Are Paper Resumes Becoming Extinct?

The first time a prospective employer views your resume, it will be on a computer screen. Doesn’t it make sense to leverage technology in ways that help you cut through the clutter and more creatively showcase your skills? Why not start thinking about how you can create an electronic portfolio of your credentials…one that people can interact with electronically?

As a starting point, there are some relatively simple things you can include to make your resume more interactive and engaging:

  • Links to the websites of employers
  • Links to your LinkedIn page, blog, articles you’ve authored, conference presentations…… anything online that enhances your professional brand
  • More use of color and simple graphics to creatively present your skills and accomplishments.

Furthermore, charts, graphs, photos, and even case studies can be powerful attention-getters—you can include them as attachments or better yet, post them to your blog or personal website with links from your resume so people can easily view them.

Don’t forget that LinkedIn is a powerful branding tool, so make sure you have plenty of references for people to view. Instead of ending your resume with the vague “Resumes Available Upon Request”, close with “LinkedIn references available at:” followed by a link to your LinkedIn page. Alternatively, see if you can find a way to weave LinkedIn references into your resume.

In some situations, you might want to consider more advanced uses of technology. For example, some people are making their resumes more visually interesting through the use of infographics. Examples can be viewed at: www.pinterest.com/rtkrum/infographic-visual-resumes/.

Video also seems to be getting a lot of press these days. Some candidates are adding pre-recorded video content to their credential package. Sites like BriteTab.com, OptimalResume.com, InterviewStudio.com, and ResumeBook.tv allow job seekers to build and publish video resumes. You may also want to consider creating 1 minute personalized video messages at http://why57.com/. Remember that you can include links on your resume that will connect the reader to content anywhere on the internet, even videos on YouTube.

There’s more about going beyond the boundaries of traditional resumes in my post on May 16, 2013 on Professional Portfolios. My blog contains other resume and career advice, as well as examples of what I consider to be outstanding resume formats. Don’t do away with the paper version entirely–many interviewers will want that hard copy when they talk with you face-to-face.

If you want to stand-out from the crowd, you’ll want to present yourself as more than a series of jobs listed on a piece of paper. Smart use of technology makes it possible for you to create a more comprehensive and compelling portfolio of your credentials. Take advantage of those tools and put a new shine on your old resume!

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