Are Resumes Going the Way of the Dinosaur?

Back in the day, we all believed our resume served as the main window to who we were. It was how potential employers learned about our experience and skills and we spent a considerable amount of time agonizing over it. What to put in it? What to leave out it? How much detail to go into?

According to HR experts, these days investing so much time in the traditional resume may not be the way to go. Citing a recent Society of Human Resource Managers survey showing 53% of resumes and job applications contain falsifications and 70% of college students admit they would lie on a resume to get a job, they believe the traditional resume is quickly being upstaged by newer and more interactive ways of finding out about prospective employees.

And yes, we mean social media and the web. Here’s why –

  • Hiring managers are looking not so much for the skills they need you to have but the character and personality traits necessary to make a good “fit” in their department. Time and again, RT managers have emphasized that they can teach skills, but they can’t teach work ethic or character. A resume isn’t going to tell them much about those things, and while they’ll attempt to learn about them in the interview, interviewees are generally on their best behavior so they might not get a clear picture of what working with the individual will really be like.

    So they’re turning to social media to get the answers. They’re looking you up on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sites to see what kinds of things you post about, what kinds of comments you make on the posts of others, what kinds of photos you share, etc. They can learn more about the real you in ten minutes of perusing your Facebook page than they ever could from your resume or even a formal interview.
  • These hiring managers are Googling you to see what turns up too. A search that includes the article on RSV you published in your school newsletter, or a DRIVE4COPD event you helped to organize, or your participation on an AARC state society committee identifies you as someone who is truly engaged in your profession. Conversely, a page indicating your rather over-enthusiastic involvement in the annual pub crawl at your fraternity or your blog on why senior RT students shouldn’t be required to do community service will convince them to click off and start another search on another potential candidate.
  • What if what they find out about you online is a big nothing? That can come back to hurt you too, because it makes you look as if you haven’t kept up with the times and won’t be able to work collaboratively with those who have. Since more than 75% of the workforce will be comprised of the millennial generation by the end of this decade, it isn’t hard to see that anyone without a social media presence is going to be the odd man out.

So, while your resume is still an important component of your job search, it’s not the only resource potential employers will use to find out if you are right for their department. These days if you want to get the job, you need to create a presence for yourself on social media and the web and use that presence to reaffirm your commitment to respiratory care and the patients it serves.