I get resume questions almost daily and the one question I get more than and other question is:
“Do I actually still need a resume?”
It's a valid question. With all of the LinkedIn profiles and easy to build websites and social media options out there, this old school form can seem a little outdated - however, YES you need a resume!
You actually need two but I'll get to that in a second.
You need a resume to work in conjunction with your LinkedIn profile. Why? Well you need it for a couple of reasons.
One is even if you’re networking yourself into a job, many times you still have to go through the “official channels” and that can mean sending a resume either to HR or into an applicant tracking system. Sometimes it’s just absolutely necessary for you to submit it in order to follow all the necessary steps even if you’re personally vetted by someone else.
You also need it when you’re doing face to face interviews.
When you show up for an interview, ideally, everyone interviewing you has gone through your resume and LinkedIn and have a handle on who you are - unfortunately it doesn't always go down that way. There are a lot of glitches that can happen during the interview process: people be grabbing the hallways to fill in for someone else, a hiring manager too busy to prep or calendaring mishaps... and this is where when they walk in the room and you hand them a resume, you look like a shining star because you helped them out! They now feel way less unprepared.
Another reason to have it is for when you send an email to recruiter you can put in not only your LinkedIn profile link but you can also attach a resume which just gives them more info - more ways to see how you do what you do and more ways to find you.
Some also just really love having a file of resumes - so give them what they want.
So why do you need two? You need two because one needs to be appealing to human eyes. It needs to be clear, concise and visually interesting. It needs to capture someone’s attention and tell your story. However, many companies, especially the larger ones, use resume reader computer systems as gatekeeping to weed out those candidates that aren’t at least minimally viable candidates. You could be supremely qualified, but if the computer can’t read your resume, then you’ll be out of luck. That’s why you need to have a second, text only, easily scanned version at the ready.
So one resume needs to look “pretty” appeal to the human person receiving it while the other needs to be easily readable by a computer.
Make sure BOTH versions highlight your skills and include key-words that the recruiter hiring for that job would be looking for.
Some insights on how to make it work:
Don’t use your resume as a catalog of past job descriptions, it isn’t using that real estate to it’s most saleable value. You want to gather a list of 5-10 career bullet points that really highlight accomplishments you’ve done - your unique value any impressive stats and skills - you want to use these to build out your summary, your job history you want to relate these top career accomplishments to the hiring managers needs for the next-level job you’re applying for.
Don’t just outline how you’ve been a good employee in your current role, but how it’s prepared you for the next role. Your summary should do the same: not just say what you do now, but explain who you are and what you’re an expert at.
This is what your resume can do for you: show your history in a story form that shows what you accomplished to get to where you are today. That said, when you’re looking to get that next position (whether it’s a promotion in your current company or somewhere new) pay close attention to that next level job description you’re interested in.
Make sure that you're including some of those words/that language into your resume because whether it’s a human or a computer they’re going to do a quick scan for those word first (the average time spent scanning a resume is 7-11 seconds) make sure they see something that will catch their eye. The good news is they’ve already done the heavy lifting for you but telling you exactly what they’re looking for in the job description!
Make yourself a no-brainer candidate by including some of those relevant words.
If you’re looking for more specifics on how to tweak your bullet points and tell your story, check out one of these other posts below or head over here for a whole bunch of free resources.
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If you have any tips on how to make a resume irresistible to recruiters, pop ‘em in the comments! Got questions? Email me!
Yours in career goodness,