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Is the Resume Dead?

by Kim on February 29, 2016

Over the past few years, there have been grumblings about the death of the traditional paper resume, especially following the birth and popularity of LinkedIn and other technological distribution avenues. Yet, how many times have you been asked by someone to submit your resume? That is a question that people will be asked for years to come.

If you’re totally stuck on technology only, or relying solely on your LI profile, you may not even have a resume, leaving you scrambling to put together a one that may not be effective, especially after being hastily prepared. I can’t tell you how many potential clients call me in a panic because someone saw their LI profile, only to be asked later by that person to forward their (non-existent) resume as further follow-up.

Granted, while every professional should probably have a LI profile, it is still not a substitute for a paper resume.  Many employers, recruiters or hiring managers still prefer to hold that piece of paper as it’s easier than referring to a screen during an interview, keeps them engaged and gives them quick access to key discussion points or to share with other decision makers. Today’s hiring managers are frequently “boomers” and utilize the paper resume as a preferred method of getting to know potential candidates. It’s also more personal and professional, demonstrating that you are taking your career seriously through the effort.

Having a traditional resume affords you the ability to maximize your opportunities and customize it for different positions, especially if you find ways to actually get it into the hands of decision makers vs. a software program. Relying on the internet only, i.e., job boards, could send you into the resume abyss, where nobody will see it. Granted, you should take advantage of social media, job boards, LinkedIn and other job-related technology sites, but you will still need a traditional resume at some point.

Even though many companies today require the completion of an online application, having that “base” resume gives you the opportunity to cut/paste from it while completing certain sections of an online application. You also need the traditional resume for uploading to various company sites as most major organizations sort and store resumes using a tracking system that scans for key words/skills.

Obviously, technology has changed the way we search for jobs today, but a traditional resume is needed in the majority of job searches no matter what your reputation, even at the C-level, when board approval may be needed and/or if you are seeking a seat on a board. Without a resume that clearly identifies your key areas of experience and accomplishment, you have no competitive advantage over others who were prepared with the documents necessary to support their qualifications.

No matter how much the traditional resume is dreaded or debated, it’s still the one important tool that gives employers the ability to compare candidates’ strengths, abilities and accomplishments. Don’t be left out or worse, caught empty handed the next time you are asked to submit a resume.

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