After the old Carter Talent Inventory Project (TIP), they came like a white blizzard behind a Southern zephyr. Under the door, over the transom, through the cracks, resumes by the hundreds - by the thousands during one peak day before the Inauguration - poured into the TIP office as everyone who had ever whiffed power in the odor of peanuts tried to parlay the knack into employment.
Most of the job-seekers used the standard paper form for their resumes, but the ones that are remembered at TIP - not necessarily the ones that got the jobs, though - are the resume on video-tape, the video-cassette resume and the one on film.
Resume have taken a quantum leap since the days of the simple name, age and employment history format. There are people out there in the job market who are using all the hype of Madison Avenue and the latest technology to push their resumes to the top.
Among the 40,000 resumes received at TIP, there are even one on Rolodex cards for instant insertion in the new administration's file of important persons.
"We looked at every resume no matter what form it came in," a Carter tansition staff member said. "And we took each one seriously."
TIP is no longer. In its place is the Presidential personnel office, where they're still gettting a couple of hundred resumes a day, according to Jim King, the Presidential's special assistant for personnel.
Resumes can be blzarrely attention-getting even if a person isn't looking for a job on Jimmy Carter's team.
ABL Associates, a Washington firm that specializes in putting resumes together, made up a resume for a man who wanted to be a television talkshow host. It had a picture of him superimposed on the back in gray ink so that prospective employers could see how he'd come across to the late afternoon viewers.
At Georgetown University, which keeps samples of resumes, there was one from a woman, newly arrived in Washington because of her husband's job-transfer who had a picture of herself shoeless on the cover with the caption "Common . . . baby needs a pair of shoes."
The American Women in Radio and Television Inc., received a resume from a woman, a writer looking for a writing, public relations or photography job, who put it in the form of a three-act play with herself starring in the principal roles. "There will be no intermission between jobs," the resume declared.
Pretty exotic fare, but ABL's Tensia Alvirez says that some of these approach work.
"We do resumes for some pretty savvy people, most of whom want a personalized, but fairly standard, resume. But we've done resumes for people who want pictures of themselves with their dogs or their families. One women had her resume done up with a graphic of a house painter with an old-fashioned advertisement in the corner announcing "Small Jobs Wanted." She was a graphic artist and layout designer who was moving to Boston, and within three hours of her arrival there, she had a job within walking distance of her house."
It not just in the area of the arts' that resumes have become distinctive Sober-minded mathematicians and computer programmers, toughed up by a tight market, are getting into the act too.
JDL Assocation Inc., an employment agency serving the accounting, engineering financial and public relations market, has received resumes from mathematicians written in mathematical terms and several from computer programmers who have had theirs done by computers on printout sheets.
For anywhere from $35 to $60, you can have an hour's consultation with any of several local resume-writing firms who will present you to a recruiter on colored paper, with graphics or picture, in any format you desire. Yours can be the only resume in a stack of gray and white, in eye-catching fuchsia, if you have the nerve.
Whether all this effort will pay off and get you a job is still a shaky proposition, according to Jim Briggs, director of Georgtown University's Career Planning and Placement Office.
"We don't recommend them to our students, but we don't discourage them either," he said. "My own feeling about those standout resumes is that there is a risk that some employers will be turned off by the fact that you're not using a more standard form and others will be turned on by the creativity.
"The important thing about going to that sort of format is that it be consistent with your personality and somewhat consistent with the type of job position you're applying for. Equally there is a risk of using the standard form when you're in a situation hundreds of resumes are being received. The besic purpose of a resume is to stimulate enough interest in you for the person who receives it to talk to you further. So they can work."