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5 reasons why the resume will never die

James Clift | May 4, 2016

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated

  • Mark Twain

For decades ambitious startups and recruiters have been touting the end of the resume. But despite the rare story of people getting hired from their Instagram photos, a resume is an essential tool for landing your dream job for 99% of the opportunities out there.

Here are 5 reasons why the resume will never die.

1. Resumes are the only consistent candidate profile

Recruiters spend most of their day looking at resumes, and allocate 6 seconds for the initial Yes/No review.

Because of the enormous volumes that are processed, they need to quickly make decisions on who to move forward in the hiring process.

Typically, recruiters look for three things:

  • Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Skills

These are usually adequate indicators to filter out the unqualified candidates. A great resume isn’t all you need to get a job - but you do need it to move on to the next step. Your other online profiles and projects are the kicker.

If an employer had to look at hundreds of different profile formats daily the process would be extremely inefficient.Employers don’t have time to look at everyone’s Google search results, social media profiles and online portfolios.

They only do that when they’re interested in you.

How do you get them interested? Your resume.

2. The resume is your first impression

Are résumés dead? Are there going to be résumés in our future and what does that look like? I certainly don’t think they’re dead; they’re still here, they are going to be here for a while. I think that building that online presence or a brand is becoming increasingly important to potential candidates.

  • Lisa Kramer, Director of Campus Recruiting at RBC

Even if you have a great social media presence, a stellar online portfolio, and a great reference - the first thing most employers will see is your resume.

Even if you get a great referral - if your resume isn’t up to par it will be quickly placed in the rejection pile.

The role of your resume is to convince the employer you’re ready for an interview. Then it is up to you to impress them. You could miss out on huge opportunities with a resume that doesn’t accurately represent your unique skills.

A great resume also links to your various online profiles which portray different aspects of your professional experience. The resume is the steak - your other profiles are the sizzle. You need both.

3. Employers use applicant tracking systems

Ed Struzik, an International Business Machines Corp. expert on the systems, puts the proportion of large companies using them in the high 90% range, and says it would be very rare to find a Fortune 500 company without one.

  • Wall Street Journal

Applicant tracking software is used by the majority of larger organizations to keep track of their recruiting. This software is used to accept applications, move candidates through the hiring cycle, and keep track of the entire process.

And it’s not just for large corporations - millions of small businesses are also using applicant tracking systems to manage their hiring.

Resumes are the first input into applicant tracking systems, and the method for keeping track of candidates.

As a software solution applicant tracking is here to stay - your resume is too.

4. You’ll still need a paper resume for the interview

Although applicants rarely mail in résumés these days, the job search isn’t going paperless. In fact, experts say, a paper résumé can make or break a bid for a job.

  • Wall Street Journal

Even if you score an interview using non-traditional means, employers expect you to bring in a professional copy of your resume to the interview. This gives them the opportunity to get a refresher of your skill set and take notes during the interview for future reference. It may seem like a minor detail, but the details matter when searching for a job. Recruiters are always looking for red flags, and not bringing in a paper resume could be enough to tip the scales against you.

5. No profile will ever replace the resume

The reality is that the resume is a necessary tool for all job applications. Arguments against the resume are usually just arguing that the resume needs to be supplemented - this is a true statement.

However, just because a resume needs to be supplemented doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced.

You’ll need a resume:

Even if you’re getting an amazing personal referral.

Even if you connected with a hiring manager on Twitter.

Even if the CEO is your Uncle.

Out of the 18 million businesses in the USA, exactly 0 have eliminated the resume. Even Zappos - who has done away with job descriptions - first asks for a resume to join their Insider program.

A good resume is still the difference between an interview and irrelevance. There is no better tool out there to summarize someone’s professional accomplishments in a concise and standardized way.

The resume will never die

Though the traditional resume will never die - we do agree that today’s job seekers need more than just a resume.

Supplementing a traditional PDF resume with a well-designed web (and mobile) portfolio and a strong social media brand will make a compelling first impression. Anything you can do to stand out in today’s competitive job market is well worth it.

Evidence shows that you will always need a great resume to land your dream job - but having a great resume and going the extra mile will guarantee it.

Blost post author James Clift

About the author

James Clift

James is the CEO of VisualCV. He has spent the last 10 years building businesses, from window cleaning to software. His passion is helping individuals create the careers they want.

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