Robert just penned a pretty good post on how to tune up your resume for the "economic slowdown". He gets it mostly right (write?) -- do your best to stand out, write a regular blog -- however, i think he's a bit long-winded on his recommendations and overlooks some fundamentals (which he actually does practice, but doesn't mention so much).
So as i commented on Guy Kawasaki's blog almost 2 years ago, i'll summarize again why Resumes are for Shit, and why all you need are 4 basic things to get a kick-ass job (or whatever u want really -- still have to write that post later on why money-sex-power-drugs-guns are pretty much commutable):
1) get a LinkedIn profile, and pimp it out -- HARD.
a simple LinkedIn profile is nice, but it's not what i'm talking about. you better work, sister (sashay, chante!) -- get your connections into LinkedIn, fill out a work history with different positions you've held & expertise gained, get recommendations from people & partners who you worked with (not just your boss), answer questions on topics that matter in your line of work, etc. most importantly, reference companies, products, skills, and other keywords that are important to you & others (see below).
note that other social networking profiles don't substitute for LinkedIn. there was a time when i thought Facebook might eventually subsume LinkedIn, but i was clearly wr... wr... WRONG (ok there, i said it). both LinkedIn & Facebook -- and for that matter, MySpace as well -- have broadly established & well-entrenched userbase that likely prefer one of those 3 primary SNS platforms. but still most people who call themselves "professionals" should maintain a LinkedIn profile, even if it's not their primary hangout. LinkedIn is *THE* place that most recruiting (or any) professionals use for people search, and LinkedIn search results generally rank at the top for many Google name searches. note: if you have a common name like John Smith, even more reason to create popular content attached to your name to distinguish you from other John Smith's who rank for basketball, accounting, or other types of specialized content.
fyi, Guy was initially a bit of a Luddite re: my suggestion to use LinkedIn + Blog as alternatives to a traditional resume, however he came around later and penned one of the single most useful posts about LinkedIn i've ever read (tip: an old friend may have helped change his mind on that one). if you haven't checked it out, i strongly encourage you to do so. Guy doesn't really need LinkedIn, but his suggestions are top notch.
surprisingly, this doesn't take as much work as you'd think.
if you write regularly, passionately, & intelligently about topics people care about (ie: search for), use appropriate keywords in headlines & titles, you'll start to rank for that content rather quickly. in fact, i've accidentally blogged about topics / keywords i don't really care about, but ended up ranking for anyway.
let me explain.
NEWSFLASH: there are a lot of people out there who blog. a few of these crazy people blog regularly. a few of those few know how to use keywords in headlines, and how link text & basic SEO fundamentals work. a very small further few write well and are fun & interesting to read. however, there are very very VERY few people who blog regularly, interestingly, & specifically with respect to the keywords they care about. if you are one of these people, you can rather easily become king of your (perhaps small but focused) hill, by using regular & interesting blog posts that score well and rank for search keywords of note. it also helps if you include or embed photos or other media (see #4).
you can of course use other search-friendly sites & services as distribution for your content & keywords, but blogs (& blog headlines) are pretty well optimized for search so it's probably the easiest place to start... tho twitter & friendfeed & a few other notable services work well to amplify & distribute original signal from your blog or other social platforms. i'll describe some of these below.
this one is actually overlooked by a number of very thoughtful (but not very colorful) bloggers. i once wrote a post about Facebook licensing their platform to Bebo in response to Google launching OpenSocial. the copy was pretty much empty blather except for the somewhat insane graphic at right that i created using powerpoint, and then uploaded to Flickr (and also to SlideShare), then embedded in the post. i probably spent about 5 minutes writing the post, but i killed most of an afternoon (3-4 hours) putting together one silly image to satisfy my own freakish psychotic social network addiction. the photo later got picked up by several other bloggers, and when i checked just now the Flickr photo had over 6000 views. the SlideShare presentation (just one slide) has about 5600 views. and the photo comes up on the first page of google image search results for the term "social graph". whaddya know: my crazy-ass graphic is DOMINATING the social graph term! and i bet my post gets more awareness than any ten other high-and-mighty bloggers who wrote some in-depth intellectual analysis (yeah i know i do that shit too).
the simple thing is --
we are visual creatures.
we dream in color.
people love images, and they watch a lot more TV than they read. you've heard "a picture says a thousand words"? well as far as blogs are concerned, it's damn well true. i'd even go so far as to say there is such a thing as keyword visual arbitrage -- essentially, that there are high-volume search terms with low-volume associated images or video, that you can draft off and use to discover & attract new audience. this may seem like link-baiting, but actually it's just satisfying market demand for visual imagery around key terms that people have expressed an interest in.
in fact, i'm often criticized by several folks who say that my trademark "ransom note kidnapper" font style choices -- bold, underlined, enlarged, or many-colored fonts -- clearly let people know i am both childish and insane. and some folks may be right that it is incredibly annoying and odd, but it is a visual brand choice i've made (whether consciously or not ;) whatever your perspective, i've developed my own special (olympics?) audience. the choice of using "AARRR!" as an acronym for my "Startup Metrics for Pirates" is pretty much the auditory complement to the visual point above.
if you don't care to be quite as lunatic as i, you can simply use embed code and links to bring your popular social media from other sites & services into your blog or social profiles. i'm particularly fond of Flickr (graphics), YouTube (video), and SlideShare (powerpoint), as these services are also destination sites in themselves, and drive their own unique traffic to content you distribute on those sites. many people who do embed rich content also overlook this fact -- that the same content redistributed on multiple platforms can draw incremental users & attention, and that some of these platforms may be better at driving relevant traffic than your own blog or text-based sites/services.
in short, the rich media you associate with your blog and certain keywords also DEFINE WHO YOU ARE and WHAT YOU MAKE / USE / ENJOY. if you can cleverly associate social media -- literally, media to share with other people -- with your persona, and with specific tags & keywords, then you can merge these things into one.
in summary: you become a notable social object by associating rich media & keyword text with the person you are on blogs and social network profiles.
in closing, i include below examples of the graphic, video, and powerpoint content associated with "Startup Metrics" that i typically embed on my blog & social profiles: