Career Hub contributor Sital Ruparella recently posted thoughts on the question: "Will LinkedIn Profiles Become The New Resume?"
My answer is a qualified "maybe." As a trend watcher within the resume and career coaching industry, I've taught classes, written articles, and presented at conferences about the diminishing importance of the resume. I believe that the resume as we know it is an increasingly minor, even irrelevant, part of job search.
Why? Because although companies, recruiters, and networking contacts still ask for resumes, resumes are very often not where they acquire the information they rely upon for decision-making.
AND -- perhaps most importantly -- vanishing time and attention spans (due in part to the brevity required by Blackberries, iPhones, text messaging, and Twitter) are quickly eroding the desire for a multi-page, 10-point type, margin-to-margin traditional resume. A hard-to-read resume -- when sent to a human, is begging to be trashed. Literally.
I do not think LinkedIn will be THE one-stop-shop resume-replacement solution but I do think it will be an important tool in an array of tools that supplement the resume.
Here are just a few of the places resume-type (career history) and personal brand information is now found:
** online profile builders (used by companies and recruiters)
** electronic searches (typically turn up far more than any resume can present)
Traditional resumes (and badly done LinkedIn profiles) are typically "job graveyards" focused on past success rather than targeted, branded potential.
Graveyards are not conducive to job search!
Employers and recruiters need more than history. They can get job history from LinkedIn, or electronic profile builders. There is plenty of online software that can (and does) help companies gather information in ways that require no resume.
The big question is how do companies and recruiters get what they really want -- an understanding of value and chemistry that predict contribution and fit? A great resume -- a brief document focused on a branded value proposition, IMPACT, and targeted accomplishments with a "dotted line" to how these can help the new target -- can work. However, most resumes are not great, and even the great ones have limitations.
At the very least even a great resume needs to be supplemented with case studies of accomplishments that put accomplishments in context of challenge and action, and showcase wins that create employer desire. Most job seekers never do that.
It's no wonder that resumes are becoming increasingly irrelevant -- resumes just don't provide what's needed and they take too much time to read. And if they are posted on-line they don't make it out of the "electronic abyss" -- the black hole that most on-line resumes fall into, never to be seen again.
For many people, the best time to use a resume is often after an interview, as a brief reminder of experience and education. Getting the interview is a job for the above tools (plus networking, of course, and possibly a value-proposition-focused direct mail campaign); it's increasingly not the job for the resume.
Anecdotal information from many of my senior executive clients tells me that resumes are no longer critical to success.
This year alone, I've had clients land interviews and jobs after we've done deep executive brand and value discovery, but before we've even completed a resume. By creating a succinct value- and brand-driven LinkedIn profile and creating a branded bio and accomplishment studies, they have been prepared to out-compete the right way -- by using on-line tools to raise visibility and by crafting a powerful message to share when that visibility produces interest.
Don't look for the resume to disappear quite yet.
Job seekers are still expected to have resumes, especially for entry-level jobs, for jobs within small companies, and for very senior executives who need distinctive multi-page resume/accomplishment portfolios.
Do create a great, brand, and value packed resume (the process alone is exceptional preparation for networking and interviewing), but be aware that you may not need your resume as often as you think you will, or even when you think you will.
Bottom-line? The resume is losing its luster as the tool of choice for job search. For now, a great branded resume, branded collaterals, and a branded LinkedIn profile need to be in your tool box -- but you may be pulling out that resume less often as you replace it with LinkedIn and other newer tools that get the job done.
If you are a job seeker, recruiter, employer, or career expert, what's been your experience? What do you think?
Posted by Deb Dib, the CEO Coach