Relatively frequently these days, I see articles about the demise of the resume. That it’s obsolete, unnecessary, an anachronism, and even a ‘boat anchor’ when trying to portray yourself as a state-of-the-art job seeker. The argument generally says that LinkedIn, Facebook, other social media, and Google itself gives an employer all they need to know about someone and a resume is redundant.
Is that true???
Here are some observations…
A resume tends to be considered most authoritative. While people can, and do, put anything they’d like about themselves online, a resume is generally considered the most trusted document regarding their work history and experience. It’s very common to see someone’s LinkedIn profile online, and then get a very different perspective of the person’s background when viewing their resume. Often, people are primarily focused on creating a certain impression online, while they consider a resume to be more of an official document that requires greater accuracy and disclosure when presenting it for consideration to a potential employer.
While someone can certainly put that kind of focus on their online profiles, a recruiter or employer generally assumes the resume is the most thorough and accurate representation of a candidates background.
A resume can be tailored. An online profile can, and is, viewed by any number of people and potential employers. It generally has to be a one-size-fits-all type of document since it’s impossible to know who will see it. A resume, on the other hand ought to be tailored for a specific role, company, and circumstance. It can be tailored to emphasize your most relevant skills and experience for a specific position. It becomes a more effective vehicle to help an employer connect the dots between their requirements and your related background. That becomes virtually impossible to achieve through an online profile available to everyone.
A resume can be printed as an easily readable document. As much as we are living in an electronic age, the reality is that some situations still require a printed document. A job interview is one of those circumstances. You will almost never find an employer in a job interview reviewing an online profile or reading a resume on a computer screen. They print it out to use it as a reference for discussion in the interview process. An online profile is not as likely to print out in a well formatted fashion and creates a less than ideal impression when it’s seen on paper rather than on screen.
There’s no question that the world, and effective job search strategies are rapidly changing. What is effective today may not be in 5 years from now. However, given the reasons above, it’s highly unlikely that resumes will become unnecessary in the job search process any time soon. While the components of an effective resume may change, the necessity of having one will not in the near future.
So, create a document that works!