Yes, resumes are still relevant; but they are used differently than in the pre-digital age.
Where resumes were once about selling your unique skills and broad experience to a hiring manager, they are now about making yourself “searchable” to those same hiring managers within the modern technology.
Like many professions, executive recruiting has become a predominantly digital endeavor. Posting jobs, waiting for candidates to submit their applications or upload a resume, and sorting through them still happens; but it’s becoming less and less common. In today’s job search market, job board aggregators and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used to find and screen potential candidates to be interviewed. Which means you are more likely to be found through search engines and social media than by a paper resume.
Your Resume Is Not The Record Player Of A Job Search
Your resume’s value is in the support and credibility it gives the digital version of yourself. Remember: it was your digital self that originally attracted the executive recruiter or ATS to select you. Make sure your resume goes hand in hand with the value proposition you demonstrated in your online accounts. LinkedIn, Instagram and even Facebook… Hiring managers visit all those sites before they make a decision to schedule you for an interview. And do keep in mind: many infographics, videos, slide presentations, and other digital accoutrements cannot be searched for keywords. Having an editable file, such as a Word doc resume, is important when submitting directly through a job portal.
Job seekers must work with the new hiring ecosystem, not against it. “Searchability” is the key to getting your resume in front of a hiring manager or executive recruiter. Become a pro at the digital game. Having a top-notch LinkedIn profile is a given, whether you are actively or passively looking for a job. However, any old profile will not do. Applicant Tracking Systems and aggregators are designed to discover specific keywords. Incorporating these keywords in your profile without obnoxiously saturating it is imperative. Become an expert in the ever-evolving job titles, skills, and experiences that are currently trending. I suggest using several different job descriptions to find relevant key terms. Tailoring your resume to incorporate those words increases your “searchability” significantly.
Hashtags work much the same way as keywords. Sprinkling hashtags throughout your profile adds to your “searchability,” as well.
Job Seekers Cannot Get Hired by Keywords Alone
Recommendations and endorsements are crucial. Tap into past employers, clients, and colleagues for support. These are the people who have had firsthand experience with you and what you have to offer. Their praise shows employers you bring a history of success in your given role to the table. Also, having a robust list of connections increases the probability that you and your target company’s hiring manager have someone in common. One phone call to an “old friend” may be just the thing to bring your name to the top of the list.
Digital portfolios and personal websites should also be leveraged in the job search game. Employers want to see examples of output and achievements. Use either of these platforms to showcase your work. Spotlight what you’ve professionally achieved through images, videos, and slide shows. Include links to other relevant sites where your content is used or published. Again, a content-rich digital presence builds credibility and gives you an opportunity to put your best professional self forward.
Most people draw clear boundaries between their personal life and work life. However, using your social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, is an excellent way to show employers what you are passionate about – especially when those passions align with the type of role or industry you are looking for.
I would be remiss to leave out one fundamental piece of this discussion about the digital resume – Google.
Hiring Managers Will Google You
Do yourself a favor and beat them to it. Search yourself online and find any inaccurate or outdated content that may derail your job search. You may not be able to remove it all, but you can certainly push them to page three or four of the search.
The evolving face of executive recruiting does not mean it’s time to toss your traditional resume in the circular file. Digital recruiting has simply made traditional resumes relevant at a different stage in the hiring game.
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