I was recently reading a cover letter that referred me to the applicant’s personal website instead of a résumé. My first reaction was negative. Why should I go out of my way to type in this URL? Why wouldn’t someone see the value of document résumé?
I went to the website anyway and was surprised that I saw a number of advantages to the more traditional résumé:
• A personal website goes beyond the traditional one or two pages of bullet points. The website for this applicant – who was applying for a church position – included normal résumé information like work history, education and an objective. But the website let the screener review his philosophy of ministry and contained a video of one of his sermons.
• The screener could review the material they deemed important and ignore the rest. This is rather difficult with a traditional résumé.
• There is room for creativity. A website allows colorful customizations, imbed features, different types of font and a vast array of layout templates. It’s a great way to get a taste of the applicant’s personality.
However, not all career choices lend themselves to substituting a website instead of a résumé. And there’s a level of uncertainty: Will the screener actually click or type in the link? But a modern jobseekers who wants to develop a personal website and doesn’t know where to start should look online – there are plenty of “how-to’s” on the Web.
Bob Lankard, former program manager at the state Job Center in Indiana, Pa., offers common-sense advice to help all levels of job seekers satisfy their employment ambitions.
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