The Google Job Search: Is It Time To Dump The Traditional Resume?

I recently read that Richard N. Bolles, the guy who wrote the famous career book, What Color is your Parachute?, supposedly said that “Google is your new resume.” (I don’t know if he really said this as I was only reading a third party source referring to him). Related: How To Use Google+ To Kickstart Your Job Search Be it as it may, it poses a very interesting question for all career seekers: Is the resume about to be outdated and should you put more effort into social media instead? My straight answer: yes and no.


1. The impact of social media and its current limits

The resume in its currently acceptable format is a pretty static document. You can’t use dramatic graphics, colors not even to mention pictures, short video clips or presentations. However, social media offers all of these features. As a recruiter, social media can give you a more complete and individual picture of a candidate than the resume ever can. And the hiring industry will of course take advantage of this. I think that is the point Richard Bolles meant when - supposedly - saying that Google is your new resume. Yes, chances are these days that you will be googled along the application process. But replacing the good old resume? I don’t think we are quite there yet. You always have to consider social customs and standards. How do you think your chances are in a current job hunt if you send e-mail to a recruiting firm and say: “My name is Lex Lawner; Please find attached my 6-second career Vine clip. Please just Google my name if you need any more information.” Unless you are in this really, really creative field with free spirits all around, your chances are most likely not going to be great!

2. The trend

So far, the “traditional” resume remains the door opener for an interview. Only after your resume is “approved," will most recruiters even consider looking at your YouTube channel, Twitter account, and About.me page, and so on. However, social media is on the rise. Fifteen years ago, no one was rejected from a “yes” pile because their LinkedIn profile revealed inconsistencies compared to their resume. With strong competition for every half way decent job these days, and the tremendous hiring costs for companies on the employer end, the bar has been raised. If you claim to be an experienced, hands-on subject matter expert in your field, who claims to be a great communicator and outstanding team player, HR and recruiters expect to see “proof” of that on social media. Great team player and networker, but no social media endorsements at all? You are possibly already close to a red-flag.

3. Outlook

I think that you currently need social media to make a stronger case for yourself. An infographic version of your resume might be a great “add-on-tool” for now, but not a door opener quite yet. Maybe the tables will turn sometime in future. The world is becoming more visual by the day, and maybe soon even reading one page of coherent resume text will be too time consuming. But for the time being, Google will not do your resume homework yet. Do you feel like having a professional resume writer taking a look at your current resume at no cost? Just send me an e-mail or call me for your free review. You can find my contact information at www.windhof-communications.com.

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