Whither the Traditional Resume…

your online profileA growing cacophony of voices in recruiting and professions related insists that the resume is gasping for its last breath, grasping for its last lifeline. The bar of proof is set high today for proponents of the traditional resume. Many grope about for some reason, any reason, to prove that the centerpiece of the job search of many decades’ past, the traditional resume, should persist to exist as the core of a jobseeker’s value proposition—that the traditional resume should matter anymore.

The debate over the traditional resume and its relevance today, if any, is a mainstay of my professional haunts, and here’s my opinion: The traditional resume remains a must-have component of the jobseeker’s arsenal, but its role as the centerpiece is evolving.

What does that mean, exactly? A few years from now, a resume may no longer be the first thing recruiters and hiring managers want or ask to see. You’ll probably still need one, at some point along the process, but not before hiring organizations see everything except the kitchen sink about you online. Already, your job today, before you get the job, is to make sure everything online about you, including the kitchen sink, looks great. That job’s importance will only become more palpable.


Two events prompted this blog post—two “reasons,” an excuse for me to include a YouTube audio clip, at the end of the post, of Earth, Wind & Fire performing their ’70s R&B hit “Reasons,” in concert. But first, let’s get to two reasons I recently encountered for jobseekers to start thinking differently about their resumes.

Mashable is a reputable, much-visited source of information, news and opinion on all things Web 2.0—i.e., a moniker for the online environment that makes #CareerGravity not only possible for jobseekers, but necessary for them, too. And Mashable is where I saw and read “4 Reasons Why Recruiters Should Stop Accepting Traditional Resumes.” The notion behind the curtain of the headline of that article is that recruiters can, should and are sourcing and screening job candidates through social media, where information on jobseekers is more dynamic than it is on a traditional resume. To read the reasons, follow the article’s link.

Yes, writer Sudy Bharadwaj, co-founder and CEO of Jackalope Jobs, a social media–enabled jobseeker-focused platform, has a horse in the race to discredit traditional resumes’ worth, and we ought to take that into account as we judge their utility for the modern job search. But the reality remains: Mashable published the article, and companies exist that embrace taglines like Jackalope’s: “Unleash your social network to find your job.”

The Kitchen Sink

In fact, a groundswell of apparent thinking in this direction is fueling a growing number of companies building on the idea that social media activity is better than a traditional resume at providing a viable, representative snapshot of a jobseeker and his or her qualifications for any given job. Some of these companies’ entire solutions rest on the solid assumption that the very best jobseekers have multidimensional professional brands online and will use these tools to get hired.

new talent acquisition platform, social mediaFor instance, take GetHired.com. On Thursday, I spoke with Suki Shah, GetHired.com’s CEO. Our conversation stumbled into the debate over the traditional resume’s waning relevance and applicability. Shah shared insights that will appear in an upcoming article of mine for HRO Today, but here’s the 50,000-foot view:

GetHired.com’s approach is to provide businesses of small and medium sizes with one platform that combines and integrates all technology-dependent elements of talent acquisition.

That’s fancy talk for human capital management. All jobseekers need to know is that GetHired.com’s platform, as well as others that strive to be like it, is ready-made for jobseekers who’ve generated #CareerGravity; in fact, these are ecosystems where the most social media–savvy jobseekers have a natural advantage, and a traditional resume is secondary. In that kind of environment, actually, it’s challenging to look at a traditional resume and think of it as anything other than a relic from a bygone era of jobseeking, one in which #CareerGravity did not yet exist.

And now, the promised Earth, Wind & Fire clip…

image credit: Kitchen Sink, Day 14 of 365, by DieselDemon
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