Screen PresenceWhat is your “Screen Presence”? Sounds like you’re applying for a part in a Hollywood moviedoesn’t it? With today’s technology “Screen Presence” is how your Resume presents yourqualifications on that little seventeen to nineteen inch LCD screen!I’ve been working in the Workforce Development arena for almost 18 years. Resumes on pastelcolored paper, resumes with graphics, resumes crunched down to 9pt with ¼ inch margins tomake it fit on one page have crossed my desk. I recently reviewed a resume over 15 pageslong, and now we have the latest resume version the “Presentation Resume”.My position allows me to meet with employers on a daily basis and during these meetings Ialmost always ask the following question, “What information do you want presented on aresume?” A high percentage of the employers indicate they want a resume that quickly tellsthem what skills and qualifications an individual has to offer.Ruth Markham (Technical Writer), Blair Forlaw (Advisor) and I (Project Developer) fromBounceBackSTL recently introduced a new and unique way of presenting resumes quickly andeffectively to CIO’s and hiring authorities throughout the St Louis metro area the “TalentPortfolio”. The latest iteration encompasses over 80 resumes and the feedback fromemployers groups so far as been phenomenal.We asked the membership from the BounceBackSTL Networking Group to provide us a copy oftheir resume for inclusion in our Portfolio. As we developed this project I presented draftversions of the Portfolio to various employer groups to obtain feedback of the best resumeformats for the Portfolio. Feedback during this design process was extremely helpful andpresented us with a very unique problem. How to present resumes which tell the unique storyof the jobseeker but in an easy to review format the employers are asking for.Most employers tell us they have less than 3 minutes to review a resume to determine if thecandidate skills meet their job qualifications (and I’m being very generous with the 3 minutelimitation). One employer I met with simply stated upon review of our Portfolio design…”Yourpresentation must state clearly the individual’s qualifications on the opening resume screen for theposition I’m trying to fill. I’m not going to scroll left or right, up or down, go to page 2 or page 15 todetermine if this person meets my job qualifications. If the resume cannot tell me what I need on thatopening screen I’m moving to the next resume!” Another employer stated, “This version of theirresume is not meant to be the job seekers final “Interview” resume just a version that I can quicklyreview to insure the qualifications of the job seeker meets my needs. When I find someone that Iwant to meet with, I usually request they bring an updated version of their resume to our meeting formy final review”.
I presented our idea of this “Presentation Resume” to another Networking Group. It met withseveral quips and quotes about not telling the whole story of the individual’s qualifications andemployers wanting more information in a traditional format. I asked this group of 5 “experts”on “resume preparation” to help me find a qualified Project Manager out of our Portfolio. ThePortfolio at the time contained about 50 resume drafts, and I allowed them 15 minutes toreview the resumes to find one qualified individual. The first resume was reviewed fairlythoroughly and after about 5 minutes I reminded them that they had 10 minutes left and 49more resumes to review. The group started scanning only the information on the openingscreen of the remaining resumes. After several minutes and about 15 or 20 resumes reviewed, Iasked them, “What are you doing?” They indicated they were scanning the first page of theresume as quickly as possible to determine if the individual meets the job qualifications or not. Ithen saw a light come on in their eyes! If they have only enough time to preview the openingresume screen during my little test, how much of the resume is the employer going to reviewduring their 3 minutes with the resume? They all conceded to the realization we were on trackwith our version of the “Presentation Resume”.Starting out with over 100 resumes Ruth and I had to quickly develop a “Presentation Resume”format for our Portfolio. We did not have the time to revise each resume so we developed abasic template. Our design was simple. Instead of an Objective Statement we wanted tosimply state what position the candidate was seeking. (i.e. Project Manager) “Summary of Qualifications” would follow in a bullet format, paragraph format, or any formatthe candidate chose to provide us. At this point the employer has determined if they want tocontinue to review the rest of the resume or move on to the next resume. Any furtherinformation provided regardless of the format (chronological, functional, combination, etc.)was not a concern to our team. Thus evolved our version of a “Presentation Resume”.The following is a screen shot demonstates what is displayed on the opening resume screen inour Talent Portfolio.
This screen shots demonstates a resume which did not make it into our Portfolio as it wassumitted to us for review.Which one of the above resumes clearly states to the prospective employer what skills youhave - quickly, concisely, and in less than 3 minutes? Which, one tells the employer “NextResume”?Today’s technology can be a blessing but it also presents unique problems for the job seeker.BounceBackSTL along with the Missouri Career Centers have hopefully overcome just one smallproblem with our version of a “Presentation Resume”’.“What is your Screen Presence”?Frank AlanizFunctional Managerfrank.firstname.lastname@example.org/in/frankalaniz