How to Make Your Resume Irresistible
Have you ever received a free computer disk in the mail or as an add-on to a magazine? Free disks still hold a certain fascination for most people, in spite of the recent onslaught of disks from America Online and other online services. There's something inside us that just won't allow us to discard the disk until we've fully examined the contents. The front office receptionist at our company struggled recently when I told her it was OK to discard the America Online disk that was sent to me. "I already have America Online installed." "But what if there is some sort of new information on this disk?" She just couldn't do it. I finally took it from her and threw it in my own wastebasket, although I have to admit that even I cringed at the thought of a diskette sitting there in the trash. There's just something sacrilegious about discarding a diskette--free or not. The "diskette mystique"--alive and well in corporate America.
For those seeking employment, this diskette mystique can work very nicely to your advantage. Because when used to present your resume, it can turn an otherwise plain and drab piece of paper into a truly irresistible personal presentation. While most resumes arrive in a standard #10 envelope and are relegated to mass review and filing, a resume on disk arrives in a non-standard sized diskette mailer. And I guarantee that it will receive special attention when being passed through the internal mail process.
We recently hired a college student into our entry level training program based largely on his method of introduction--by putting his resume on disk. The disk arrived in my inbasket along with the rest of the daily mail, but it was the first one opened. I was drawn in by the simple "1. Insert Disk, 2. Enter 'HIREME'" instructions. The rational side of my brain told me it was probably "just another resume," but the creative side of my brain knew it wasn't. It was quite different. I set my work aside to take a look. The resume was viewable through a slick GUI interface with full color, sideline graphics, and even sound clips--when one of the references was selected from the drop-down menu, I was presented with a picture of the reference and a short "sound bite" of the reference talking about the student. Way cool!
So what did I do? I called in at least four or five other managers into my office to view "the multimedia resume" on my system. Two other managers installed it on their PC to watch it personally. The phone call invitation for an in-person interview at our office went out later that afternoon.
We interviewed. We tested. We grilled. And we hired. The person came to be known as "the person who did the multimedia resume" when the personal introductions were made. And all the staff who had seen or heard about the resume gave their obligatory "Oooh!" response.
Here's the key: This student attended a college that was not on our circuit of schools where we did on-campus interviewing. We would have never met but for the unique way his resume was packaged and prepared. We still don't have that college on our preferred list and may never proactively seek out anyone from that college. But this person found us and allowed us to find him by his unique technique for showcasing his talents. Interestingly, this person was hired far ahead of our scheduled on-campus visits, so we already had "one in the bank" by the time we got to the regularly scheduled schools. The odds of being hired for those students who patiently waited for us to arrive at their campus had just been reduced by one filled slot.
The resume on disk is successful because it is unique. If you have the technical talent to create your own version of the resume on disk, do it. If not, find a Comp Sci, MIS or Engineering major who would like to take on a resume referencable project. Don't worry that "no one else is doing it that way." It is your opportunity to stand out and be noticed in your field. And not just for technical fields--nearly all Hiring Managers have a PC on their desk. It can actually work best for non-technical fields, since it is even more unique. In a few years, this technique may be more commonplace. But for now, you'll truly be a standout.
Another twist on this idea of presenting your resume in a unique format
If you are truly looking for a way to stand out, this is a sure way to do so!