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Are Resumes Dead?

by Randall Craig on March 28, 2013

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet

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Look at your LinkedIn profile: does it bear any resemblance to your CV?  For most people, a LinkedIn profile far surpasses paper:  Paper can’t compete with connections, recommendations, endorsements, , groups, status updates and more.  With the momentum clearly “social”, will your paper resume die?  Or is it already dead?

The answer is no, for several reasons.  A paper resume, whether printed or in PDF format, has three key functions:

1) It forces you to think (“what have I done, what is the impact”), to codify your experience, and document the question: “what am I built for.”  There isn’t a draft mode in Social Media, and you can’t pass around different versions of your LinkedIn profile for feedback.

2) The paper resume is the source for the content that you repurpose into online social venues; some document, somewhere, needs to be the master document and archive.  After all, what would happen if LinkedIn shut down, or started making more capability only available to paid users?

3) The paper resume will always be used in the “last mile” of the recruitment process.  It will be reviewed when choosing the short list, and it is integral in a face-to-face interview.

Nevertheless, social recruitment is becoming more important.  Consider these three trends:

  • Social hires:  In the past, it was all about referring a friend or colleague; today this happens far easier on the social web.
  • Social contribution: Comments made by a candidate within the industry’s LinkedIn group provides evidence of capability and connection.
  • Social Media due diligence: The transparency of the social web means checking references and checking for cultural fit is easier than ever.

This week’s action item: It’s not just resumes that have been disrupted by the social web.  Consider your organization’s brochures and marketing collateral.  This week, look at your organization’s real-world material, and consider what needs to happen to make it relevant to the social web.  (Next post: a list of how to do this.)

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Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Digital Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of eight books, including Digital Transformation for Associations, the Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business, and Social Media for Business. He speaks and advises on Digital Transformation, Digital Trust, and Social Media. More at

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