By Shawn McGowan, JobsInME.com
Do you remember buying that expensive all-cotton resume paper to print out your new, precisely formatted masterpiece of a resume? How about that nice bundle of manila envelopes and a book of stamps to go with that pricey ream? And then mailing them all out to every company in the local yellow pages? In the age of the internet, it's hard to imagine that this was the norm not long ago.
Today's Application Process
Today, resumes are funneled via company career pages, online job sites and resume databases directly to recruiter email inboxes and then accessed on a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. Paper resumes have become cumbersome compared to a digital file. Even at job fairs, where paper resumes still saw heavy use up until recently, businesses now typically refer job seekers to their online applications or offer them a computer workstation at their booth, so seekers can fill one out right there.
You Need Multiple Digital Resumes
It's now common practice for most open business positions to offer one mode of applying: online. Why are they going digital, you ask? Most digital resumes and applications are archived with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), where recruiters can look for and find new hires as easily as a Google search. So, why wouldn't a company that uses this time-saving technology require you to submit your information digitally? (Learn about Applicant Tracking Systems and resume keywords.)
That online application may or may not have an option to paste or attach your unformatted-text resume. For this reason, it's good to always have your resume available in several digital formats to submit to companies as they require.
Recruiting with Social Media
According to a recent survey [PDF], 98 percent of recruiting agency professionals responding used social media for recruiting. And some employers have begun to source all of their recruiting through platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn.
Considering all of the above, it's easy to say that the end of the paper resume is near - or already happened, but this isn't entirely true. My suggestions are as follows:
- Pass on the fancy paper, but bring a simple printout of your resume to your in-person interviews
- Have a nice business card made up with your email address, LinkedIn info, and maybe even a QR code linking to a web address of your choice
- Consider using a QR code on your business card
- Keep your online presence well-managed and your LinkedIn profile up to date
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As a Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Shawn McGowan's passion for brand transparency and over 10 years of sales/customer service experience make him aptly suited for the job. A native of East Millinocket, Maine, Shawn grew up at the foot of Mount Katahdin and graduated from the University of Maine Presque Isle with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). When not writing, editing or immersing himself in the world of social media, he can be found enjoying the outdoors, art, music, tech, humor, Portland's amazing food scene, and all things nerdy. You can reach Shawn at smcgowan (at) JobsInME.com and Twitter.com/shonymac.