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Gisela McKay

President and Co-Founder, pixcode

TEDCRED 30+

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Reinventing the resume

So today's task that has resulted in procrastinating on TED has been reading resumes.

I'm not sure whose bad idea the standard resume/cover letter format was but I'd like to slap that person.

Resumes don't tell potential employers what they need to know about you, which isn't just what you have learned and done in the past. I need to know why you did what you did and how well you did it. I need to know about your personality and whether you are a self-starter, whether you generate new ideas, whether you are going to be happy in the position I am filling and get along with the rest of the team. Can you work productively from home? etc.

What can we do to re-think the resume?

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  • Feb 22 2012: Main reason we must all have resumes: EVERYONE goes to college. VERY few people have any true experience by the time they are 22 or 23 (most are discourage to work menial jobs in their teens and few companies want to take the legal risks to hire teens), so everything substantive they've ever done actually does fit nicely on one page. Since EVERYONE goes to college now and most people spend dozens of hours in classes that add zero value to their employ-ability (classes they are encouraged to take by these schools), all they can hope for is that the school they went to is more marketable than the schools other applicants went to. Maybe one in a hundred college students actually has it together enough to do something impressive in the 4-7 years they are undergrads. This has been going on long enough that the people doing the hiring are still in the mindset of looking at where you went to school or worked instead of what you did while you were there since they assume you wasted your time there like everyone else.

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