Do We Need Traditional Resumes?

I just ordered some business cards. They don’t have email addresses on them, I’m trying this first 50 as an experiment in that. What they do have is a link to my website, from which you can find my LinkedIn and Brazen Careerist profiles – which should tell you anything you want to know about me professionally.

(As I’m getting some people baffled by the email thing – perhaps it’s worth explaining briefly. 1. I hate email. 2. The card does have my Google Wave address on it, so you can work out my gmail address from that. 3. I can always write my email address on if I want someone to have it, but in general I don’t want to encourage people to email me, because of point 1.)

I’ve been talking to people this week and getting feedback on what they think about my website. A lot of it I’m taking on board and you can expect some minor changes in the next couple of days (thanks to everyone who took time to comment), but there’s one piece of advice I’m consciously not taking.

My resume is not on my website, you have to go to another website (LinkedIn or Brazen Careerist) to see it. If I could embed one of these, I might, but I don’t mind if people leave my website to go to another – I’m not trying to monetize their attention with advertisements etc. If they want to come back, they will. If they don’t, that’s fine too.

In general I’m wondering – is there any need for us to have a resume anymore?

Brazen Careerist are dynamic and more easily updated. On Brazen Careerist you can see that I’ve recently had a featured post (or 3!), on LinkedIn you can see that colleagues have taken the time to recommend me. Compared to a pdf – there’s no competition.

The end for my masters is in sight, and soon I’ll start job-hunting. For the kind of company I want to work for, I wonder if I’ll even need a paper resume at all. I hope that networking in person, contributing to projects, and having a good online presence will be sufficient.

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “Do We Need Traditional Resumes?

  1. I think it would depend on how many applicants the potential employer needs to sort through.

    I think it would be easier to sort through 100 paper resumes than to visit 2-3 websites per applicant. Especially if you want to annotate what you see, or if you want to keep a record of what you looked at in case you get accused of discrimination later on.

    Having said that, I’ve heard people say things like, “I’ve been working here N months and my boss still hasn’t seen my resume.”

  2. I think it would depend on how many applicants the potential employer needs to sort through.

    I think it would be easier to sort through 100 paper resumes than to visit 2-3 websites per applicant. Especially if you want to annotate what you see, or if you want to keep a record of what you looked at in case you get accused of discrimination later on.

    Having said that, I’ve heard people say things like, “I’ve been working here N months and my boss still hasn’t seen my resume.”

  3. Cate:

    I believe that a resume is going to be a 2D by-product of your 3D personal brand on-line and off-line. There are organizations, processes and individuals that need or require a resume. But now that you have become a brand that has depth and character (opinions, interests, passions, participation, experiences, etc), you can’t trap all of that on two pieces of paper. Your resume becomes a snapshot of a much larger offering that has much more depth on-line and hopefully, even more when you meet the individual.

    I think you are moving in the right direction on so many levels and leading many at the same time.

    Patti

  4. Cate:

    I believe that a resume is going to be a 2D by-product of your 3D personal brand on-line and off-line. There are organizations, processes and individuals that need or require a resume. But now that you have become a brand that has depth and character (opinions, interests, passions, participation, experiences, etc), you can’t trap all of that on two pieces of paper. Your resume becomes a snapshot of a much larger offering that has much more depth on-line and hopefully, even more when you meet the individual.

    I think you are moving in the right direction on so many levels and leading many at the same time.

    Patti

  5. You do need to stand out, and a developed web presence and personality helps make you the “interesting” one in a pile of drab. But it’s part of the equation.

    In many cases, the digital generation still needs to interface with the old guard, particularly in fields where there is little or no requisite technical knowledge. As a coder-turned-wonk (I know, sad and true), if I were to show up at a networking event or seminar without a business card, I would never hear from them again. Most of whom I know (from, yes, my email) really do want to contact to me. On occasion they have, but they won’t often wade through technology to find me. Definitely not LinkedIn or Twitter. A resume is not much different.

    A resume is a synopsis—if you had a prospective employer’s undivided attention for 30 seconds, what would you tell them? It needn’t be everything, and should definitely contain links elsewhere; but you need to interest them first. They won’t visit your site, blog, twitter, etc, until you’re—at least—shortlisted.

    So I agree with you, that it is possible to outshine or outgrow the “resume” form. But it’s contextual and limited: I think you’re absolutely right for a very particular kind of company in a specific field, often also a specific type of person. You can’t be competing. You can’t be applying to a job opening; people have to be opening jobs to you. There are plenty of online personalities who will never want for a job. And the web is important for networking, job searches, etc. But there are all sorts of great employers from which you will exclude yourself. If you’re competing with 10, 50 or 200 people for an amazing job, you need to stand out from the pile without being beyond it completely.

    Ultimately, I think having both an online personality/profile/presence plus a good, engaging resume that gets people to it is likely best and works for any audience.

  6. You do need to stand out, and a developed web presence and personality helps make you the “interesting” one in a pile of drab. But it’s part of the equation.

    In many cases, the digital generation still needs to interface with the old guard, particularly in fields where there is little or no requisite technical knowledge. As a coder-turned-wonk (I know, sad and true), if I were to show up at a networking event or seminar without a business card, I would never hear from them again. Most of whom I know (from, yes, my email) really do want to contact to me. On occasion they have, but they won’t often wade through technology to find me. Definitely not LinkedIn or Twitter. A resume is not much different.

    A resume is a synopsis—if you had a prospective employer’s undivided attention for 30 seconds, what would you tell them? It needn’t be everything, and should definitely contain links elsewhere; but you need to interest them first. They won’t visit your site, blog, twitter, etc, until you’re—at least—shortlisted.

    So I agree with you, that it is possible to outshine or outgrow the “resume” form. But it’s contextual and limited: I think you’re absolutely right for a very particular kind of company in a specific field, often also a specific type of person. You can’t be competing. You can’t be applying to a job opening; people have to be opening jobs to you. There are plenty of online personalities who will never want for a job. And the web is important for networking, job searches, etc. But there are all sorts of great employers from which you will exclude yourself. If you’re competing with 10, 50 or 200 people for an amazing job, you need to stand out from the pile without being beyond it completely.

    Ultimately, I think having both an online personality/profile/presence plus a good, engaging resume that gets people to it is likely best and works for any audience.

  7. Thanks, Dwayne, Patti, Derek for your comments.

    I think you’re right – the resume will get you noticed, you’ll have to send one, but it will just be the start of it because if you interest them enough to induce them to go and look at your web presence, that will be what can potentially make you stand out.

    But give it 5, or 10 years… I think the paper resume will fade away. Because we’ll have found better ways of doing this.

    Interesting comment on Twitter – companies with their own application forms that don’t even want your resume – they want it in their format. I wonder what will happen to those?

  8. Thanks, Dwayne, Patti, Derek for your comments.

    I think you’re right – the resume will get you noticed, you’ll have to send one, but it will just be the start of it because if you interest them enough to induce them to go and look at your web presence, that will be what can potentially make you stand out.

    But give it 5, or 10 years… I think the paper resume will fade away. Because we’ll have found better ways of doing this.

    Interesting comment on Twitter – companies with their own application forms that don’t even want your resume – they want it in their format. I wonder what will happen to those?

Leave a Reply