Resume still relevant?
When I graduated from college in the late 1970s the resume was not just relevant but it was the cornerstone of your job search. However, that was the 1970s before the Internet existed.
In late 1990s job boards like Monster.com started to appear. You could upload your resume to the job boards where recruiters could find you. The resume was still very relevant as it could now be found online. However, rather than being scanned by a recruiter, it was sliced and diced by a job board.
Note – This post was originally written in December of 2013. It was updated in January of 2018.
This has led to the rise of passive recruiting and the death of the traditional job search. Check out my post The Traditional Job Search is Dead – R.I.P.
Passive recruiting is where the hiring company is looking to fill a position and they are looking for the best candidate no matter whether that candidate is actively looking for a job.
In this day of passive recruiting, is the resume still relevant?
A passive candidate is employed, but not currently looking for a new opportunity. Active candidates are individuals actively looking for new employment. In the old days, companies would only look at active candidates. For those of us in the 2nd half of life, those days are gone.
In the world of passive candidates, the resume is relatively meaningless to being found.
Active recruiting (the process of posting jobs, waiting for candidates to submit their applications or upload their resumes and then in sorting through the hundreds of candidates to select individuals to interview) still happens.
This process works well for lower-level positions that you pursued earlier in your career. If you actually believe this works for very many of the jobs that those of us in the 2nd half of life pursue, then you need to listen to the interview I recorded with Gary O’Neal, titled Gary O’Neal on Looking for a Job in the 2nd Half of Life [Podcast]. Gary is a very experienced recruiter who explains most of what you believe on how the hiring process works are flat wrong.
Submitting your resume to a job board will not get what you want.
What is Important?
Your LinkedIn profile is key! It should be structured in such a way that is easily found by recruiters. Check out my post Why Are You Not Being Found? Try Thinking Like a Recruiter.
It should be sprinkled with the appropriate keywords! Notice I said sprinkled and not loaded with keywords.
Once you are found how are recruiters and hiring managers to know that you know your stuff?
The first thing any recruiter is going to do is google your name. What is going to show up? You had better know!
You should make sure you have a portfolio of your work. This could be:
- Presentations and documents attached and available to download from your LinkedIn profile
- Links to industry resources that you wrote on your LinkedIn profile
- A blog – I want you to read my post on Establishing Your Personal Brand and Credibility Through Blogging
- Software that you have written on GitHub
Anything that shows that you know your stuff!
You want all of this information to be publicly available and searchable. Remember what I said about googling your name?
It is all about being found!
How else will I be found?
Your network! 80 – 85% of positions are filled through referrals. Keeping the key members of your tribe informed of your skills is key! If you want to really get strategic read the Strategic Networking Playbook – Who, How and When!
Is the Resume Dead?
Once the hiring manager, recruiter or others in the hiring process find you, they will want to see your resume. It is the ticket to the dance!
Note – In the deep and dark past we used to have school dances and you needed a ticket to get in!
I have worked for two different high-tech startups and was found in a passive manner through my network. I do not think my resume got more than a cursory look for both.
If the hiring manager is a baby boomer then they will want to see a resume! You will want to bring a copy of your resume on heavy stock paper for everyone that you will interview with. (Yes, I know this is old school but if you will interview with anyone over 50 years of age, you will impress him or her.)
Your resume is required to be entered into the ATS (Application Tracking System) which most company use. As with your LinkedIn profile, it should be sprinkled with appropriate keywords.
You should still write a killer resume and cover letter. By the way, 90% of the time, the cover letter will never be read. You cannot afford to miss the 10% that will require it and read it.
Is the Resume Still Relevant?
For those of us in the 2nd half of life, it still has a purpose. It is rarely needed on the front end but still is needed on the back-end of the recruiting and hiring process.
I believe in 5 or 10 years we will see a replacement for the resume but what that will be …. who knows.
In the meantime, the resume is still relevant but it is far less important that when most of us graduated with our college degrees.
What do you think?