative resumes reflect changing employment practices

Posted by Flux on 

19 June 2015

What’s trending now?

If you’ve ever taken a look through a stack of CVs or resumes, then you know just how disheartening it can be. The standard format doesn’t say much. Sure, you can see the level of education and previous jobs held. But typically, nothing is going to jump off the page and excite you. That’s nothing – and no one.

While a well-presented, complete (and verifiable) CV is often still a luxury in certain parts of the world, American job-seekers are taking their resumes to the next level.

In the current, highly competitive job market, American resumes are beginning to develop a life of their own. The standard curriculum vitae is slowly being replaced. At the base level, you can expect resumes compiled as infographics. And it only gets more creative from there. Job seekers are wrapping CVs around chocolate bars to garner attention. One candidate created a rather ingenious Lego model of herself to hand out to potential employers  – and she was only seeking an internship. Still another applicant created resumes in the form of passports and “accidentally” left them scattered across New York City knowing that if someone spotted one they’d want to take a look inside.

Standardisation is dead, but the message is clear: if you want a great job, you’ve got to show your true colours.

Why it’s important?

On its own, you’d be tempted to think that these clever resumes are just a means of finding a job. But, it’s a little deeper than that.

A couple of decades ago, standing out was hardly a good thing. Employers wanted someone that would keep their head down and do their time. But, they were also expecting their employees to stay with their company for the duration of their career. The change in resume format has a lot more to do with hiring trends and talent management than simply marching to the beat of your own drum.

And, for the first time in a long time, it’s not big business that’s responsible for the shift in employment trends. The startup culture crisscrossing the globe is the most likely cause for this change. Start-ups need multi-talented staff members, they want people who will generate new ideas and fill multiple job responsibilities. So they’re taking on individuals willing to be themselves – and they’re succeeding.

Now, top talent applying at major corporations are beginning to realise that hiring power is in their hands – not their potential employers. More than that, they’re beginning to expect job roles developed around their strengths instead of taking on existing roles.

What’s the butterfly effect?

As more corporations twig on to the success of innovative startup thinking, they’re going to start looking for talent that expresses individuality. And that’s going to transform hiring across the board. Instead of placing ads when a seat becomes vacant, companies are going to start snatching top talent as soon as they enter the market.

Big business may also try to get an edge on startups when it comes to employees and company culture. Considering that many employees are still demanding a healthy work-life balance (and the number of freelancers continues to grow), corporations may have to rethink their packages. With the number of global companies, this trend won’t be localised.

The Pioneers

Art and design students may have started this fascinating trend, but they’re not necessarily going to corner it. Job seekers in overcrowded or recovering markets are going to take these ideas and make it their own.

However, one can’t expect creative resumes to affect all industries and markets equally. As much as we want our doctors to be problem-solvers (and to have happy personalities), health care recruiters aren’t going to get a thrill from a resume wrapped around a beer bottle.

The Global Hotspots

Creative CVs and resumes are making a major splash in the United States, but Asian job-seekers aren’t far behind. Europe is likely to be slower on the uptake, but not by much. They’ve got a thriving startup scene in the making. And Africa? It could take awhile, especially outside of Joburg and Cape Town.

By: Katie Schenk

About Katie

KGB - Eastside

Katie is South African by choice, but she’s proud of being American too. She’s a writer, a producer, and a momma. If she can shut off – she sleeps. Her interests include advertising, home economics, entrepreneurial processes, South African idiosyncrasies, and rugby. (Really). She’s also a fan of Tudor history – but there’s nothing trendy (or trending) in that.

Image credit: Matthew Hirsch

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