I attended a business-networking event where several students from a marketing class were also in attendance. When I mentioned that I am always on the lookout for interns and entry-level team members, several of the students made a beeline towards me with their resumes in hand.
I refused to take any of these paper profiles and handed each of them my business card instead. I instructed them to e-mail me if they were interested in a possible working relationship and left it at that.
With a fair degree of confidence, I announced to the students that ‘the paper resume is dead’. They all seemed to be surprised enough to have never heard this before. I was surprised, as well, but for the opposite reason considering they were taking a college level marketing course. I figured they would have already known this.
The paper resume is dead for numerous reasons. The most important reasons are:
- Paperless is the way to go with everything today.
- A traditional format resume needs to be e-mailed.
- When companies receive resumes, they are prescreened by computer for particular keywords. This is done digitally.
- Social media has become the initial introduction of choice (both professionally and socially).
Here is what I suggest and conclude as the ideal recipe for the present day social media enhanced resume. It is a good idea to carry something to give to a potential employer when one encounters such a person outside of the normal application/interview process, such as the networking event we attended. To me, the ideal thing to do is the same thing one would do at any business networking event, ‘get a business card and give a business card’ or even provide a cleverly designed post card (the graphic designer in me always needs to put in its creative two cents).
The business card would need information different from a typical business card since it would not include current employment information. It would not have a company name or title but information that would direct the receiver to information appropriate to the situation. This is the suggested information for an applicant to include:
- Phone number (preferably cell if the land line is their family’s number or shared with other people)
- E-mail address
- Web address (especially in the case of a portfolio)
- Names for social media venues pertinent to the situation including Facebook, and LinkedIn as well as other venues that would cast a positive light on a prospective employee. A YouTube video, no more than a few minutes long, showing some extraordinary career related activity or appropriate personally enhancing topic can be a plus.
- Consider using a QR code as a link from anything analog to digital.
These days, a prospective employer can learn an immeasurable amount of pre-interview information about a prospective worker from social media venues. Much more can be detected about a person from these on-line venues than a one-dimensional piece of paper could ever communicate. Certain things show up on social media that even a first time personal meeting could most likely reveal:
- A Facebook page speaks to a person’s personality, friends, interests, maturity and integrity (or lack of the last two).
- A LinkedIn profile is set up so that it can literally become a resume. There are provisions to take a traditional resume and import it into LinkedIn.
Here are some final thoughts about this resume recipe. I have more paper than I know what to do with. So do most people unless they are already paper-free. I am working towards the goal of being paper-free. At most, I might want to collect business and post cards.
But I am finding that I have so many cards that once the information is in my database, even these tiny pieces of paper go into a ‘never to be seen again’ box or circular file. Therefore, if I were so inclined, I could do one of two things:
- I would immediately scan business cards into my smart phone and throw away the tiny pieces of paper
- I could employ a person or even a company that does the scanning and puts the information into my database for me
You could safely say that the recipe for the socially enhanced resume is as close to paperless and as digitally oriented as possible. This is one more example of the shift from analog to digital technology.
With the amazing number of responses that this blog post has received and the almost unanimous opinion that paper is out or almost gone, something has occurred to me. A person who is computer savvy looking for a job who is asked for a paper resume may want to think twice about working at such a company. It may be a lack of being up-to-date on the part of the company rather than the applicant being out of touch with the current technology.
Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller and a photojournalist. She is a regular contributing author to DBME and, when time allows, to other blogs as well. She is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Business Marketing Solutions. She has been a marketing pro and designer for over three decades.
Alison has a ProTeam of experienced marketing, design and writing professionals offering the latest online marketing technology, social media, graphic and web design, illustration, photo and video, content management as well as the best of traditional advertising. Her client base has covered just about every commercial industry.
MARKETING BYTES specializes in local/small and start up businesses with a boutique (very personal) approach to client service. Although located on Long Island in New York State, Marketing Bytes can serve clients everywhere there is Internet access. Visit our site, Marketing Bytes, one of our Facebook pages, Marketing Main Street USA, our Facebook group, Local Biz Is The Solution, and the Marketing Bytes Blog. To contact us: e-mail or call 516-665-9034 (EST, NY, USA).
- Resumes for a Digital Age
- Go to a Paperless Resume
- A Paper or Electronic Resume
- Five Clever Ways to Get a Job Using Social Media
About Alison Gilbert
Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.