Death of the resume?

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Is the resume dead?  In our increasingly fast-paced and digitalized age, that question is being posed with increasing frequency.

LinkedIn has publicly stated it aspires to be “the next generation resume,” and, indeed, the professional social networking platform has become the go-to site for recruiters as well as the essential marketing vehicle for job candidates. Meanwhile, applicants are incorporating videos, interactive portfolios and other tools to get the attention of hiring managers.

Still, while the traditional resume may seem outdated it remains an essential element of any serious job search. That’s underscored by the fact that currently 3.6 billion resumes are sent annually to potential employers in in the U.S.

So the resume isn’t going away any time soon. Yet it’s essential for job hunters to keep in mind this is not your grandfather’s employment market – and your resume shouldn’t look or read anything like his might have back in the day. Today’s resumes are part of a larger tapestry of tools and information that help tell your story that likely includes LinkedIn and other online profiles, a portfolio of your work, and maybe even multimedia approaches to selling your talents, attributes and attitude.

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter blogged recently in US News that about  about the importance of crafting a “marketing-driven resume” that is focused on selling the skills, expertise and experience you possess to help a potential employer solve challenges and achieve their goals.  Barrett-Poindexter emphasized that such a resume should be “color-rich, clear, and strong enough to bear the heavy – and often unforgiving – weight of the resume vetting process.”

Among her five tips, she suggests  that job seekers must “understand what it means to prove your value” and to “then keep doing it, repeatedly, in your resume.”

Meanwhile, writing in Business Insider, HR pro Joanna Riley Weidenmiller emphasized that while resumes may not be going away, they are taking on decidedly different forms and format. She recommends that candidates “look past the generalized and constricting resume for a new way to prove to potential employers you have what it takes to succeed…”

When developing an overall approach to pitching a specific employer she suggests a three-step process in which you.

·      Understand the company’s needs.

·      Assess your skills and experiences.

·      Be the solution.

“Rather than simply being just another applicant, position yourself as the solution the company is looking for,” Weidenmiller writes. After going through that process, she suggests crafting a targeted resume to be part of an overall package that helps sell you to the potential employer.

While resumes are, indeed, far from dead, their role in the job search process continues to evolve. Make sure that your resume goes beyond simply listing your career path, and helps employers understand how you can make an real impact at their organization.

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