Think the resume is dead? You’re wrong

by Rich DeMatteo on October 18, 2011 · 14 comments

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Jason Mollica is a public relations/social media marketing professional that recently branched out to assist clients in maximizing their online presence for better financial results. Jason was formerly the public relations manager at a strategic marketing and PR firm near Buffalo, New York, where he was responsible for educating clients on social media, strategic marketing plans, as well as media training. Prior to this, he worked at Niagara University in the Office of Communications and Public Relations. In addition, Jason has a rich background in traditional media. He worked for Fox News Channel in New York City, and was part of a team that helped to launch Fox News Radio.  Jason blogs over at One Guy’s Journey and you can find him on Twitter @JasMollica


 

It never ceases to amaze me how some experts are quick to proclaim that something is dead. If you are in public relations and/or marketing, we’ve heard that the press release is dead and Google+ is a Facebook killer (all wrong, in my opinion).

I recently read a blog post that said the resume is dead. Of course, I chuckled because I have yet to hear one human resources professional or hiring manager say this. Kevin W. Grossman, the author of the blog, answered why HE wants the resume to die:

Because it’s a self-serving piece of inconsistently formatted and fudged professional drivel that really doesn’t help me hire true quality of fit.

So, the resume should be dead then? WRONG. Your resume is incredibly important and will continue to be. That’s not saying you should not create an online portfolio, though. A resume is what helps to get you in the door. It’s not drivel.

The resume is something that is part of the entire hiring process. In my field, I look at the cover letter, then the resume. If the candidate gets past this, then I look at a digital (on iPad) or online portfolio. Just like you wouldn’t start a project without a plan, you aren’t going to bring a new hire in based simply on a resume.

Remember, the resume is NOT dead. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

 

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14 comments
Mark Polson
Mark Polson

The resume clearly isn't dead it is prevalent, but I think it is evolving. I think the main problem (as an employer) with the resume is the amount of time it takes to sort the good from the bad. I think the evolution will go toward something like studentgenius.com or linkedin where it will go more visual and dynamic.

Jason Mollica
Jason Mollica

Hi Mark, It does take a ton of time. If you are a small business, you can really leaf through them. But as a bigger business, HR pros, etc. don't always have that time. That's why things are evolving (what a great word, eh?) to where we can use those tools you mentioned. Onward and upward! Jason

Jeremy Worthingon
Jeremy Worthingon

I've been in this business since I was a little boy - I'm 39 now. I literally grew up with it as my mom (Janice Worthington, @ExecJobCoach) ran her business from our house. - For years we've heard the resume is dead, no it's not, yes it is...Again, again and again. Call it a resume, an online profile, or whatever - These are simply delivery vehicles which require content - And content is king... Also, there are very few absolutes in job search - What about the organizations that do not or will not use applicant tracking systems or recruiters? Jeremy @JobSearchCoach

Jason Mollica
Jason Mollica

Hi Jeremy, You are around the same age as me and we've heard the same things. You were lucky to be around your mother as you saw the resume evolve. And isn't that beneficial that not only do we evolve as employees, but employers evolve as well? Your last point speaks to evolution, I think. Best, Jason

Romuald
Romuald

The resume's death had been announced at least since I am in this field (13 years)! And yet, here it still is . I don't believe the resume is dead. I believe it is evolving. And it is online now. You can call it any other name (e.g. talent profile), but it is still the same old resume behind it. With regards to the HR-XML resume project, you can send me your questions. I am the President of HR-XML and it's about 10 years now that I am working with the Resume standard. HR-XML is now working on the next version of the standards that will focus on new technologies such as JSON, Semantic Web and Mobile!

Jason Mollica
Jason Mollica

Thanks for answering Romuald. Look forward to seeing how the next version of HR-XML evolves! Jason

