March 11, 2010

Brazen Careerist Adds Future-Focused Social Resumes

For most of us, resumes are updated with great irregularity - usually just before leaving one job, and just after arriving at another. These resumes also are much more focused on our pasts than our future - highlighting previous jobs and degrees, durations of each stop, and what we think were the most notable accomplishments. In parallel, online resumes that encourage connections, such as LinkedIn and Plaxo, are dominated by connections to previous colleagues and partners found at each position. This leaves the often most-difficult portion of the resume, the objective, as the only major segment that looks to the future - and all the focus on previous accomplishments makes the entire process more challenging for new entrants into the workforce, with little or no experience that matches their goals or potential.

Brazen Careerist, a social network aimed at generation Y professionals, took a look at this gap and has made moves to turn the resume around, focused as much on one's ideas and forward-looking goals as it is on their work history. The site encourages users, who are posting upwards of 100,000 updates a month to the network, to add "Top Ideas" to their resume, where they are given high precedence which can hopefully overcome one's assumed lacking years of experience. These top ideas, like other engagements on the site, are open to comments and discussion from other members, making the resumes not just about these top ideas, but social as well.

Ryan Paugh's "Top Ideas" On His Brazen Resume.

The network lies in between the more established social networks of LinkedIn and Facebook. LinkedIn can be rigid and stodgy for an older generation, with Facebook presumably being very casual. Thus, so too is the social, ideas-based resume, a less formal, but still professional way to communicate one's business goals and inspiration.

You can add up to five "Top Ideas", up to 500 characters apiece, and rank them any way you wish, on top of your more traditional resume on the site. (see mine here) If you change your mind as to your top thoughts any time later, you can delete old ones and replace them with newer priorities.

Brazen's Top Ideas Are Both Integrated And In a Dedicated Tab

Brazen Careerist is tapping into generation Y's proclivity to be active in social networks, while also presenting them the opportunity to organize their thoughts. The site suggests: "Conversations happen pretty fast on the web, and before you know it, they're forgotten. Effortlessly organize the most important things you have to say so employers, colleagues and friends don't forget just how smart you really are."

I have been working with Brazen Careerist since the beginning of the year, and they are a client of Paladin Advisors Group. The launch of social ideas-based resumes also follows the network's recent overhaul which makes the site much more like Facebook or FriendFeed, letting you post to a "Fan Feed", recommend entries and add comments. The result is a much more friendly and social experience than a LinkedIn, but focused on career mobility, not entertainment.

Will the addition of "Top Ideas" to one's resume help potential recruiters and employers get to know candidates better before reaching out? It certainly can't hurt. Brazen Careerist's moves are welcome in a world of resumes that haven't updated much in a long time.

Also see: For Gen-Yers, the Conversation’s the Resume and TheNextWeb: Brazen Careerist Looks To The Future With Social Resumes.

Disclosure: Brazen Careerist is a client of Paladin Advisors Group, where I am managing director of new media.