The Resume is Dead! Again?

Original Post: The Resume is Dead! Again?

Did you ever see the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

There is a scene where a man is trying to give the body of a live man to “the mortician”. The live man keeps insisting “he is not dead yet”. However, those around him say he is so close to dead you should just take his body anyway. This is clearly a parable for the resume.

I recently Googled, Is the Resume Dead? I was astounded by the number of people who have pondered this question, blogged about it, written white papers on it and identified the resumes “replacement”. In a few minutes of research I “learned” the traditional resume was going to be replaced by:

  • Video
  • Social Media
  • Blogs
  • Google®
  • Logical Employment Profiles
  • Personal Web Sites
  • LinkedIn®
  • Visual CV®

I stopped reading because my head was spinning. Stop the train

Let’s start with what a Resume is by definition. It’s a summary of accomplishments. That’s it, plain and simple. No matter how the hiring process changes, somewhere there must reside a summary of the job candidate’s skills that can easily be accessed by hiring managers. For practical purposes, it also must be down-loadable, up-loadable, and easily shared via both electronic and hard copy means. The resume may not be the document that opens the door for the opportunity, but somewhere in the hiring process, a resume will be requested.

Here is some perspective on the mediums that I “learned” will “replace” the resume.

Video and Visual CV -In essence each of these are attempts to offer some sizzle to a resume. Dress them up through technology advancements. Conceptually I agree that embedding graphics and video has great utility. However, the issue is that most Human Resource professionals and hiring managers will not take the time to view or review them. Generally speaking these systems of enhanced presentation will not work with the Applicant Tracking Software companies use to manage resume data. Over the past year, I have spoken with several hundred human resource professionals and recruiters. Not once, did I hear any of them suggest they would like to receive multimedia, in lieu of, or as an enhancement to a traditional resume. Numerous times I did hear candidates would be removed consideration if they did not provide traditional resumes. I also heard broad concerns about potential discrimination; including directly from a former Equal Opportunity Employment Commission chairperson. I recognize this argument against leveraging technology, may sound like a luddites response, but I am only reporting what the marketplace is telling me. I am definitely a believer in enhancing job candidate’s presentation materials, but it cannot come at the expense of having a traditional resume prepared and available.

Blogs & Social Media - Blogs and social media offer a great platform to demonstrate expertise. By their very nature, they also serve as great mediums to expand awareness of potential job candidacy and also accelerate networking. However, none of these benefits will replace the resume.

LinkedIn - Do you need a resume if you are up on LinkedIn? The quick answer is absolutely yes. LinkedIn’s template, does allow an individual to summarize their accomplishments, but it is not a transferable or up-loadable file, it is not graphically pleasing and it is rigid in construction. No doubt Linked In is playing an ever growing role in job search, but it is not a replacement for the resume. I have had human resource executives specifically tell me they are not interested in being provided links to LinkedIn profiles. They also may contain personal pictures which are prohibited as part of some companies hiring policies.

Personal Websites - Personal websites provide a much broader palate to present information about a job candidate. They offer candidates tremendous flexibility in describing their expertise, beliefs and accomplishments. They really can serve as a wonderful platform for expanded personal branding and the de facto centralized Internet location for the most complete and up to date information regarding an individual. They also can serve as a great delivery mechanism for a resume, however, like LinkedIn, they will not replace the resume.

Google - Google is the new resume. What a statement! I’ve heard it numerous times. So whatever the ever changing Google search algorithm returns when an individual’s name is entered into a search engine, now serves as your resume? This is preposterous. I’d hate to be named Brad Pitt, but not the actor. No one would ever see “my resume”. Online Identity Management is becoming critical in job search, but it is not replacing the resume.

Logical Employment Profiles (LEP) - There certainly is some movement in the taxonomy matching world. Think e-harmony. You fill out a form and it matches you to a job. Several new job boards and service providers are pushing this concept. I firmly believe it will work, but only for a small subset of the total positions people are looking for. Two of the early leaders in this market are My Perfect Gig for engineers and One Wire for finance professionals. I have no data to back up this next statement, but I have a suspicion, the candidates that are matched for positions by LEP’s, will still be asked for a resume even after the profile match.

Today, the resume is not dead, nor is it about to die in the near future. I would argue is not even sick. The resume remains the central document in an individual’s personal marketing for career transition.

Have your resume ready to go and make sure it is specifically targeted to the position you are applying for. If submitting to job boards, make certain you have embedded the proper keywords and tagged correctly for optimal search results.

There are many great job search and persona branding technologies and tricks to leverage. In this ultra competitive job market it is critical to utilize them all when personal marketing in a web 2.0 world!

Guest Expert:

Ian Levine is the founder of Career Brander. The Internet’s first personal marketing portal focused on individuals in career transition. Career Brander’s site includes software tools for creating resumes, instantly building personal career websites, financial planning calculators, professional business card printing, and proprietary content & links that aid and educate for a more effective modern day job search. You can read additional personal branding and career articles by Ian Levine on the Career Brander Blog.