Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Optimal Resume

U of U career services rolled out a new tool this week. At first I laughed it to scorn, but it has grown on me. I might incorporate it into my suite of tools for job searching. I believe it is technically supposed to be for only U of U students and alumni, but there seemed to be nothing which kept other people from using it as well. I am sure that will change.

The tool is a school specific version of Optimal Resume. The application guides the user through inputting necessary information for the resume and then pops out a fairly nice looking resume in a variety of formats. This, by itself, is not that neat. It is my personal opinion that if you really care about the job search, you should learn how to format your resume nicely. Plus, if all the students at the U start using this tool, a way to stand out will be to NOT use this tool and look different than the rest.

Although it is pitched as a resume builder, that is not the functionality that is cool. The cool functionality is all the additional tools. For example, it automatically adds functionality so that someone viewing the resume online will see mouse-over effects. There is also a letter builder, a skill assessment, and a few other useful builders. It also provides an easy way to publish the information on the web, hosting it for free.

You can find my web page for this site at http://utah.confidentialresume.com/coop. Right now it only contains a semi-direct copy of my resume, but I will be updating my information soon to see what it can really do!

The portal I use and that you should probably check out (especially if you are a U of U alumni or student) is https://utah.optimalresume.com. The big question is if employers and recruiters will actually look at these resumes and if the cool gimmicks and stuff will actually make a difference. I believe the answer is that only time will tell, but apparently career services thinks it will help and is worth it!

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