Career Advice

Is Your Resume Disposable?

By definition, a resume is “a summing up; summary,” according to Unless the employer of the future stops caring about your career summary, then resumes will not be replaced.

However, the semantics around the “resume is dying” topic persist, and intrigue. Assertions such as Dan Schawbel, Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC, made in his recent Forbes article, “5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence Will Replace Your Resume” abound.

In particular, Schawbel writes, “The traditional resume is now virtual and easy to build,” referring to yet another “Resume Builder” tool. In my mind, ANY kind of resume builder wreaks of template, another me-too document that casts you into an ice cube that will get lost among the mass of other same-shaped cubes being mass-produced and shoved through the hiring decision-maker’s door, melting away into oblivion.

No Pain, No Gain

As a professional resume writer since 1997, I wince when I hear the word, “resume” and “easy” in the same sentence. It simply can’t be! If done well—and correctly—to position you to attract your target company, land interviews and court the interviewer through to a job offer, you must tend to the complexity of details.

First, addressing the tactical design aspects of a resume is far from simple. Relying upon resume builders and other online crutches to shape your compelling career message can have devastatingly negative impact.

The beauty of designing your resume from a blank slate in the universally available Microsoft Word software is your control over all elements: allowing for malleable, expandable content and design strategies. It provides a non-restrictive and fluid environment and hundreds (if not thousands) of unique options for fonts, colors, shapes, graphics and content choices. And, since most folks are at least familiar with Word basics, it doesn’t require technology mastery.

Resumes Must Be Meaty

Moreover, your resume must permeate with intoxicating content. As a writer, I am pained when the word “resume” and “builder” are wedged together in the same sentence. Resumes, if exceptional (and who wouldn’t want and require their resume to be anything but exceptional?), require introspection, well-thought-out story ideas, the fleshing out and parsing of career case studies mapped to your target audience’s need, and then crisp, yet brilliant, hearty, high-impact writing that markets your value in a way that entices the reader.

This is not simply plugging and playing a few blocks of words and marquee achievements into a resume-building machine. A resume story results from an introspective process that winds and weaves, sheds career fat, accrues steam, refines a focus and erupts into a finely tuned resume engine that, like a high-performance automobile, attracts attention as you go roaring across the job-search finish line.

Weaving Your Resume Value Into Your Social Sites

Your resume is not (just) a collection of online blog posts, Google profiles, Facebook posts, LinkedIn commentaries and other social site navigations. Assuming the reader has the time to parse through a maze of You, Inc., puzzling together why they should call you to interview for their immediate need for a Widget Sales Manager is a bit presumptuous.

If you do not prove your specific value to a target reader’s needs based on their specific position opportunities, you may lose out. You must show an ability to diminish someone else’s problems, to provide a healing salve to their business wounds, to lift burdens from their shoulders, to make money, to save money, to expand business, to grow the client base, to develop new products and to vault profits. This is the essence of a resume—a snapshot of your nuanced contributions in a particular space and time as woven into the particular fabric of a particular target industry/company/position’s needs “at that moment.”

The high value of social media sites is in cultivating relationships through conversations and content that draw others toward you while you’re also giving back to them. As a matter of course, and through social media venues, warm referrals and other attractions occur, leading to job opportunity conversations. Along that course, a summary snapshot of your career (e.g., resume) WILL be an integral component of the process – part of your career communications arsenal, if you will.

In fact, done well, the muscular, foundational resume you design will fuel the content for the allotted real estate in the various social media venues, such as LinkedIn’s profile; it will equip you with the document that is demanded by hiring decision makers, recruiters and HR professionals.

These folks may first navigate to your various social media profiles, but will ultimately look for the “click here to download my resume,” button or shoot you a quick In-Mail, Email, Direct Message asking for this career summary overview.

Your Resume Is the Heart of Your Online Career Profile

So, though I agree that online career positioning opportunities are blossoming, morphing and transforming, even as I write this post, at the heart of any online profile is your resume. In fact, as a 14-year professional resume writer veteran, I’m thrilled that the Internet boon has created a whole new landscape of opportunities in which job seekers can showcase their unique value proposition, marketing their career wares, if you will.

Just remember, at the foundation of your social conversations should be your ever-evolving, introspective, well-thought-out career resume design and development process that is your due in carving out a unique and compelling presentation that will lift you from the pack of other careerists and job seekers, landing you your next great gig!