Published 29 March, 2021

5 Reasons Why The Traditional Version of the Resume Won’t Be Relevant in the Next Decade (8 Mins Read)

A resume is a formal document which provides an overview of your education, professional qualifications, including your work experience, skills and notable accomplishments. Usually paired with a cover letter, a resume helps you in demonstrating your abilities and convince the employers that you’re qualified and hireable. If you’re applying for a job, then you need a resume to be considered for the position. The goal of a resume is to convince the employers that you’re worth interviewing. So, your resume works as a valuable tool which you use to highlight your qualification and experience to the prospective employers.

Why resumes are important for the job seekers?

The resume is an essential part of the hiring process and a basic minimum requirement to be considered for a job. A good resume is the first part of your application any hiring personnel will see, so it’s important that it conveys all your qualifications and experience accurately and convincingly.

Your resume should offer the employers a digestible overview of your educational background, relevant skills, employment history and accomplishments. Based on this information, they can make a decision about whether or not they would interview or hire you.

Is your resume a record player for a job search?

Your resume’s value is in the support and credibility which it adds to the digital version of yourself. Remember, it is your digital self which originally attracts the recruiter or ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to select you. You have to make sure that your resume goes hand in hand with the value proposition you demonstrate in your online accounts. Keep in mind that the videos, infographics and slide presentations cannot be searched by keywords. Having an editable file, like a Word doc resume is very important when submitting directly through a job portal.

 “Searchability” is the key in getting your resume in the notice of a hiring manager or a recruiter. You have to become a pro at this digital game. Having a top notch LinkedIn profile is a must, whether you are passively or actively looking for a job. However, any old profiles will not work. Applicant Tracking Systems and aggregators are designed to discover the specific key words. You need to become an expert in the ever-evolving job titles, skills and experiences which are currently trending. Tailor your resume to incorporate the words which increases your “searchability” significantly.

  1. Job seekers do not get hired by the keywords only

Recommendations and endorsements are crucial for getting a job. Take the support of the past employers, colleagues and clients for securing a good job, as they are the people who have had the experience to work with you and know what you have to offer. Their praise shows the employers that you bring in a history of success for your given role on the table. Also, having a robust list of connections increase the probability that you and your targeted company’s hiring manager have someone in common. One phone call to an “old friend” might just be the thing which would pull your name to the top of the list.

Digital portfolios and personal websites must also be leveraged for the job search. Employers like to see the examples of output and the achievements. You can use either of these platforms to showcase your work. Highlight what you’ve professionally achieved through images, videos and the slide shows. Include the links to other relevant sites where your content has been used or published. A content rich digital presence builds credibility and gives you an opportunity to put your best professional self forward.

Many people draw clear boundaries between their personal life and their work life. However, using the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, is an excellent way to show the employers what you are passionate about – especially when those passions align with the type of role or industry you are looking at.

  1. Hiring managers do Google search

Search yourself online and if you find any inaccurate or outdated content that might derail your job search, then you have to beat them to it. It would not be possible to remove them, but you can certainly push them further to the page three or four of the search.

The evolving face of recruiting does not mean that it’s time to discard your traditional resume in the circular file. Digital recruiting has simply made them relevant at a different stage in the hiring game. We are now more than 2 decades into the 21st century and recruiters are still asking for resumes, despite the same basic career information being found online. With most job applications now being made through the online platforms like Seek, CVs are most commonly being sent out as digital files as opposed to traditional paper copies. In recent years, both the job seekers and the job recruiters alike have argued over the growing obsolescence of resumes due to various reasons like:

  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn now has almost 740 million members with over 55 million registered companies. Of those LinkedIn users who are frequently engaging with the platform, 40% access it on a daily basis, clocking up over 1 billion interactions every month. This shows how big this professional network has become on a global scale.

A LinkedIn profile is an online version of the traditional resume, but one that also gives users more space and options to build their profile than a physical one-page document like resume. This is extremely beneficial for the world as many people are moving away from the traditional roles and into freelance work, who may have varied work experiences which are hard to list on a traditional CV template.

For example, the creative freelancers often have whole portfolios of work on an online platform or personal website that is much easier to connect to and explore through LinkedIn than it would be to include a few chosen samples to submit with a job application.

While these portfolios obviously wouldn’t get included in a resume and would obviously be included separately if asked for — it still speaks to the versatility that an online LinkedIn profile provides and why the platform has grown in popularity over the years. LinkedIn also allows recruiters the ability to cross check an applicant’s past roles and work experience — reducing the probability of hiring people who have lied on their resume and also reduces the risk of hiring inexperienced workers.

  1. Cover Letters

Resumes are becoming obsolete day by day and cover letters are a prime reason why. Resume writing includes people of 2 categories: those who use a general resume template and those who spend the time to specifically tailor their CV for each specific role. It’s commonly accepted that tailoring your resume for each specific role is the best approach, as it allows you to put the best foot forward for that position.

The cover letter provides an applicant with the opportunity to introduce themselves and explain why they want the role and why they would be the best suitable candidate. It gives them a chance to make their case strong even if their experience or previous roles don’t seem necessarily applicable.

Cover letters are often found by the recruiters to be a more reliable source of determining whether or not the applicant is worthy of an interview, as opposed to the raw data of a resume. A cover letter is more compelling and much easier to read.

  1. Resumes are quite boring

Resumes are quite boring to read. This is very important to note, because you might be applying to a big company, but you still have to convince a person to hire you. The recruiters often need to spend a lot of time reviewing so many applicant’s resumes —which is a very long and boring process. Most recruiters admit to not even looking at the resumes once they’re submitted, which is why it’s becoming more and more important to nail your cover letter perfectly.

In addition to it, most people traditionally seek to fill up their resume with highly generic attributes like “hard working”, “team player”, “passionate” and “motivated.” While all of these are qualities of a great employee, none are exciting enough to set you apart from other candidates.

Resumes are gradually becoming redundant due to LinkedIn and are much less important than the cover letters, are bland and boring to be read by the recruiters.

So, are resumes still relevant?

Resumes are still relevant, but they are used very differently now than in the pre-digital era. Resumes were once about selling your unique skills to the hiring manager, but now the resume is about making yourself “searchable” to the same hiring managers.

Recruiting has now become a predominantly digital endeavour. Posting jobs, waiting for the candidates to submit their applications or upload a resume, and sorting through those documents still happen, but it has become less and less common. Today to search a job, the job board aggregators and the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used to find and screen the potential candidates to interview. You are more likely to be found through search engines and social media than through a paper resume.

But, it’s not unreasonable to expect that resumes will eventually get phased out as businesses streamline or update their recruitment processes. However, the progress is quite slow, so don’t expect this to happen completely before the next five or more years. For the time being, it seems like resumes are a necessary evil that all job applicants have to be contend with, but it will definitely not be the same in the next decade.


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