Do I still need a resume? Spoiler alert: Yes, you do!

Resume

“Why do I need a resume when I have a LinkedIn profile, a website, and multiple publications on my research into the moss that grows exclusively on rolling stones?” I field questions like this one All The Time. Some job seekers think that resumes are passé, outdated, outmoded, archaic, or have jumped the shark. After all, the thinking goes, there are so many easy ways to find out about a candidate’s background without using a formal resume or CV. Have resumes gone the way of typewriters, telephone booths, and vinyl? They all had their day, too. 

From my vantage point, the resume is here to stay. I once worked with a client who sent me a colorful presentation, in which each slide had a pictorial representation of a different core competency. Or at least that’s how he pitched it. Most people are visual learners, right? No. What this conveyed was a terrible lack of judgment on the part of my client as it obfuscated the critical elements that a resume conveys—a demonstrated history of measurable achievements. 

Here are the reasons why I don’t believe that the resume is going away any time soon:

  1. It gives a quick overview of a candidate’s achievements. 
  2. It quickly paints a picture of your professional persona.
  3. A well-written resume not only demonstrates the trajectory of your career, but also highlights the value you bring to an employer.
  4. A resume can be easily customized for a particular role, whereas social media is, by its nature, a bit more generic. A resume and a LinkedIn profile are not interchangeable. 
  5. While your publications and speaking engagements demonstrate your expertise in a specific subject or field, they do not adequately convey the value you bring to a business.
  6. A resume allows a recruiter or hiring manager to quickly compare and contrast multiple candidates and to zero in on the desired skills.

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So, yes, you still need a resume. And if you want your resume to succeed in getting someone to contact you, you need to ensure that yours is in tip-top shape. That means that it should focus on your quantifiable accomplishments, not on the mundane tasks associate with your job. Go through your resume and cull out all instances of “responsible for.” No one cares about your responsibilities. Responsibilities don’t solve business problems. Creative problem-solving abilities are honed through critical thinking, which leads to results. Be sure that your resume gives concrete examples of times you improved processes, saved money, increased revenue/profitability, led teams to great things, or leveraged technology to drive innovation. Please don’t include that you enjoy making your own organic, free-range, egg-free, vegan, gluten-free, taste-free pasta. Your personal hobbies and interests, while possibly relevant in a bio, are inappropriate for a resume. Lastly, don’t put that you’re proficient in all Microsoft Office applications or include an objective statement. Saying you know how to use Word is like stating that you know how to use a pen, and employers don’t care about your objectives, only theirs.

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