Test Post 8 Nov 2013

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Three Reasons the Resume Is Here to Stay

Has social media finally killed the resume? CNN just said so, again. Lately I’m hearing lots of stories about the imminent demise of the traditional resume, and reasons why recruiters should stop accepting them. I don’t believe these stories, and neither should you.

Way back in the 1960s, my parents were saying similar things about the inevitable demise of Rock and Roll. Yet here we are – 50 years later – and “Rock and Roll is Here to Stay,” just like the title of the hit ‘60s song by Danny and The Juniors (about a million YouTube views as of 2012). Our beloved resumes are here to stay for three reasons


Faster and Easier

A well-edited cv/resume is the fastest and easiest way to assess a candidate, at least initially. When I write a resume for a senior executive, I assume the reader – a recruiter or hiring manager – has the attention span of a gnat. They’ll “skim” (not read) my client’s resume for 5-15 seconds and make a snap decision to “pass or trash.” It’s a practical tool for making one decision, namely, to open or close the door for an interview. BTW 15 seconds is a long time when you’re quickly eyeballing a pile of resumes.

During these initial screenings – sorting out hundreds of “qualified” people – can you imagine a harried recruiter digging into FB profiles and Twitter streams? Won’t happen. Worse yet, imagine perusing a motley mix of living resumes, video CVs, web portfolios, and infographics. Social media can complement and validate each person on a short list of final candidates, but it’s not practical for vetting candidates en masse.

Better Organized Than an FB Page or Twitter Stream

Social media has many purposes – connecting with friends, for example – but it’s not an optimal tool for a company’s talent search. The content and organization of social media profiles are too random and inefficient for gathering information to make the “Interview or not” decision.

Likewise, most of the “infographics” I see are style over substance. Figuring out a complex graphic is much slower than reading the same content – quickly and directly – from a line of well-edited text. I can summarize the fanciest infographic into one line or less (if the explanation exceeds a line, it’s probably too convoluted for your 15-second window).

If you are a player in digital marketing or social media then a traditional resume might not apply to you. In that case, “the medium is the message” and you have creative license to break the mold, bypass the usual process, and creatively blow your horn using social media (not an option for financial analysts, engineers, and most everybody else).

Resumes and Social Media Are Already Converging

There is no “either/or” battle of resumes versus social media. They’ve already converged, for example, a LinkedIn profile is basically an online resume with options for video, links, and multimedia. This same pattern applies to any information source or news organization.

I doubt that resumes will outlast rock and roll, but they’ll surely be around as long as social media. If Danny and The Juniors were still around, they’d be singing my tune  😉

Resumes are here to stay. They will never die.
It will always be that way. Here’s three reasons why.
I don’t care what people say. Resumes are here to stay