By Lin Grensing-Pophal | Human Resource Executive Online


The Internet — along with the advent of social-media tools like LinkedIn — have markedly changed the recruitment landscape. But the resume remains prominent for the vast majority of HR professionals and recruiters, experts say.

Jeanne Meister pointed to the death of the resume in her July 23, 2012 piece for Forbes. “Forget the resume,” she said, “today, employers pay more attention to candidates’ web presence . . ..”

She’s not the first. This January, a Wall Street Journal article suggested that more companies were relying on social networks to source candidates, highlighting an example of a venture-capital firm that asked applicants for an investment-analyst position to send links representing their web presence.

While there’s no question the Internet and the advent of social media tools like LinkedIn have markedly changed the recruitment landscape, in reality, the role of the resume remains prominent for the vast majority of HR professionals and recruiters.

Matt Kerr is director of executive search and talent at BPI group, a global management and HR consulting firm based in Chicago. “Stating that traditional resumes are passe or outdated would require that something take their place,” says Kerr. “What exactly is that?” Social-media platforms are significantly important, he says, but adds: “Once a potential candidate is identified and contacted and a match and mutual interest is established, it’s highly likely a resume will be requested that lists accomplishments.”

Others agree.

“As someone who has been placing HR professionals for more than eight years,” says Jennifer Hoffman, a principal in Winter, Wyman’s Human Resources Search, based in Waltham, Mass., “it is my belief that having a well-crafted resume, drafted s a document to print or to share electronically is imperative for a job seeker’s success,” says Hoffman.

A resume, she says, “conveys several layers of information about an individual’s background as well as being equally important for a hiring manager in learning about an individual’s experience and comparing candidates side by side.”

“For the actual component of ‘hiring,’ you still need a resume 100 percent of the time,” says Revi Goldwasser, managing partner of Wall Street Personnel, a financial recruitment firm based in Boca Raton, Fla. “When we submit a resume to a client we need a resume — when the job seeker goes to an interview, we need a resume.”

What has changed, though, she says, is the source of how recruiters find job seekers. “It no longer comes from just a resume, but rather from their online profile. I find them versus them finding me,” she says.

Even in the technology realm, resumes remain relevant, according to Doug Luce, practice lead with Aaronsen Group, based in Seattle. Luce hires software developers and says: “Everyone still expects a resume to be part of the job-seeking transaction.” In fact, he says, he avoids doing online searches related to candidates for fear he might come across something that could serve as the basis of a discrimination claim. “I really worry that their online personal (information) isn’t going to tell me how they will do on the job,” he says.


And recent data seems to confirm the preferences of recruiters and HR professionals., a pre-employment testing and screening software firm located in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., recently conducted a survey of companies across the U.S. and found that 77 percent said they always use resumes, while 19 percent said they sometimes use resumes and only 4 percent indicated they never use resumes

Still, there are some signs that changes may be afoot.

Tom Thomson, a recruiter with Sanford Rose Associates, based in the Nashville area, says he has presented a few candidates to employers without resumes.

Instead of a resume, he says, he has used their LinkedIn profiles. But, he adds: “I prefer to have a resume, primarily to see what jobs the person has held and what they accomplished in those jobs. We don’t need all the fluff that goes with many resumes, like their career objective or personal information. A complete LinkedIn profile is as good or better than a resume.”

Others have eschewed resumes entirely.

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