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Long Live the Resume! 10 Reasons Why the Resume is Here to Stay

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to say our goodbyes. Here it lies; no one knew its worth, the late great job search document we knew so well: the resume.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the resume and its untimely death. Everyone seems to have their own take on why the resume died, how it died, and who (or what) ultimately killed it.

It’s certainly easy to throw up our hands, accept the resume as dead, and move on. I disagree. Did you know 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the first recorded prediction of the resume’s death? Yet this year, RezScore estimates (conservatively) over 100 million resumes will be sent out. The resume is not just alive, it’s more important than ever before in this uncertain economy. I’m willing to fight for it.

Check out these 10 points and counterpoints to decide for yourself:

They say: “Resumes are how your grandpappy got interviews at Dunder Mifflin.”
We say: Old-fashioned? Some things improve with age. Fun fact: Facebook received 250,000 resumes last year, while Southwest Airlines received nearly 150,000. Resumes have been around this long because they have remained a consistently effective tool for job seekers and employers alike.

They say: “The [resume] is dead, long live the digital persona where you can create social proof you are what you say you are … and not be at the mercy of gatekeepers”
We say: If every job seeker elects to be an individual attempting to stand out in their own way, employers will find themselves selecting from a large group of people trying to do the same thing, just like now. Resumes have become the standard for the hiring process for a reason: they capture the right info about each candidate. When multiple candidates all try to stand out in their own special way, recruiters have to put in more effort in order to compare Candidate A with Candidate B.

They say: “You’ll get lucky if it even gets looked at.”
We say: Sometimes it does feel like you’re one in a million (and sometimes you are!). In these cases, it doesn’t matter what gets turned in as much as when. When more candidates submit themselves to an employer at the same time, the chances of being considered for the position plummet. Job seekers should maintain up-to-date job searching documents so that, when a job lead comes up (through networking or elsewhere), they can strike when the iron is hot. Without a doubt, the early bird catches the worm.

They say: “The resume is dead…the Internet has killed the traditional job application.”
We say: The beauty of a resume is that there are no hard-and-fast rules that absolutely must be followed. It’s up to the job seeker to decide what actually goes into their resume, where it can be seen, and how it can be accessed. Many job seekers today maintain two versions of resumes: digital and paper. While a paper resume is necessary in any face-to-face interactions (like job fairs and interviews), its digital twin can be equipped with all the bells and whistles many social media profiles already have. The only person who doesn’t keep an active resume is a person who doesn’t want a new job.

They say: “Smart employers don’t care about what you’ve done – they care about what you’re doing NOW.”
We say: Obviously, we’d all like to be the cream of the crop in our industry, so much so that prospective employers will swoop down and offer large paychecks without as much as an application. A good resume relies on the actions of a job seeker. The real challenge is translating your achievements through a resume. It can be done, and if done well, will pay off.

They say: “Trust comes from personal disclosure. And that kind of sharing is hard to convey in a resume.”
We say: This depends entirely on how a resume is written. Employers need to connect the skills and abilities of the job seeker to the needs of the open position. That said, yes, it’s hard for any document that is exclusively about the job seeker to make that connection. When writing your resume, make a genuine effort to connect that specific position and company to your skills and abilities. With this personalization, you’ll find that more employers will read and evaluate your resume.

They say: “Many self-appointed experts argue that the paper and digital resume most job seekers still build their career marketing plan around has become obsolete — completely replaced by modern day tools…”
We say: There is no reason why a job seeker must decide between their online presence and a resume. In fact, your resume can help your online presence if uploaded to a social media site or a personal website. Nowadays, one in twenty resumes include links to a social media site like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, a number that’s rising every month. If written well, your resume is effectively a combination of keywords that you want employers to connect with your brand.

They say: “Simple keywords can no longer trick or fool a system. The days of the traditional resume are quickly coming to a close”
We say: Don’t rely on keywords to get you what you want. Just like your social media profiles and luggage tags, it’s up to the individual to make their resume stand out. If you feel that your resume is too bland and typical, revamp it from top to bottom. Today, resume rules are being thrown out the window. Consider what the employer wants to see and what makes you hiring material.

They say: “Networking and/or personal referrals have replaced resumes.”
We say: Nothing beats a recommendation from a valuable networking contact. That said, that referral will only serve you from one experience, maybe two. A resume serves as that back-up after you get your foot in the door. Employers enjoy using their network to get the ball rolling, but when it rolls into your court, your resume is your best weapon.

They say: “Your career will be driven by the Brand YOU you work to create.”
We say: Your personal brand and your resume don’t need to butt heads. In fact, your resume is the focal point of your personal branding toolbox. When writing your resume, make an effort to integrate your brand into everything you write down. Unless you’ve branded yourself as someone who hates resumes, your resume should define your personal brand.

What it comes down to is the fact that the resume is not a thing. Rather, think of the resume as a concept. Concepts cannot be killed; but can evolve into anything you want them to be. If a resume isn’t working for you, think differently.

Do you feel the resume is dying? Why or why not?

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