With the rapid advance of the digital world it would make sense that the resume as we know it would be replaced by some “better” technology. It wasn’t that long ago when typewriters, rotary phones, VCRs, and phone booths were commonplace. Today, the landline is barely hanging on.
Is the resume going the way of the Dodo bird?
The resume seems to have some serious competition. There’s Linkedin, personal websites, and various social media platforms that claim to be replacing the resume.
Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll apply to jobs using a chip that’s embedded under your skin that’s scanned and the information is uploaded into the applicant tracking system.
So, are the rumours true?
Is the resume really dead?
It’s true. The traditional, task-oriented resume is dead and will KILL your job search faster than a toupee in a hurricane.
If you’re like 99% of the people who send me their resume, yours unfortunately falls into this category.
Which brings me to Fact #2…..
It’s also true that while the generic résumé is pretty much dead, an accomplishment-based resume that is customized for each position is still an important part of a successful job search and won’t be replaced any time soon.
A resume that relies on a fancy template that is design-heavy but falls short on content, will probably NEVER make it through the applicant tracking systems.
Recruiters and Hiring Managers just roll their eyes when they see these resumes on steroids, knowing that they’re more than likely a one-size-fits-all document that says absolutely nothing about the candidate in any real, measurable way.
Don’t be fooled by those uber-designed resume templates. You don’t need one! All you need to do is create a simple format in a Word document that allows the computer and Human Reader to scan the document from left to right with no interruption.
That means, don’t insert a bunch of design elements into the resume. It just needs to be easy to read, with lots of white space, a wide enough margin all the way around, with each resume section flowing logically from one to the other.
Remember, less is more where resume design is concerned.
If you are applying to jobs online and uploading your resume into an applicant tracking system, you are in danger of being one of the 75% of applicants whose resumes get rejected by the ATS. If you’re lucky enough to be the 25% that survive first hurdle, your resume is still one of the 75% that gets rejected by the Human Reader.
That means, if there are 100 resumes, 25 make it through the ATS and then only 6 of those resumes make it through the human filter. That’s only a 6% success rate.
There are many reasons why this is happening, but in all likelihood, it’s largely because the resumes have not been designed strategically to be ATS and Human Reader friendly.
One key way to help your resume get through the filters is to customize it for EVERY single position you apply for. The more customized it is, the better your chances at landing the interview.
The résumé is still the most desired way for employers to review your experience and skills.
If it’s designed properly, the reader can determine whether there’s a potential “fit” in a mere 6 seconds. That’s the average amount of time the reader will spend on the first pass of your resume. It would take much longer to scan a video resume or even click through a website. No one has time for that.
Many of us still prefer to read a piece of paper.
We can print off the resume and make notes in the margins. It’s easier to compare multiple candidates simultaneously. We can organize the documents into visual piles based on certain criteria and filter them down into the “must-call” pile. It’s just more cumbersome to do this on a computer.
This has nothing to do with the person’s age. It’s just way better to have the information readily available at your fingertips.
Plus, it’s waaaaaayyyyyy easier to review paper résumés during a train commute than to open up a laptop in crowded surroundings. Trust me on this. I did that once and it didn’t end well. Let’s just say juice and laptops don’t mix well. So, it was back to paper for me!
When applying to jobs, in most cases you still need to upload or email a resume.
Did you need a resume to get your last job? For most people, that would be a resounding YES! Even if you have a contact in a company, chances are they still need a resume to put into their system. HR typically demands this. Even if someone reviews your Linkedin profile, in 9.9 times out of 10 they will still ask for a resume.
Most companies will likely not invest in a different applicant tracking system any time soon.
Companies have invested a lot of money and time into their applicant tracing systems that are set up to scan, score, rank, and resumes. It’s very costly to migrate to a new system and therefore would likely take many years for that change to become the new normal. So, for now, you still need to send a resume.
It can (and should) be customized to finely target your desired position.
Social media profiles like Linkedin can’t do this because they are more generic and serve a different function. A resume can be customized to address the specific needs of a specific position with a specific company which will significantly boost your chances of landing the interview.
While the medium might change you still need an effective message
I’m sure that one day, the resume as we know it will be replaced by something that’s more technology advanced but that’s not likely going to happen any time soon. Right now, the resume is still considered the foundation of any successful job search regardless of what you level, job function, or industry is.
What you should be concerned about is how effectively are you communicating your unique and measurable value so that you generate interviews and land your desired job?
Regardless of what the medium is, the kind of message you deliver in your resume, cover letter, and Linkedin profile is paramount. if you don’t properly position yourself for a specific job function and/or industry, then you’re probably not going to get the kind of results you want. It’s marketing 101.
I leverage over 10 years recruitment and sales/marketing experience which enables me to create attention-grabbing résumés, cover letters, and Linkedin profiles that help job seekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired. You can learn more about my story here and about how I can help you here.
Need help? I’d love to hear from you!
If you’re in the midst of a job search and not getting the results you want or you’re thinking of making a change and want to make sure you get started off on the right foot, I recommend you reach out for some help. You can contact me directly here!
I look forward to helping you with your career success!