Resumes Are Not Dead

The death of resumes continues to be endlessly and tirelessly debated.  It is a topic that pops up periodically in the career press and online conversations and ebbs and flows like the tide.  The problem is that the premise is wrong.  All of the conversations are about the document we call a resume, which hasn’t died and is unlikely to die because it serves a useful purpose in its current format.

More importantly, the “content” of the resume is needed in some format by recruiters and hiring managers, by educational institutions evaluating prospective students, by organizations looking for members or leaders, and by business people presenting their capabilities.  The form in which the information is delivered from a traditional CV to a marketing-focused resume to a LinkedIn profile to an executive bio to an on-line video or through a technology not yet in the mainstream can be counted on to keep changing.  And more than one vehicle may be desirable for communicating the information.

What is important, beyond the basics of picking the right medium for the message and using it knowledgeably, is getting control of the information.  A properly done marketing resume is a good place to start to flesh out the key details.  A resume should have a good positioning section (not a summary or profile) and a well-structured career history.  This information can then be massaged and ported to wherever it needs to go.  It’s like a marketing campaign – the message is delivered in many different ways – in print, broadcast, social media, visual displays, events, and so on.  Regardless, the message and the supporting information have to be defined and articulated before they can be effectively communicated through any vehicle.