The End of the Resume

I’m going to say it – your resume doesn’t really matter anymore.

There are plenty of folks who will lighten your wallet providing “expert” resume preparation and advice, but I don’t think you need their help.

We are approaching (or have already arrived at) the end of the resume-based job search.

How many times have you posted your resume to job sites, never hearing back from the company? Maybe they did ping you with a boilerplate email saying “thanks for applying”, but how many people do you know who posted a resume cold to a company where they were contacted, interviewed and hired?

Not many.

If you are on top of your game, you have created a website to promote your brand. You have posted your qualifications, achievements, work product portfolio and other relevant data. You have a robust LinkedIn profile and you are active on that network daily. You have a professional headshot.

The story of you…these achievements and qualifications, honors and awards, is clickable and uniform across all platforms.

You have described yourself in a paragraph, the opening salvo in your introduction. Not to be confused with the career objective, which is the worst thing you can possibly put on a CV.  The objective tells the world what you want; the paragraph tells the world who you are – far more valuable information.

Yes, this feels like a “resume” but it’s not this piece of paper or digital file. It’s not your sole arrow in the quiver. This multi-platform collection of data is the way HR departments search for candidates.

My LinkedIn was not good for a long time.  There’s a graph that shows who from what industry has peeked at your profile (if you subscribe to the beefed-up version).  Searches for me by others seemed to be random in nature, scattered across numerous categories.

Now, “Higher Education” is by far the most searched category for me. Since I’m a teacher, that’s good!

Social media networks are the place where HR goes fishing for people. If you are cursing, hating, and posting provocative photos, you are committing career suicide. I am constantly amazed what people are willing to give up on Twitter. I swear I can predict one friend’s menstrual cycle solely by her tweets. Do I really need to know this?

I think not.

Companies want to know who you are. They want to see what kind of life you’re living.  They look and they look hard. Your privacy settings are not really a deterrent; you have a lot of friends of friends, and companies can find what they need with relative ease. .  I know this fact all too well – recently I had jury duty and the lawyers looked at my Facebook.

The bottom line: yes, you do need a resume, but it’s a small piece of the puzzle now, many times a mere formality near the end of the interview process.

Creating a uniform digital brand ensures that you maximize and make specific the kind of eyeballs you want on your profiles.

Do some housecleaning this week. Put some polish on your profiles. Don’t fib; one of the top reasons companies pass on potential candidates is “lying about their qualifications”.

You have a lot of good about you!

Show us.


John Scott is the National Online Learning Coordinator and a media history instructor at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University, San Francisco. He also counsels clients and groups on the art of reinvention.


His debut book Broken Glass and Barbed Wire will be released soon.

Follow John on Twitter @johnscottsf.






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