Friday, September 25, 2009

The Resume Will Be Around For A Long Time

I think the employment resume is like Microsoft Windows, they'll both be around a long time because everyone else uses them, too. I don't know whether or not there is a better tool for communicating one's experience than having a strong resume, but I can tell you trying to get a job without a resume is like trying to paddle a kayak up the Los Angeles River (it's hard enough to paddle upstream, and it's even harder when the stream doesn't actually have water in it).

You need a resume to apply for jobs. Period. You also use a portfolio or a cover letter or a LinkedIn profile, but you must have a resume. If you've ever gotten a job without a resume, I can pretty much guarantee it was via referral AND you were lucky. Resumes are 99.99999% required, and if you don't have one you are either not looking for a job or you are naive.

Here's my proof...

  • Example #1: A woman applied to a customer service position without a resume. 561 other people also apply, all with resumes. She says she is good at customer service and follows direction well (along with 561 other applicants), but when I ask her to send a resume, she argues with me. She did not get far in the interview process.

  • Example #2: This guy sends me an email to apply for a job with a nice cover letter and no resume. I told him to send a resume. He'd forgotten to attach it to the email (happens to the best of us).

  • Example #3: A good friend of mine would be an excellent fit for a job. I know the hiring manager very well, he values my input as a recruiter. After I suggest that the hiring manager talk to my friend, he agrees to do so... and then asks my friend to send him a resume.


Resumes are important because they help the hiring manager or recruiter break the ice and start a conversation. You need something to talk about, and the resume really helps get that conversation off the ground.

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