I’ve heard a few – just a few – people say you’re better off spending your time creating a great online presence rather than putting together a strong resume. They’re wrong. There’s no doubt that Web and networking sites have changed the job hunting process, but they haven’t yet killed the resume.
Reality: Your online information invites interest and augments your resume.
Recruiters and managers still screen candidates by reviewing resumes, because it’s more convenient, the information is current and (hopefully) customized. Your online profile’s job is to grab their attention and get them to ask for more information, says Mark Langlie, an independent recruiter based in Silicon Valley.
A lot of any recruiters confirm or supplement resume information by reviewing your website or glancing at your profile and recommendations on networking sites. So you need both a strong online presence and a strong resume, and remember to coordinate your information.
Rumor: Recruiters will accept an online profile in lieu of a resume.
In a pinch, corporate recruiters may accept a profile if you’re a passive candidate with hard-to-find skills, because they generally require prospects to complete an application and attest to the information. And a profile or project summary may suffice for highly experienced contractors, though third-party recruiters still require a resume.
Rumor: Recruiters only source candidates on professional networking sites.
Reality: Recruiters consider active job seekers and referred candidates first.
The bottom line is that recruiters don’t have time to cold call a plethora of passive professionals to fill an open requisition. In fact, some companies prohibit recruiters from reviewing online information and photos due to legal concerns. If posting the job and searching databases doesn’t do the trick, then recruiters may scour the Internet and view online profiles to find a suitable slate of contenders. So to be most effective, you need to post your resume and create an online profile.
Rumor: A profile is superior to a resume.
Reality: Profiles and template resumes look alike.
“There’s no doubt that resumes are starting to resemble an online profile, so the Internet is definitely having an impact,” observes Mike Peck, senior manager of IT recruiting for Echo Global Logistics, based in Chicago. “While the profile’s simplified format accelerates the screening process, the candidates all look the same.” Peck recently confirmed that when he screened 30 resumes for a QA analyst position without identifying a clear leader. Also, recruiters often shun cookie-cutter resumes that have obviously been converted from a profile. Whether it’s a Word document or a PDF, nothing sells a candidate like a unique resume. Like it or not, that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
“The profile provides basic, superficial information about a candidate,” says Peck. “As of today, candidates still need a distinctive, customized resume.”