We all know the traditional resume. Almost all of us have taken a class or two to teach just just how to create a resume worth sending out and we’re usually told not to get too creative or carried away with what we put on this one-sheet piece of paper.
But is this still true?
The digital world is changing the way we do business, which also means it is changing the way we apply to jobs. Through online job postings and the ability to apply online, we’re able to apply to jobs in cities we don’t live in and to companies we’ve never even heard of.
While this opens new doors to opportunities we probably wouldn’t have without the internet, it also means that we’re fighting with hundreds – possibly thousands – of other applicants. With a boring, black and white, “traditional” resume, you’re going to struggle to stand out.
If you want to catch the attention of the Hiring Manager, you’re going to need to do something that will set you apart.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider ditching your resume, as well as some ideas on how you can replace it.
1. There Are Better Ways to Showcase Your Skills
When you’re trying to describe yourself on one piece of paper, you’re not given much room to really show what you are capable of. Instead, you’re pressured to come up with the right words to describe why you’re the perfect fit for that job. Unless you’re a master wordsmith, you may be skipped over for a job you’re a perfect match for just because you couldn’t come up with the right words.
By choosing a different resume option, you can get creative about showcasing who you are and where your talents lie. If you’re in a creative field, you could create an online profile or website. If you’re a writer, a blog is a great way to show what you’re capable of.
2. Resumes Make It Difficult to Find the Right Job Match
As more applicants apply to jobs, companies have taken to streamlining the process of reading through resumes by using a tracking system. While these systems are designed to separate the qualified applicants from those who shouldn’t move on to the interview process, it usually does this by connecting keywords or numbers.
This means that through a classic resume application, you’re not moving forward based on how well you fit the company’s needs – you’re moving forward based on how well your resume matched the keywords they were looking for. This pushed completely respectable and qualified applicants into the reject pile while allowing applicants who may not meet the standards move forward.
A new kind of resume can make it easier for both applicants and hiring managers to find the right fit for the open position. Instead of basing connections on keywords and algorithms, they can once again use human judgment and understanding to find who is the most qualified.
3. Traditional Resumes Allow for Discrimination and Bias
When you submit your resume, you usually only send basic information about yourself in each section. This includes your name, your location, and the years you worked or graduated from school. While this is all important information for getting hired, it also allows the individual to make assumptions about you before you even meet them.
The age that you graduated and the years that you spent working tell your potential employee your age. Your name may give some indication of your race and gender. While this is all information they will find out during the interview process, their biased opinions could cause them to put your resume in the “reject” pile even if you are qualified.
By ditching the traditional resume and using a new updated way to apply, you’re able to better represent exactly who you are. You’re no longer relying on a paper with strict standards and guidelines to show that you fit the needs of the job.
4. Resumes Waste Time
As we’ve already mentioned, the application process is extremely diluted. There are hundreds of individuals applying for the same job as you, ranging from those believing it is their dream job all the way down to people perfectly happy in their current positions but they just want to see what happens. This means that with each job you apply to, you need to tweak your resume to stand on for that specific job.
This often ends in you spending hours trying to tailor your resume to perfectly match the job posting, hoping that you’re locating all the right keywords. If you’re applying to numerous jobs, you could easily eat up all your free time just restructuring your resume. And the worst part about it is that once you submit the resume, a computer will scan it and potentially throw it in the trash before anyone actually reads your hard work.
With a more modern approach to resumes, you can create an overarching picture of who you are and what your skills are or you can create specific pages, videos, or other content for that specific company. With these pieces of content attached to your application, an actual human will need to review it.
If you’re struggling to get attention from companies with your traditional resume, know that you’re not alone – trust me. Working for an recruitment agency means I am meeting and reviewing candidates all the time. Using a one sheet, black and white piece of paper is outdated and impractical for both applicants and hiring managers.
To stand out from the crowd, don’t be afraid to do something to stand out from the crowd. Think of what your skills are and put them to use to ensure they come across when applying to a job. Whether that is through designing a killer resume, creating a personal website, or filming a video to use to apply, make it all about you.