Steve Levy
Steve Levy

"Die recruiter scum" I received this back from a very high level developer whom I emailed a few weeks back. Naturally I laughed and engaged in a back and forth with the guy (you know me Rich) who wrote: "Myself, my peers, and the people we recruit operate in the top 10% of our field. We have our pick of the litter when it comes to finding jobs. We and the companies we work for have a recruiter-free network built from user groups, conferences, and online collaboration." He also said he and his friends are opting out of places where Recruiter Scum troll - e.g., LinkedIn - because of the incessant "Can you help me please?" emails. So much for "Apply with LinkedIn"... So when I do convince them that I have a superior opportunity for them, guess what they send me? But here's where you're wrong Lance: When you write "Resume is already not the primary tool being used to evaluate candidates in many organizations" you're not saying "most"; "most" still use it because it IS useful. While some organizations might insist a different manner of introduction, most will not be able to justify the expulsion of resumes from their recruiting lexicon. It isn't the resume that's broken and requires emergency first aid but the manner in which "most" organizations source, recruit, and assess which needs the magical makeover. And I could go into a very long technical and cultural discussion about the HR-XML project and how it will likely plod along the same path that discussions about OFCCP compliance and .jobs took. Incidentally Lance, can you imagine what your LinkedIn profile would look like if you weren't in a position to hobnob with all the talent titans you regularly talk to? No wonder your profile is so good... Nope - the resume is not the problem nor is it on life support. If you feel better, just call it a career profile and focus on the more important issues in recruiting...

Lance Haun
Lance Haun

Steve, my specific point is that any Fortune 500 company has an ATS. When you upload your resume to an ATS, all it does is cut it up and paste it into a candidate profile of their choosing. Hell, many of them make you enter additional information or reformat information to make it fit into their profile. They aren't making decisions based on a resume. They are doing it based on ad hoc candidate profiles created. And many times, they aren't even making a decision, the ATS is filtering out all but the best candidates as judged by the ad hoc candidate profile. Not to go Family Feud on you but if you ask 100 people on the street what a resume is, most people are going to point to the Microsoft Word document or piece of paper. That's changing, hopefully for the better, and I think anyone can see that.

Jason Mollica
Jason Mollica

Steve, I really like your points , especially the recruiting aspects. All ways of applying for jobs are evolving... I think your idea of calling it a "Career profile" is a good one. Thanks for reading the post. Cheers! Jason

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Lance - thanks for the comment! I'm sure Jason will reply, but I wanted to add in my thoughts as well. I don't disagree with you, but HR moves slow. HR moves very slow. Is it dying? I'm not sure, but I can't see it ever being completely non-existant from the hiring process, for at least some industries. I'm interested to learn more about the HR-XML project. The Linkedin Apply button is a very real threat to resumes. And you're right, with some tweaks to it, I could see almost all companies adding it in as an option. However, I think it will take a long time for an organization to say it is the sole way to apply. For a while longer, I still believe any other application options will be used alongside standard resume submittals. The resume is awful. It is limited. But at least for a while longer, I feel we're stuck with it. Thanks for stopping by!

Lance Haun
Lance Haun

I can acknowledge this: HR moves slow and the resume is not dead as of today. The resume hasn't existed forever (it won't) and there will of course be holdouts. But resumes are terrible. There is no consistency, they are easy to manipulate and decisions are easily made regarding the skill of the resume creation, not the skill of the person behind it. That's a bad system. And even in recruiting and HR, we tend to gravitate toward improvement. Even if you disagree with my ideas of how it will change (I have nothing to sell myself, just observing), I really don't understand the enthusiasm behind keeping resumes intact as they are today. They blow.

Jason Mollica
Jason Mollica

Hi Lance, Thanks so much for responding and engaging in a spirited discussion on this. I'm not coming from a direction of "paper resume and only paper!" My feeling is that the resume is evolving. Many "experts" are quick to call things dead and that is where I call bull. Yes, some companies use LinkedIn to accept resumes, but a good amount of businesses/companies still want that physical resume as well. Besides, I think some of the online application tools aren't always effective, as Steve Levy indicates. Thanks again for your response and reading the post! Best, Jason

Lance Haun
Lance Haun

It's not dead but it is on its death bed. Three points to support this: 1. Resume is already not the primary tool being used to evaluate candidates in many organizations. Any organization using an ATS isn't likely to be looking at anything resembling the physical manifestation that you put together carefully in Microsoft Word. The ATS (assisted by the candidate at times) puts together an ad hoc, standardized profile. 2. Two tools are coming to fruition that could actually push it to death. One is the LinkedIn apply button which, with improvements and further ATS integration, could easily replace a traditional resume. The second, less known is a project known as the HR-XML consortium which is putting together standardized ways of presenting data. That will lead to a variety of online profiles that play nicely with ATS and recruiting CRM systems. 3. The resume is very limited. The fact that it isn't dead yet shows how entrenched some folks in recruiting still are. I wouldn't recommend killing your resume today either but let's not pretend that it is anything more than a sell sheet. My LinkedIn profile is used not only by recruiters but also by people who want to introduce themselves to me or want to get to know me after we first meet. So yes, not dead (yet). But let's also not pretend that there isn't change in the air or that we should be expecting to invest the same amount of effort on a resume in five years as we do now.