PowerPoint Your Résumé? – A Challenge

If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, then you know that I’m looking to hire a Knowledge Management Department & Library Coordinator.  That’s not the focus of this post, but my experience (not necessarily recently) of reviewing résumés got me thinking about innovative ways to do things.  I’ve also been thinking a lot about presentations — PowerPoint presentations in particular (as you may know from my previous post).  Could combining the two–résumés and PowerPoint presentations–be the way to stand out from the crowd?  The chocolate and peanut butter of self-promotion?

The examples below, from SlideShare, are great.  When was the last time you were so engaged by a résumé? Clicking through them, I couldn’t wait to see what was on the next slides.  These CVs instantly tell me a lot more about their creators than what’s in the four corners of the slide decks.  They scream: “I’m innovative, creative, and I realize that I need to stand out to succeed.  And, oh yeah, I will succeed.”  They also tell me that these people are bold and willing to challenge the conventional ways of doing things.  To use the old cliché, they think outside the box.

So, here’s the challenge: Draw some inspiration from this concept.  Make a slide deck to promote yourself.  Tell the world about you.  It doesn’t have to be a résumé.  Use an old medium in a new way.  When you’ve uploaded your deck on SlideShare, post a link to it in the comments, below.

Rethinking Resumes

View more presentations from Karla Wiles.
Social Media Resume

Knowledge Management, Technology & Social Media for Lawyers and Law Firms
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4 thoughts on “PowerPoint Your Résumé? – A Challenge

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  • January 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Looking forward to it, Seth!

  • January 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    That’s very interesting, Patrick.

    I could see two possible scenarios for this sort of a resume, one for use on the lawyer’s bio on the firm website, the other as a marketing tool when looking for a job.

    In the first scenario, I don’t know how well this would work if the lawyer’s at one of the larger, staid, stuffy law firms. It’s probably not going to work for that firm’s target market.

    If, however, I were in a boutique firm doing IP work, or marketing law, or fashion law (just by way of example), I could see real potential upsides to putting this on my firm’s website. Part of the identity I may be trying to foster is someone who is creative and innovative, and a resume like this, done properly, would send that message.

    The second scenario is using this as a resume for a job application. If, for example, I were hiring and I got four “standard” resumes plus one like this that really spoke to the sort of talents that I was looking for, I would absolutely, definitely be intrigued.

    Potential employers are always thinking, “What do you have that makes you stand out from the crowd?” In the normal course, you as the employer will ask that of all your applicants, most of whom have resumes that are basically interchangeable.

    But if one of those resumes is intelligently different, then my interest would definitely be captured. (I think that the person doing one of these has to be very careful to ensure that the desired result is the one that is actually produced. I’d want to test my PowerPoint resume on a lot of friends to get their honest feedback before I sent it for real.)

    From your point of view as the applicant, if the employer’s reaction is, “I HATE THIS!” then maybe that’s not the place for you, so you’ve very quickly limited the pool to places where you feel you might click. (And of course that only works if there is a potential pool of, let’s say, 20 possible employers and you, the applicant, are trying to figure out where you’d fit in best. This wouldn’t really work for, say, first year associates at US firms in 2009 or 2010.) On the other hand, you might very quickly find the places where you’d be compatible. And both parties to this dance would appreciate anything that helps streamline the process and end up with a better hiring decision.

    I’ll be very interested to see whether this becomes any sort of a trend.

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