Are paper resumes outdated?

A recent article from CNN makes a pretty good case for the single page, double spaced resume to go the way of cassette tapes.

The article quotes Gretchen Gunn, a principal at MGD Services, a staffing firm in Stockton, New Jersey as saying she doesn’t accept paper resumes and instead asks for them electronically.

Further, potential employees are becoming more and more creative in their applications. Like this Living Resume by Rachel King, “An ongoing collection of decidedly cool things I’ve done in my career, side gigs, and other projects.” The novelty helped her land a job at Adobe, according to the article.

Separating yourself from the other candidates is important. If you can do that in a creative way, you’ve got the attention of the hiring manager, who’s next step is probably going to be to check your social profiles.

Social sites like Facebook and Twitter give hiring managers a better sense of a “person’s judgment, personality and communication skills” thus making the formal resume obsolete. In the era of verifications, a quick Google search can reveal more information about a candidate’s work history and personality that type on a piece of paper.

The obvious first place for online resumes is LinkedIn. Though job seekers would prefer a job search function on Facebook, according to this Mashable article, the infrastructure isn’t there yet.

Facebook doesn’t have privacy screens or a way to separate personal and professional contacts,  the article states. Until Facebook offers these options, job seekers should look to the established sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

The answer of whether or not paper resumes are outdated can be best answered by the trends in the industry you’re applying to work in, so do your research. As always, you should read the job descriptions carefully and look for keywords like electronic, email, and look at the LinkedIn profiles of the person who is most likely to receive your cover letter.

Unlike in the past when all resumes looked the same, when it doubt it might be in your best interest to err on the side of standing out, rather than blending in.

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2 thoughts on “Are paper resumes outdated?

  1. Word might be okay if you’re applying for a secretarial position, but if you’re after a design job or something creative, Word’s limited and idiosyncratic layout options and subtle cross-platform issues can mangle the best resumés. PDF is a much better format, because it enables you to create good-looking documents that are completely cross-platform.

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