No postage stamps; no paper cuts! Stanislaus Jude Chan sticks his tongue out and rejoices as hardcopy resumes take a licking, succumbing to a more efficient, and environmentally-friendly, alternative - Electronic Resumes.

The startling proliferation of computer software over the past 15 years has changed the way we prepare and submit resumes, and the way others read and manage them.

Google recently revealed that it received more than 1000 applications through the internet within five
short hours of posting an online notice for available positions at the R&D centre in China. That works out to some 200 resumes every hour, and more than three each second!

The employer marvels at the astounding figures, admires the wonderfully-crafted brand identity, and
ponders the merits of a sound HR policy.And the job-seeker pushes the panic button. With so many competitors for so few available jobs, how do we stand out over the clutter?

Standing Out Online
First, you have to decide: do you really want your resume to be radically different from the thousand
others? Duh. But of course? Before you roll your eyes, consider this: recruiting professionals discourage a typical resumes. A straw poll suggests not more than five percent of job-seekers venture out of the triedand- tested resume formats. And for good reason: those that do are often ignored! So we are faced with a daunting dilemma: Walk the beaten path, and hope to be noticed amid the sea of other commoners. Or, send out a resume that is striking in its uniqueness, and pray it does not end up with the thrash anyway.

The Wild Cards
You are still reading! So, you are a risk-taker, and you are interested in the road less travelled? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Web resumes and e-portfolios are electronic documents on a personal website, which allows easy
transmission of data to supplement your basic resume facts. Coupled with the right tags and optimisation strategies, your web resume and e-portfolio can appear on various search engines to be readily available to recruiters and employers.

Beamers are a compressed version of resumes that you can send via Infra-red or Bluetooth to hand-held devices like Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) and mobile phones. Broadcast the most critical information- contact details and unique selling points - to potential employers and in a format suitable for a small screen.

Smart Cards are pieces of plastic embracing a microchip capable of storing data, as well as a
microprocessor to transfer this information to a computer network. Similar to banking credit cards, these smart card resumes are still in a developing stage, but might well be one for the future.
Talkers are resumes that speak to you. Transform your resume into a multimedia presentation with audio and video capabilities, bringing your resume to life and impressing recruiters who have big enough bandwidths - and long enough coffee breaks - to download the hefty files.

Stamp Your Difference
Now we've actually discussed the unique resume formats above, we realise they are not going to
remain unique. Before long, Smart Cards and Talkers will become run-of-the-mill to job-seekers, and be as obsolete as hardcopy resumes in the mail now.

It's time to use the greatest weapon - your creativity. Think, for example, of the potential web-logs have in promoting your services. Or any of the million quirky, attention-grabbing ideas you have, within reason.

Wave your individuality like a wand. You never know what magic you might create with an unusual