With the popularity and power of LinkedIn, and the undeniable necessity of having a presence there when you’re job hunting, some people claim that the executive resume is dead, or dying.
. . . that it’s no longer needed, or valuable.
. . . that a robust, fully populated LinkedIn profile is, in fact, the new resume.
After all, people searching for viable candidates like you will likely see your LinkedIn profile before they ever reach out to you and request your resume.
Social recruiting has become the norm for executive recruiters. They search online to source and assess candidates, and rely heavily on LinkedIn to find candidates.
The cost of social recruiting is minimal (compared to posting on job boards) and opens them to a much larger pool of potential candidates.
Do Executive Job Seekers Even Need an Executive Resume Anymore?
So, if you have a strong online presence, with a LinkedIn profile (and other online profiles, personal website, social media activity, etc.), why do you need a resume at all?
First of all, lose the mindset that LinkedIn is an online resume. If it ever was, it’s not any more. There’s a lot more going on at LinkedIn – social branding, networking, curating content, etc. – than the ability to publish your career history online.
For another thing, you can only have one LinkedIn profile, but you can (and should) have several resumes, customized for each of the employers you’re targeting, based on what makes you a good fit for them.
A LinkedIn profile needs to be somewhat more generic so it will appeal to a wider audience than just one employer. Obviously, you can’t customize your LinkedIn profile for each target company, but you can indicate your job-type and industry preference.
Your resume shines when you’re actively networking your way into the companies you’re targeting. To hit home with people, you’ll customize your resume (as much as possible) for each target company, and send it to select people at, or associated with, each company.
Unless you post your resume on job boards, which isn’t a great idea, only the people you send it to will see your resume. Not so with your LinkedIn profile. It’s there for the whole world to see.
3 Other Reasons a LinkedIn Profile Alone Won’t Do . . . You Still Need an Executive Resume
There may be certain sensitive information about your current and previous employers that you can’t put online, but you CAN put in the resume you’ll privately send to select people.
During the interview process, you should bring several hard copies of your resume (along with other relevant job search materials) to pass out to everyone involved. Many people find it easier to review a document on paper than on a screen.
Resume Database/Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Human resources, at each target company, and executive recruiters will probably request a copy of your resume for their database or ATS. You’ll need a separate, barely formatted ATS-friendly version of your resume for this purpose.
An Old-Fashioned Resume Strategy To Consider Using
The little-used strategy these days 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.
Try snail mailing your resume and customized cover letter, sending it flat, unfolded in a 9 x 12 envelope. The larger envelope will be noticed more than standard #10 envelopes, and probably will be opened first.
So don’t give up on a paper and digital resume yet . . . or maybe ever.
The Key, As Always, For an Interview-Generating Executive Resume, Is To:
- Immediately capture attention above the fold.
- Match your promise of value with the current needs of your target employers.
- Demonstrate your good-fit qualities and strengths through clear examples of past contributions, using storytelling with value-driven metrics.
- Generate chemistry with personal branding.
- Pull it all together, and write an irresistible executive resume.