In a recent post "Do You Still Need a Resume?" I opined that the resume, although still useful, is fading in importance in the new world of on-line tools that provide companies and recruiters an array of information about potential candidates. I requested that readers share their opinions, and received some compelling comments -- from a job seeker, a career professional, and a recruiter.
Jeffrey Ishmael shared his success with building an on-line presence to enhance his job search...
...As I found myself in the first "forced" search in my Finance career, I found myself toe-to-toe with some very talented people and needed a way to distinguish myself from the pack...and pursued the development of a website dedicated to corporate finance...while meant to hit the technicalities of Finance, it was also intended to give potential employers and recruiters additional insight into my approach to managing the Finance function of a company...I know that at least one offer I received was the direct result of what they had seen on my site.
Barbara Safani, a New York City personal brand strategist, resume professional, career coach, and author talked about the evolution of the resume into new forms...
...the resume is simply evolving from a piece of paper to a three-dimensional, multi-media presentation of a candidate's value proposition. Hiring authorities still want to know how candidates will help their organizations grow and prosper, but they want to receive that information in more flexible formats. And the "cut to the chase" approach is really taking hold with tools like Twitter...candidates need to be able to communicate a compelling message that screams "pick me" quickly and succinctly to hiring managers in order to get noticed in today's crowded job search space.
Push-back came from "Recruiting Animal" (known for his strong views and cool recruiting radio show)...
...What's your final recommendation? It sounds like you're promoting a good resume to me. Or a good LinkedIn profile which is pretty much the same thing.
Like me, you believe that it's a really good idea to put a detailed profile/resume online. But, then why do you spend half your time saying that you don't believe in resumes?
I'm a headhunter. And I often work with other recruiters. And when we recruit someone, we want a resume.
A LinkedIn profile could very well become the next resume but in the meantime, not enough people understand it. But...none of the other online profile sites are as good as LinkedIn...That's why LI is heavily used by recruiters. If you go on Twitter and follow some recruiters you'll see them whining every time LinkedIn has a problem.
You claim that traditional resumes are too focused on the past? That's how people are hired. On the basis of past experience.You think the focus should be on a brand. But what's your brand based on? My friend Laurence Haughton wrote a book called, "It's not what you say, it's what you do." And your brand is based on what you've done.
Recruiting Animal's comments reflect a certain confusion about points in my post. And that's understandable. The ambiguity Recruiting Animal addressed in his comments about resumes vs LinkedIn; past performance vs potential; brand vs performance, etc. reflects the flux in the job search space right now.
Here's why: There is no "one good way" to get out a clear career-building or job search message -- and there probably never will be. Of course recruiters and decision makers need to know job history. But that's just a part of the process, and the ways to discover that history are quickly changing.
What works best now may be archaic in another year, and something that's a blip on the horizon might be the next new sourcing tool in a year.
Recruiting Animal mentioned "branding" almost as a bad word. I think that's because the way some people use personal branding (if they use it at all) is to showcase "soft skills" without deliver a value message tied to those skills.
Identifying a personal brand is a good place for a job seeker to start, but it's just a piece of the foundation. It certainly helps with the elusive "chemistry and fit" component needed when a candidate hits the short list, but it's not going to help get anyone on that short list. Only value tied to the brand does that.
As a Certified Personal Brand Strategist, I am not just working a brand message when I assist a senior executive in job search and career management. VALUE that is proven (and predicted) by accomplishments is the thing that we focus upon, because it works.
I like to use the phrase "executive brand" or "branded value proposition" -- both are basically ways to show what your brand looks like when you take it to work and use it to deliver value that hits the bottom line.
Branded value is what needs to be projected across all on- and off-line communication including a resume and LinkedIn.
A good resume (one with an executive brand, short-term and strategic impact shown for each job held, and accomplishments tied to ROI value) is still needed, but I hold fast to my assertion that it is not required as often as one would think.
In regard to Recruiting Animal's comment about people being hired for their past performance, well, sure, that's partly true. Past performance is something we look at, but without a real sense of what that candidate will do moving forward there will be no short list in his future.
That's one of the places executive branding shines -- because value-based branding strips the accomplishment history bare and shows what is beneath it -- what raw ability the candidate delivers from job to job, challenge to challenge. That pure ability is (or should be) a huge differentiator that helps determine the right hire (and fit, too).
LinkedIn (if done right) is a fabulous (albeit static) way to project branded executive value as well as job history, and to be found because of that. Twitter is a interactive way to engage in real-time relationship- and visibility-building. Combining the two is a winning combination.
If someone finds you on Twitter, gets interested in you, and checks you out on LinkedIn (possibly printing out your LinkedIn profile by using the PDF "looks like a resume" option), then you may never need a resume. Then again, you might need to bring one to the interview.
So, do you still need a resume? The answer is still "maybe."
Jeffrey, Barbara, and Recruiting Animal, thanks for giving us lots to think about.
Posted by Deb Dib, the CEO Coach