When you were in school, you probably took at least one class in which you learned how to create a basic résumé. Whether or not you ever got formal training in putting together a one-page list of your experience and relevant interests for an employer, you knew that this piece of paper was going to be important throughout your career and that you’d have to update it pretty regularly, especially if you were changing jobs, gaining experience, and/or adding accomplishments and achievements.
According to numerous experts, though, the résumé may actually be on its way out the door. So is the traditional résumé actually dead? And if so, what’s going to replace it and how? The answer is both simpler and more complex than you might think. The résumé hasn’t been replaced by a single thing—it’s been replaced by a number of different things that all work together to paint a three-dimensional picture of you as a person, an employee, a leader, and an entrepreneur.
THE GOOGLE SEARCH
Before an employer or investor agrees to meet with you, you might send them a résumé, but you’re probably just as likely to reach out to them online through LinkedIn or another social site. You might include your résumé when you contact them, but that won’t be the deciding factor in whether or not you get an interview or a chance to pitch your business plan.
Anyone can write a résumé, but a Google search of your name will give employers and investors a much better view of who you are online. If you’ve been good about documenting your achievements, they’ll find those. They’ll also find your LinkedIn profile, your website, and any other activity that you’ve attached your name to online.
Social media can be a double-edged sword. You can use it to present your personal brand to the world, or it can work against you, showing an image that you don’t want people in your industry to see. It doesn’t matter what your résumé says if you’re constantly going off on profanity-laden political rants in a public forum online.
Investors want to work with people who are driven and focused. They don’t need you to be at work 24 hours a day, but they do need to have the confidence that you’re going to spend their investment capital wisely and that you’re going to be focused on success.
Your LinkedIn profile can act like a résumé on steroids if you complete it with the right content. You can go into more detail about your experience, and you can include keywords that will help you get noticed by others in your industry that you want to connect with. The best part is that you don’t have to keep it down to one page, so you can include all of the information you want and populate your text with keywords without doing any keyword stuffing.
Before you completely eschew the idea of keeping an up-to-date résumé, though, remember that some of the investors and potential clients and partners you speak with may be older and may still expect to see a printed résumé. So, while the résumé may be on its way out, it’s not quite dead yet, and it’s still worth keeping around for certain meetings and interviews.