Margaret Agius is a rock solid paralegal. But after ten years with a major Detroit law firm, she was laid off from her job as a products liability specialist. Since then, this lively, smart and well-educated paralegal has had difficulty finding another position in a city that has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
"Nothing seems to be getting any results here in the Detroit area," she says. "The biggest problem here is lack of jobs."
So Agius began to experiment in social media. During her job search utilizing LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, she learned about VisualCV.com, an Internet-based, multimedia resume that provides a comprehensive picture of you professionally and allows you to stand out from the crowd.
When I saw how beautifully the resume presented her background, work history, writing samples, articles she authored along with her education and skills, I immediately got an impression of a professional, savvy paralegal with a lot to offer any law firm or in-house legal department.
I'm not advertising here. I have just never seen anything like this and with 16 years of staffing experience behind me, I know when a new trend has hit. The service is free and allows you to add a video, demonstrate your presentation skills, put embedded charts, documents and links on the resume, informational pop-ups, writing samples, references - basically your entire job hunting package on a professionally designed web page with your own url.
It's easily manageable and you can keep it private, not for the world to see or you can go public with it. You can update it at any time as information changes such as your address, a temp job, an additional workshop or other important aspect of your resume. Why this hasn't been done before, I have no clue. The question is, how many law firms will be impressed by it. Law firms historically want things done traditionally. Some may still want to see the same old Word format and not be open to this new technology. If that is the case, you just turn the web page into a pdf and e-mail it. It does circumvent the old "hold your resume to one page" rule, however.
The downside of this service is that the website is not as informative as I would like. You go right into building your resume without getting a few moments to adjust. However, because it's simple, you do figure it out. It does offer a job search service but there were no paralegal jobs on it and the 8 legal listings did not seem to have any jobs either.
I also question the new practice of putting your picture on the resume. For years, candidates and employers alike would not put a picture on a resume as it was too easy to discriminate based on nationality, color, gender or even looks. It just wasn't done. I wonder if nowadays, with employers easily getting onto Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media whether that has gone by the wayside or a new wave of lawsuits are just waiting to happen.
Whatever the case, check out VisualCV.com. There are probably other sites just like it as finally, there's a new way to capture your background and make you look great.
BTW, take a look at Margaret's resume. If there are any employers out there who want an outstanding paralegal, I doubt that she will be on the market much longer.