Is the Executive Resume Dead or Dying?

by Meg Guiseppi on June 28, 2011

No, it’s not dead, and it’s not likely to disappear entirely.

But it doesn’t look and read the way it did even a few years ago.

Resumes have morphed over time from being a career history document often leading with an objective statement – to a career marketing communication showcasing relevant achievements, branding and metrics, to link good fit with value proposition.

A traditional “paper” resume seems to have less value in job search today. For most job seekers, emailing a digital version of their resume has replaced snail mailing a hard copy.

Video resumes (or video marketing pieces) are becoming more popular, although I hesitate recommending them for everyone. Too many people don’t perform well on camera. A video may work against them and sabotage their chances.

And if you think that the way to land a job in the new world of executive search is to post your resume to lots of job boards, think again. Only an estimated 3-5% of jobs come through job boards . . . probably much fewer for senior and c-level jobs. That was never the best use of a resume.

More often than not today, recruiters and hiring decision makers, who source and assess potential candidates based on their online footprint, will find YOU before you ever locate them and send them your paper or digital resume.

Are you still on the fence about “putting yourself out there” online? Read my post, Does Your Online Identity Scream “Hire Me”?

So, the new resume seems to be your online identity. Or as Dick Bolles, job search pioneer and guru, and author of ‘What Color is Your Parachute?’ recently said, “Your Google results are the new resume.”

Typically your first introduction to hiring professionals will be your LinkedIn profile, which is basically a resume. To create a fully complete, branded LinkedIn profile, you’ll need to do the same kind of work you would have to create a branded resume.

What’s that, you don’t have a LinkedIn profile or never completed the one you started years ago? Then how will they find you? See my LinkedIn Guide for Executive Branding and Job Search.

To make yourself more visible and easier to find, you need to brand and build your online presence while monitoring your online reputation, following these guidelines as you go – Relevance, Quality, Diversity, Volume, Consistency.

But don’t give up on that paper/digital resume yet. You’ll still need it at some point in the hiring process. You may not need it to land an interview, but you should still bring several hard copies when you have an interview, along with other relevant printed materials. This practice may never change. And, once you’re hired, HR is going to need a copy for their files.

Here’s something else to consider.

The old fashioned strategy of mailing a hard copy of your resume with covering letter is a powerful NEW differentiating tactic to capture attention and perhaps an interview, because so few people do it any more.

According to Martin Yate, another job search guru and author of his newest book, Knock ‘em Dead Secrets and Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World:

“Don’t smirk at the idea of traditional mail. We all like a break from the computer screen, so delivering your sales message and resume this way can be very effective. When you do this, note in the cover letter that you sent the resume by e-mail and that this additional approach is because you are really interested in the company and ‘wanted to increase my chances of getting your attention.’ Doing this demonstrates that you are creative and not a technological Neanderthal.”

The fact remains that the kind of information found in a resume will always be job search currency – no matter what form it takes.

People assessing you will always want to know have you’ve added value in the past, indicating how you’ll benefit their company in the future. Career marketing will always be about aligning your qualifications, skills and personal traits with your target employers’ needs.

A resume may evolve into yet another different looking thing, but the purpose will be the same — to attract attention, generate interest and gain interviews.

Related posts:

How to Write An Irresistible C-level Executive Brand Resume in 10 Steps

Executive Brand Resume: Differentiate Your ROI Value Above the Fold

C-level Executive Resume Length: One, Two, or Three Pages?

What NOT To Put in Your C-level Executive Resume

photo by jstonkatoy

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi November 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Thanks for commenting, Mark.

If, as an employer, you’re having trouble easily determining what a candidate is about, then that candidate hasn’t done their research and worked on aligning their qualifications and qualities with what you’re looking for in good-fit candidates. A resume today needs to target the specific needs of the employer. Saves everyone’s time, and helps both the candidate and employer in the job search process.

2 Mark Polson November 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I think the resume won’t die, it is clearly prevalent, but I think it is going to evolve through social media and platforms like linkedin and visual resume sites like studentgenius.com. As an employer I think the problem with the resume is just all the time it takes to sort out the good from the bad in a relatively 2-dimensional medium.

3 Mark Polson November 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I think the resume won’t die, it is clearly prevalent, but I think it is going to evolve through social media and platforms like linkedin and visual resume sites like studentgenius.com. As an employer I think the problem with the resume is just all the time it takes to sort out the good from the bad in a relatively 2-dimensional medium.

4 Meg Guiseppi June 29, 2011 at 8:06 am

Shucks, Steve, I’m blushing. I’m glad this post hit home with you. I just try to cover the topics job seekers want to know about, in as straightforward a manner as I can.

Thanks for your comment!
Meg

5 Meg Guiseppi June 29, 2011 at 8:06 am

Shucks, Steve, I’m blushing. I’m glad this post hit home with you. I just try to cover the topics job seekers want to know about, in as straightforward a manner as I can.

Thanks for your comment!
Meg

6 stephen q shannon June 29, 2011 at 7:27 am

Meg, Meg, Meg…another home run. Okay, I admit it. You are a genius because I agree with you more than you know. Bigoted and biased I am in favor of you staking a claim on rarely addressed bread and butter issues with such passion and common sense. Too gooey?
Ignore Meg, men and women and boys and girls, at your peril.
Thanks for making my morning and very likely the remainder of my week.
Forgive me too, “Meg, please DISPLAY your name on the top of your e-mail mailing if for no other reason than when I forward it to my “tribe” members they will immediately know the source and lazy me will not have to cut and paste the author’s name (you) otherwise not available until or if the reader clicks on the headline link.”
Astonishingly yours!
Stephen “Steve” Q Shannon Delray Beach FL

7 stephen q shannon June 29, 2011 at 7:27 am

Meg, Meg, Meg…another home run. Okay, I admit it. You are a genius because I agree with you more than you know. Bigoted and biased I am in favor of you staking a claim on rarely addressed bread and butter issues with such passion and common sense. Too gooey?
Ignore Meg, men and women and boys and girls, at your peril.
Thanks for making my morning and very likely the remainder of my week.
Forgive me too, “Meg, please DISPLAY your name on the top of your e-mail mailing if for no other reason than when I forward it to my “tribe” members they will immediately know the source and lazy me will not have to cut and paste the author’s name (you) otherwise not available until or if the reader clicks on the headline link.”
Astonishingly yours!
Stephen “Steve” Q Shannon Delray Beach FL

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