Why Your Resume Is Extinct
Leonardo da Vinci created the first professional resume in 1482. Resumes haven’t changed much over the past 500 years. It’s time for them to go the way of the typewriter.
Traditional business resumes and curriculum vitae (CV) are still flat, dry and two-dimensional tools that no longer reflect our highly digital world. As someone who reviews thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles a year, I can scan a resume in seconds -- but I’ll spend several minutes exploring a great LinkedIn profile.
I don’t know exactly what the next-generation career summary will be. But I do know that the true measure of people as workers or as entrepreneurs can’t be accurately defined in two pages of text. Are you painting only half a picture of your career and capabilities?
Here are six reasons resumes as we know them will soon be extinct:
Blast from the past Curriculum vitae is a Latin expression that can be loosely translated as “the course of my life.” CVs and resumes describe responsibilities, skills and achievements of the past and present. They don’t accurately reflect an individual’s passions, interests and ambitions for the future the way a well-written LinkedIn profile can.
I want the whole picture When a LinkedIn profile is done well, I have a much more accurate sense of the candidate. I know what they look like. I know what they love doing most. With just a click, I can see their slide presentations, watch them speak on video and read their published material. I also read recommendations from colleagues. Managers want to hire someone whose soft skills like personality, attitude, work ethic and energy match their team. You can’t determine any of these things by looking at a standard resume.
Get the best before the rest Resumes are used by job seekers to indicate interest in a particular position in a confidential way. Conversely, LinkedIn helps employers find amazing people, see what others say about them, and where their interests lie -- even before they know about your position. Going after the right person and not just those who are actively job-hunting is a real competitive advantage.
Liar, liar A former employee once embellished her role at my company on her LinkedIn profile. Her contribution was greatly exaggerated -- really, a big, fat lie -- so I told her to change it. If it had been on her resume, however, I never would have known. According to Statistic Brain, 53% of resumes and job applications include false information. "Public" resumes like LinkedIn profiles and those on other web sites can minimize candidate dishonesty.
One versus many Typically, a resume goes from one person to another, upon request. But LinkedIn profiles can be updated instantaneously and searched by anyone, anywhere. One occupational hazard in my line of work is receiving multiple Word or PDF versions of resumes. Every time the sender finds another typo or extra space, I get another email: "Here’s my latest. Oh, darn! Use this one. No, this is my final, final version." GAH!
Online branding LinkedIn is not only a self-updating contact database, content aggregator and share space, it expands your searchable footprint and online brand. A resume does not.
Sure, there are still some uses for a resume. Entertainment, fashion, architecture and construction are examples of industries where a resume, headshot or portfolio are still delivered on paper, in person.
Leonardo da Vinci told his stories with color, texture and realism. I think he would agree the resume of our digital age should evolve from his first version 500 years ago. Telling a professional story via LinkedIn profile -- or whatever comes along to take its place -- will always be art, not science.
RENE SHIMADA SIEGEL | Columnist | Founder, High Tech Connect
Rene Shimada Siegel is founder and president of High Tech Connect, a unique consulting partner for expert marketing and communications. After a successful career in Silicon Valley, she founded her company 15 years ago while juggling three kids under the age of five.