Written by Kevin Wang
There are core values and ideas that will remain eternal. However, the shape and form in which they manifest themselves constantly changes through time due to improved technology or cultural shifts. Think of what marriage, transportation, or news outlets looked like or meant to people in different periods, and you’ll see what I mean.
I believe the resume will never die. As long as a majority of companies hire their employees based on knowledge, resources, and experience, the resume’s purpose will remain vital in the process. I do believe, however, that the form in which a resume manifests itself is slowly growing outdated. Just as the email attachment replaced the mailed print copy, one of the following below could easily replace the email attachment as the next standard resume.
LinkedIn, a social networking website for professionals, has rapidly taken off since its founding in 2003, with the company now boasting over 100 million users and over $160 million in annual revenues. Just as Facebook became the platform on which we interact with our friends, LinkedIn is becoming the platform on which we interact with contacts and companies. People of all ages are realizing the wealth of potential and opportunity awaiting them on the website, and flocking to start their own accounts.
With one’s experience, education, recommendations, contact information, and just about everything else conveniently listed on one’s page, it only takes a quick profile look-up from HR to find everything they need to know about an applicant. Perhaps in the future, LinkedIn may even go beyond allowing users to simply submit applications to posted jobs, building tools and services (like video chat, applicant evaluation software, etc) onto its platform to allow for the entire hiring process to take place on its website. With the company’s continued sustained growth and innovation, it is likely that this will usurp the traditional resume.
It has become relatively easy in this day and age to create high-quality homemade videos. Video cameras (or phones) and simple-to-use editing software are everywhere, and uploading content to the web is a breeze. A video resume allows an applicant to present himself or herself in more dimensions to a recruiter by showcasing creativity, personality, and interests while still communicating qualifications and experience
Additionally, the visual presence of the applicant allows him or her to speak more directly to a recruiter than any cover letter could ever allow, making for a more compelling personal pitch. This format has already started to become more prevalent: for example, Cambridge-based tech start-up SCVNGR now accepts videos in lieu of a cover letter. There are even companies, like TalentRooster, which specialize in producing such videos for hopeful hires who would otherwise produce something laughable, like this. Or awesomely ambiguous, like this.
With more people embracing personal branding and establishing their presence on the web, it becomes important to tie all their outlets together. Recruiters don’t just want to see a resume anymore; they want to learn about your opinions, values, and personality, which they can extract from your online activity.
Whether it’s a WordPress blog, YouTube account, or a Twitter handle, every digital footprint left generates exposure and adds value to an individual’s personal brand. A personal page aggregates everything into one convenient location for a recruiter to look through. Additionally, like video resumes, a personal page allows you to add creativity and a visual presence in a way a traditional resume cannot. Such sites are quite easy to set up: building a solid fan page on Facebook or a splash page on About.Me or Flavors.Me can be completed in less than half an hour. For those willing to go the extra mile and spend a little cash, purchasing themes, domain names, and outside help can help add a little flair.
The death of the email attachment resume is fast approaching. Thanks to the web, applicants no longer have to submit anything beyond their basic information, for a plethora of information about them is already readily available online and Google-able. It’s not hard to imagine a future job application reduced simply to this:
IMAGE VIA L Hollis Photography