My helpful screenshot

Most folks keep their resume somewhere in a folder on their desktop or laptop computer. Sometimes this gets synced across a cloud drive to their mobile devices. Usually there are multiple copies of the resume going back years. This is because one often needs to adjust their resume for different kinds of jobs or different hiring styles of managers. Some want to see everything a person has done going back to the womb, others want a one-pager with just the highlights of a career. Some companies are more buttoned down and want a resume that looks like a legal document, others will notice a resume format that stands out for creativity.

On top of the edits, there’s the exports that a job-seeker needs to generate. Some companies want PDF, some want Word, and in some cases the resume needs to be pasted into a form as plain text.

Unless a person is actively in job-seeking mode when someone asks them “shoot me your resume” most people have to stop and think for a second about: “Is my resume current? When did I update it last? Is the latest version I did synced to my mobile device or do I have to wait til I get home to send it? Do I need to reformat it for this manager/company?”

Enter Abstretta and the “Dynamic Resume”

Abstretta uses the methodology of a Content Management System (CMS) to deliver resumes. The way a CMS works is you have your articles and posts content stored in a database. Above that you have the CMS script which determines which articles will show on a page. These can be aggregated based on tag, category, time, or author. And above that you have themes which determine how the site, and the posts being displayed, will look on the screen.

None of these layers knows or even cares about the other. You can edit an article and not have to worry about re-formatting because somewhere else a theme is handling it. If you want to add a post to a listing page which shows everything tagged with “software”, yo don’t have to edit the listing page, you just tag the posts you want to appear there.

Abstretta is structured along the same lines. At the bottom are “Pieces” - the elements that make up a resume. Things like college degrees, work experience, certifications, and so on. Each piece can be tagged in whatever way the user would like. This can be based on industry (#aerospace, #biomed, etc.) or role (#management, #developer, etc.). Whatever works for the user.

In the middle is the “Resume” object which is constructed based on which tags should be show (green check), hidden (red x), or ignored (circle). An “ignored” tag is simply not included in the visibility calculation. So if you have a work experience which is tagged with #aerospace, #management, #developer and you want to build a resume for “aerospace management”, you could ignore the #developer tag which would allow this work experience to be included in the resume. If you marked the #developer tag as “hidden”, that Piece would be excluded from the generated resume.

Atop all of this is a template system which applies different styles to a resume. This way the user can completely change the style of their resume with a couple of clicks. No re-editing of content is required.

Not only are resumes constructed dynamically, the tags and settings can be adjusted at the time you send a resume link to a prospective employer. So for instance you want to apply for a position and a friend tips you off that they like short resumes that do not include anything further back than five years, and do not care about certifications or awards - just work experience. With a few quick clicks you can change the date range to only go back five years, and exclude anything you tagged as “certification” or “award”. In under 30 seconds you just customized your resume to exactly what this company wants to see with no re-editing and no re-formatting. Abstretta snapshots the resume that gets sent to each recipient, much better than having 20 different copies in a folder on a drive someplace.

If you have Abstretta, not only do you always have your resume with you right on your mobile device, but you can customize and send that resume at any time from that same device. Your resume is always up to date as long as you add new accomplishments or work experience to the system. This takes less than a minute - just create a new piece, give it a name and some tags, and paste in what it’s all about. Done. Easy. Portable.