Simone Fortunini is a marketer’s marketer. Having worked in advertising and marketing since 2009, he has developed a keen ability to present products and ideas in a fresh, appealing, and memorable way. But perhaps his most remarkable campaign is the one that he runs promoting himself.
His website simonefortunini.it is a sort of interactive resume. Punchy, succinct, and clear, Simone’s website functions as a microcosm of the kind of work that he does professionally. Taking visual cues from the World of Online Marketing, and as you'll notice, Google Analytics (icons, info-graphics, non-conventional formatting in familiar and easy-to-read fonts), Fortunini’s website paints a detailed picture of the young marketer. Fortunini's audience gets a picture that is easily navigable and actually sort of fun to read.
Fortunini has clearly taken this resume as an opportunity to demonstrate his abilities as a marketer. One page, for instance, features his work experience charted as an ascending graph over time. Another page is a brightly colored pie-chart showing the distribution of his interests and hobbies (Dreaming up new ideas 30%, Trying to learn cooking 15%). His site not only tells potential employers that he is a good marketer, but goes the extra step of showing exactly how good of a marketer he is, and with panache.
But what happens when Fortunini applies for a job through a company’s career site when that company uses an Applicant Tracking System? His entire creative endeavor would vanish from hiring managers' sight as soon as his CV is converted into plaintext and shoehorned into a database. Such a company would be ill-equipped to recognize Fortunini for the talent he clearly is, and could easily pass over his application without recognizing what they were missing. In the word's of 37Signals' Jason Fried, traditional resumes "reduce people to bullet points". It would be their loss, and Fortunini’s as well, all because the majority of companies have failed to update their application process from an outdated, obsolete model to one that addresses the nuances of contemporary recruitment and job-searching.
The majority of applicant tracking systems were modeled after the conventional resume. But that model is no longer adequate to the needs of the new economy.
Most people were taught in school how to write a standard professional resume: name, objective, skills, experience, and achievements. Keep the formatting consistent, the font conservative. The resume, we were told, is no place for color, personal style – or godforbid – humor. We were taught to produce resumes that were standardized, odorless, tasteless, and at the end of the day, extremely boring. This is because many of us learned to write a resume when our economy, or at least our educational system, was largely structured on an industrial model; employers could take the ability to produce a standard resume as a proxy for personality traits that were desirable in potential employees (like the ability to follow instructions, to conform to a standardized mode of behavior, etc.)
But in case you missed it, the World has Changed. The jobs of today and tomorrow place less and less value on the ability to serve as an effective cog in an institutional machine, instead emphasizing skills like creativity, ingenuity, and adaptability. It is no surprise that the standard resume does a very poor job of expressing these qualities in a job applicant, as it is a formal relic from an earlier era whose standards are not as applicable in our new economy as they once were.
Furthermore, in today’s hypercompetitive job market, employers are surfeited with hundreds if not thousands of resumes from qualified applicants. In this environment it can be a huge challenge for job seekers to get the people reading their resumes to remember them, much less consider their application.
That’s why an increasing number of people are finding creative ways of making their resumes stand out from the crowd, forging new standards for resume writing, and in the process, fundamentally Changing the way job seekers relate to potential employees. These sorts of resumes are more common in creative fields like design than they are elsewhere, but a quick internet search reveals that this is a trend that is catching on across a broad range of industries.
The old resume was all business; the new resume is playful and fun. The old resume was flat; the new resume is richly textured in a way that conveys something unique about the job-seeker’s personality. The old resume was straightforward; the new resume incorporates a clever visual twist that draws the reader in. The old resume was impersonal and risk-averse; the new resume goes out on a limb to portray the job seeker as an interesting person, and takes its chances in hoping that hiring managers will find it amusing rather than annoying.
But most importantly, the old resume was a summary of a candidates experiences; the new resume is a demonstration of the candidate’s skills. Rather than a mere claim of proficiency, the new resume is an offering that the candidate makes of him-or-herself. It would be a shame if companies were to miss out on the Fortuninis of the World simply because their application systems and processes were too antiquated to accept such offerings.
Eamon O’Connor coulda been a contender, and sources say he may yet end up as one. He lives, thinks, and makes stuff in Oakland CA.