Resumes the Way of the Dinosaur? Not in this Century!

DinosaurI recently read a blog post that suggested resumes may soon be a relic of the past. In the Forbes post, 2013: The Year of Social HR, the author points to trends indicating your Internet presence will be more important than your resume. The article states that “before you’re interviewed by a potential employer, expect the recruiting manager or hiring manager to check out one or more of the following sources about you: 1) the top ten searches on your name on either Google or Bing, 2) the number of Twitter followers you have and last time you tweeted, 3) the size and quality of your LinkedIn community, 4) the number and quality of recommendations you have on LinkedIn and 5) your Klout score.”

This begs the question of how you received the interest of the potential employer in the first place. Might it have been a resume? I certainly agree that a LinkedIn profile and online Web Portfolio can complement the traditional resume, but you’ll still need to tell a compelling story about your experience and expertise in the content of those online tools, especially at the executive and upper professional levels. How many executives are spending hours on social media, generating a following through entertaining tweets. And if they are, would your really want them running your operations?

I can see a strong social media presence being important for someone in marketing or advertising, but don’t you want your executives to be spending their time contributing to bottom line growth, running the company or their division? Even if you’re fresh out of college and just starting your career, do you really believe a 140 character tweet will get you in front of a hiring manager? And whether social media will completely replace traditional marketing as far as yielding ROI is not even up for debate at this point, it doesn’t and probably never will. Social media is just another arrow in the quiver of marketing managers.

Remember in the mid to late 90’s when there were dire predictions of Apple’s demise? The last time I checked, it remains an industry leading, technology powerhouse and has not gone the way of the dinosaurs. So too will resumes, in some form or another (LinkedIn, Web Portfolio’s, Online Resumes), always be with us. There’s no better way to share you skills and expertise.


LinkedIn: New One-Click Skills Endorsements

LinkedIn recently introduced a new feature on its site, one-click skills and expertise endorsements. Now you can go to a friend or colleague’s profile find the skills and expertise area and click on a listed skill (or even add some skills or other areas of expertise that aren’t yet listed). This new feature makes it very easy to endorse your connection on LinkedIn. Think of it as LinkedIn’s version of a Facebook “Like”.

This is very different from a recommendation on LinkedIn. A recommendation requires that your connection actually sit down and take the time and energy to write a thoughtful and articulate testimonial regarding your work and performance. For a recruiter or decision-maker reviewing a job candidate’s profile, the recommendations can give additional insight into a prospective candidate’s background.

The ease of the one-click skills endorsement begs the question of how much weight someone reading the profile will give to these “likes” on LinkedIn. To me, gathering these endorsements is reminiscent of Valentine’s Day back in elementary school. Do you remember (I know, for some of us this goes back a little ways) running home with your little cardboard box filled with Valentine’s and counting and comparing with your friends how many Valentine’s you’d received. Most with “Roses are red, violets are blue . . .” not exactly the quality love notes we come to expect as adults from a single special admirer.

Which brings me to my point, quantity versus quality. Are we just becoming a one-click “Like” world and moving away from quality assessments that actually add value and insight into a person’s background and capabilities. I’d love to hear from recruiters and HR professionals on their feelings regarding the new one-click endorsements and how much they will impact their decisions in contacting potential candidates.


An App To Help You Ace Your Job Interview?

Application For InterviewWe’re humans who are always looking for ways to make our lives easier and more productive. These days that means apps (unless your spending your time on Angry Birds, then your productivity definitely comes into question).

There are apps for everything and job searching is no exception. The latest app I’ve run across that’s designed to help you in landing your next position is InterviewPrep. It’s free and that’s always a bonus. It’s designed to work like a flip card (remember index cards?), with an interview question on one side and guidance on the proper approach to answering the question on the other.

Overall, the questions are good ones that are often asked in interviews and the suggested response strategies are also insightful. However, to appeal to the masses, the app deals in vague generalities. While helpful in preparing for an interview, the app doesn’t and can’t give you feedback on several things.

For instance, it can’t give you feedback on the way you specifically are answering questions and whether your answers are raising red flags for the interviewer. The app also can’t help you deal with unique problems or liabilities you might have in your background and how to address them.

While I think the app is a great primer, especially for those of you just starting out your careers, nothing replaces the insight and advice of an experienced career coach who can listen to your answers and then instruct you on how to make them better and more polished.

I’ve worked with hundreds of executives and professionals, many of whom think they are great at interviewing because they’ve conducted so many interviews themselves. But, there’s a big difference being on the other side of the table. After leading some role-playing with even the most seasoned executives and professionals, there’s always been room for improvement (in some cases, a lot of room).

So don’t worry if you haven’t downloaded the latest app, sometimes nothing beats some good old fashioned coaching. In other words, on your next job interview you won’t be hapless if you’re app-less, that is if you engage the services of a professional, because there will always be some things that require the human touch.