My friend and colleague, Martin Yate (@KnockemDead on Twitter), job search expert and author of the excellent Knock ’em Dead series of career and job search books, recently spoke with me about the future of the resume.
I was thrilled to contribute to his latest must-have book shown here, Knock ‘em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World, in which Martin reveals how to take control of your job search, career, and life.
In an earlier discussion, we talked about the top two biggest mistakes he’s seen executives make with their job search efforts, how they should approach hiring managers, and what executive job search will look like in 10 years.
I asked Martin if he thought the traditional paper/digital resume was dead, and if the resume is still a critical component in every executive’s job search toolkit.
There is nothing I like about the traditional paper/digital resume — they are hell to write and once they’re written you know that no one is rushing into the office looking forward to an exciting day of resume reading.
Nevertheless, I don’t think the resume is dead or dying or that it will be replaced by streamed video resumes, personally branded websites or anything else in the near future. The traditional paper/digital resume continues to evolve and is not in danger of imminent demise.
Technology constantly makes new tools and services possible and these tools often get applied to the world of resumes. Any new approach that renders the paper/digital resume obsolete must do so by improved speed and performance in the evaluation of the customer, and it must be affordable by the vast majority of job seekers. That hasn’t happened yet and I don’t see the applied technology that will bring it to pass anytime soon.
What I do see are technology applications that make greater depth of evaluation possible. Yes, a personal website that brands you is a plus, assuming you can afford it and have something worth branding. And yes a streamed video resume can also be a plus, again assuming you can afford it, and that you are telegenic and natural in front of a camera, something very few people are.
These and other approaches like them are genuinely exciting new tools. Well kinda new, video resumes were first promoted as the next big thing twenty-eight years ago in 1983. But given the customers’ needs — for a tired and distracted recruiter or hiring manager, who just wants the facts and wants them fast — the paper/digital resume is tough to beat.
For you, a properly crafted resume is both the process and the tool with which, as a professional, you first succinctly define who you are and what you can deliver to an employer. On the other side of the desk, recruiters and hiring managers:
- Use that paper or digital resume as a time saving device to get a fast (5-45 second) take on a candidate; fast and accurate enough to rule you in or out of consideration.
- Use it to prepare for and refer to during an interview.
- Use it in reviewing final candidates at decision time.
In fact, the recruiters I know, and I know a thousand or more, all prefer the paper/digital resume. They also appreciate the enriched resume that has links to your social networking profile, personal website or video resume. Such links give recruiters and hiring managers an option for deeper investigation … once you have been evaluated as worthwhile from your paper/digital resume.
The new tools are here to stay and will continue to evolve, and money and time allowing can be valuable additions to your arsenal, when they are properly focused and expressed. In the meantime, no one is going to rule you out of consideration for a job because all you have is a kickass, easy and fast to read paper or digital resume.
My own take on the future of the executive resume, Is the Executive Resume Dead or Dying?