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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gen Y Goes to Work With Digital Resumes

Rob Darrow writes an insightful blog called California Dreamin' about online learning and education. Today, he has a great blog post about hearing Jason Dorsey speak about Generation Y in general and specifically about the implications of Generation Y entering the workforce. Generation Y generally refers to those people born between 1980 and 1994 give or take a year on each end. This means that roughly half of Generation Y is old enough to be teaching (using 22 as the average age for completing a BA/BS) and most of the other half is still in school. These numbers have a few implications for education that educators and administrators need to consider when thinking about their current students and when searching for new teachers.

One of the items that stands out from Rob Darrow's list of things that Jason Dorsey shared about Generation Y is that most members of Generation Y "don't know quick answers to historical facts... but give them access to the Internet and they can prepare a presentation in two hours on any historical topic." This statement is great reminder that today's students can find information on almost any topic quickly, in fact today's students can probably find information faster than many of their teachers can find the same information. The role and value of a teacher then is changing from one of informant to facilitator. Teaching students what they can do with information they find is an important function of educators.

The second item from Rob Darrow's summary of Jason Dorsey's presentation is Generation Y is tech dependent. "They are tech dependent. Embedded into their being." When I look at job postings for teaching positions (I'm quite happy with my position, I just like to look) I still see many openings that specifically state "no email or electronic applications accepted." I realize that part of the reason for that stipulation is to streamline the process of sorting through applications, but I fear that part of the reason for the stipulation is that adminstrators might not be comfortable with something other than the standard one page resume and reference letters. While I don't think the requirement of a traditional paper resume dissuades anyone from applying for a position, I am concerned that this limits the ability of applicants to show their full complement of skills and creativity. If administrators wish to hire the best and brightest young candidates from Generation Y to fill vacant teaching positions and or retain their younger teachers, it would be in their best interests to be open to alternative forms of resumes and portfolios. Which leads me to the digital resource I'd like to share with you today, Visual CV.

Visual CV is your resume and more online. Visual CV is a free service on which you can host an electronic version of your resume. In addition to resumes users can post links to sample work they have done, post a video introduction, post graphs and charts, and post professional references. Much of this can be done in similar forms on other services, but Visual CV offers a very attractive layout and interface at a great price, free!

Visual CV represents the way that Generation Y prefers to communicate and they medium with which they will expect job applicants to present themselves when Generation Y does the hiring.

In case you're an administrator reading this and wondering how or why Web 2.0 and Generation Y fit into the future of work, take a look at this great presentation from Sacha Chua. (Sacha is Generation Y, she just turned 25).

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