Not that many years ago, a paper resume was the only kind available. We worried about the best type of paper to use: weight, brightness, color… Wow, how times have changed! Today’s job search playing field has expanded tremendously to include electronic resumes, online portfolios, and LinkedIn profiles that make job seekers’ information available to recruiters and hiring managers.
So, in the digital information age, have resumes become obsolete? Of course not. Resumes still are, and I believe will always be, a vital component of the job search process. While resumes, by default, speak about what you have achieved in the past, the best resumes are written to show what you can accomplish in the future.
In fact, there is no place on the resume to list your job duties. Think about this: listing your job duties does not tell the hiring manager what you actually achieved. It only tells them what you had to do in order to keep your job. That’s not the impression you want to make!
A good resume is a tailored proposal that shows your relevant achievements and accomplishments and demonstrates to potential employers about how you will perform. A powerful document like that will never become obsolete.
Not only is the resume as important as ever, I believe that a paper resume still plays a crucial role in today’s digital world. Since 80% of jobs are found by networking, any time you have the opportunity to share your resume in person, or by a personal introduction, is worth its weight in gold. (Same goes for thank you letters; nobody hand-writes thank you letters anymore, which is precisely why you should do it.)
What has become obsolete is a 3- or 4-page resume that lists every job you’ve had in the last 30 years, every job duty, and every detail of your experience. You have to remember to write concisely, use short paragraphs and bullet points, and organize your information with your ultimate career goal in mind. If the relevant information doesn’t jump off the page at the reader, then the reader will most likely not go hunting for the relevant information.
While LinkedIn and other online methods have widened the job search playing field, job seekers put themselves at an immediate disadvantage by relying solely on social media and LinkedIn for their job search efforts. A good, relevant, concise resume is still as crucial as it ever was, if not more so.