The traditional resume has been around for over 500 years, when Leonardo da Vinci created the first official resume in 1482. The resume has drastically evolved since then, becoming the bane of both the unemployed’s existence and hiring management alike. In today’s media 2.0 world, resumes are now often created with multimedia; YouTube videos, QR codes, and social media profiles have replaced what used to be a single sheet of paper with bullet points and indented text. Before, a resume highlighted key accomplishments and included key words to grab the attention of a recruiter hiring for an open position. Now, with unlimited resources at an applicant’s disposal, the unemployed can create a portfolio to not just gloss over the best of their abilities, but showcase their entire career — even if they are fresh out of college.
LinkedIn is one such resource that is changing the landscape and potential future of resumes. LinkedIn profiles allow users to feature a detailed bio of career accomplishments and goals, as well as their career history, which can include projects and key milestones reached. LinkedIn also allows users to feature detailed recommendations for current and previous colleagues, which can validate a user’s experience, skills, or even personality. If users also utilize social tools such as a personal blog or YouTube channel as part of their portfolio, these can be included in a LinkedIn profile for easy access by hiring managers. Obviously, a LinkedIn profile can detail a much more complete picture of an applicant than a single-sided resume ever could. Additionally, the proliferation and ease of using CMS like WordPress make it easy for applicants to design portfolios to actually show their work and not just list these accomplishments on a piece of paper.
LinkedIn, as well as other new media tools, including blogs and YouTube channels (which can literally show a skillset), make it easy for hiring managers to easily assess the experience and skilset of applicants required for an open position. But considering these tools, what is the future of the modern resume? What is the future of the resume created with Microsoft Word that included subheadings like Objective, Experience, and Education? Could it really be that features allowing applicants to pack in details of projects, collect raving recommendations from colleagues, and run down a list of career milestones on sites like LinkedIn might indicate the resume is slowly dying?
Tim Low, the VP of Marketing for PayScale.com, thinks so. While Low does occasionally see a resume, he is “more than happy surfing over to your LinkedIn profile if you’ve done a good job of creating it. In fact, I prefer it,” he says. Low adds that he may be slightly biased since he works in the technology sector. That bias, however, is actually important as other sources in the industry cite that other new hires at Microsoft are said to have landed their gigs by pointing to their online resumes and portfolios, and other startups local to Seattle, such as PopCap Games, are said to highly consider links to online portfolios, including LinkedIn, other profile pages, and blogs in the hiring process.
For startups and tech-oriented companies especially, the alternatives to traditional resumes are actually better for companies looking to hire fresh talent. The one-page resume (a standard for hiring managers to help weed through the piles of paper) limits how much a college graduate can detail their previous experience at internships and on-campus experience. With LinkedIn, other options such as a blog, YouTube profile, or other portfolio, applicants can showcase not only skills, but prove that they are truly talented by their prior experience. In Silicon Valley, super-niche apps like Geekli.st have even emerged to help startups find developers and engineers with experience with special technical accomplishments.
The tech and startup industry have undoubtedly embraced this industry, partially because they created the concepts, and partially because it eliminates the pain of manually finding, through traditional resumes and applications, a developer with a specific skillset. These industries, and those who work within, have also embraced these new tools because they allow the companies to find them. LinkedIn is not only a virtual resume, but also a tool for getting recruited. (LinkedIn is, in its simplest form, a huge database of people who have jobs, want jobs, or hire others for jobs.) YouTube is also not just for cute cats and kids, but a demonstration of your skills in action. Just like LinkedIn, you can proactively showcase these skills or let others find you. Similarly, all other new media platforms can both showcase your portfolio, or be used by others to discover your talent.
A resume, unfortunately, is usually impossible for someone else to discover. (And sometimes even impossible for yourself to find on your own computer.)
Is the resume dead? Not quite yet. Many businesses beyond the technology sector have yet to adapt to this technology. Low explains that while he thinks receiving a “short, pithy email [without a resume] is awesome,” he adds that “if you’re applying for loan officer job at a bank, you might still need a resume.” However, LinkedIn is slowly making the online application process easier for all industries with the ability for companies to allow applicants to apply using their LinkedIn profile in lieu of uploading a resume. If hiring managers and HR teams adopt this practice as easily as they adopted online applications several years ago, could the traditional resume quickly become an endangered species?
If you’re looking for a job, do you still prepare and include a traditional resume? If you’re an a hiring position, do you still encourage applicants to send a resume for consideration? Would you rather include or ask for a LinkedIn profile or other new media portfolios instead? Let us know what you think in the comments.