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The 700 Year Old Resume – Still the Best

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“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things,” said Leonardo da Vinci. In 1492 he wrote a letter to the Duke of Milan trying to garner his patronage by detailing his skills and background. This letter is widely considered to be the first resume. In this current advanced technological age, how are we still using the 700 year old resume to get a new job?

Keywords

A 2019 report  from Jobscan found that nearly 99% of Fortune 500 companies use an applicant tracking system or ATS. Employers use their own ATS to search for the right candidate for the right job and they do this through matching resume keywords to keywords on their job description. Recruiters search for candidates on LinkedIn through keywords. Job boards sort jobs and candidates by the keywords on their descriptions which in the case of the candidate is a resume. It turns out this 700 year old resume is a terrific match, when used correctly, for search engines.

A Very Useful Tool

Monster’s Future of Work report for 2022 said recruiters in the U.S. ranked resume search as the most effective tool for finding candidates. This report also found that the resume was second only to the in-person interview for an employer to determine whether a candidate was a good fit for their job. It turns out this ancient format works equally well for humans and for technology.

Simplicity

Resume design and formatting haven’t changed much since they began to be widely used in the 1930s. If anything, they have become even more simple as overly stylized fonts and creative colors or pictures cause problems with their readability by scanners and humans. In this fast moving age of 8 seconds of attention before someone moves on, presenting your skill set in a clear and simple approach is the most effective in 1492 or today.

Alternative Sites

Design professionals must create a portfolio or personal website to showcase their work. Data Scientists and other technical professionals use Github.com as a place to post their work for reference by employers. While the resume is the foundation of your job search, making other resources available to hiring managers and human resource professionals is always a good idea. Just let them choose whether to search them out. Curating your social media presence is also important to present the right image.

Interested in starting a job search?  Contact the Executive Recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates.

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