Is the resume dead?

Type that question into your Google search bar, and you’re going to see a mixed response. With the ever-changing digital landscape that now includes job interviews being offered on Twitter, it might seem easy to answer ‘yes’.  As recruiters, we would have to disagree and say ‘no’. The resume is not dead, but it is different.

We like this advice by business coach, Pamela Slim, that narrows it down to the three main points that will help your resume be seen and positively received. Focusing on results and not objectives is especially important. Employers are much more concerned about what you can do for them, the value that you can add to their organization as a trade-off for the time and expense of hiring you, than they are with what you hope to do with your career. If you answer the question of your value to them up front, you are increasing the likelihood that your resume makes it into the ‘to interview’ pile.

Telling the story of your work life used to be the function of the cover letter, but if the resume is still alive and kicking, the cover letter is the piece that has mostly been put out to pasture. The rich details of your work experience should live in your resume. This doesn’t give you license to write a 4-page resume, we are still in the tl;dr (too long;didn’t read) era after all. But you should provide a brief description of what you were doing and why it was valuable to the company with each position listed.

Finally, an inside contact really is the key in most hiring happening today. Whether that is through a friend or family connection, a professional association, or a recruiter, it is always important to try to make a connection if you don’t already have one to someone within the company who can help you get in the queue.

When we talk to student groups, they are often very concerned about their resumes and how to do them correctly. While the resume is an important piece of the job search process, it is not the most important part. A great resume is not what will get you the job offer, but it certainly can prevent you from even being considered.