Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on August 14, 2018
For decades, résumés have been the ticket to entry into the working world. But the one-page paper document has lost its dominance.
While most employees still have one, companies and recruiters are putting less emphasis on résumés when searching for job candidates.
“The résumé has probably gone from about 40% to 35% of the hiring process to less than 10%,” said Macy Andrews, senior director of human resources at tech giant Cisco.
So if the paper résumé is outdated, what can candidates do to differentiate themselves and get an employer’s attention?
Make your online professional image dazzle
Recruiters are checking out various online platforms to find and learn more about applicants.
Showcase your career history online, and be sure to give specific examples of your success.
LinkedIn tends to be the first stop for many hiring managers and recruiters, so be sure to have a completed profile that highlights your past experiences but also what you’re looking to do.
With LinkedIn, you have the advantage of being able to update whenever you want, unlike a static résumé.
“Change and experiment with your profile,” recommended Bonnie Zaben, chief operating officer of recruitment firm AC Lion. “This is not a résumé that is more ‘set it and forget it.’ You have the ability to try moving things around, change wording, fool with it and see what produces for you.”
And don’t underestimate the power of recommendations, references and groups you belong to on LinkedIn. “It shows soft skills, and a lot of who a person is in more subtle ways,” said Zaben.
Experts also encouraged having different forms of media on your online profiles. Linking out to videos, blog posts or an archive of your work can help showcase your value.
We know you’ve heard this before, but it’s worth repeating: Clean up your social media profiles. If a recruiter can access it, they will. So make sure to keep everything professional. Even your Facebook profile.
Find a voice
We know that recruiters and hiring managers are scanning the internet to get a better sense of a potential hire’s skills and a more complete picture of who they are.
They are looking for you to showcase your involvement in your particular field and expertise.
“There are so many self-publishing mechanisms that you can show your opinion in your area of expertise,” said Andrews. “Talk about things you’ve accomplished. Things you have failed at are also interesting. Get yourself out there. Think about your opinions within your domain.”
Get an insider to vouch for you
Networking has always been an important tool for job seekers. But even though it might seem dated in today’s online world, don’t underestimate the power of a referral from someone you have a relationship with.
Referrals from a current employee hold a lot of weight.
“Finding people who already work in the company to refer you is still incredibly important,” said Brian Kropp, vice president, Human Resource Practice at Gartner. “Companies will almost always say, a referral we will guarantee an interview.”
Being active in your school’s alumni network and attending industry conferences can facilitate meetings with people working in your desired field or company.