Not a month goes by when someone fails to issue one of the following predictions:

1) The resume is dead!
2) Who reads resumes anymore?
3) Resumes have been replaced by a) networking; b) online branding; c) web portfolios; d) something else – maybe your LinkedIn profile?

The interesting thing about these so-called forecasts (usually via Twitter) is that they are always followed by a recruiter or HR manager who immediately refutes these assumptions by telling the world that yes, resumes ARE still a major part of the hiring game.

And, they add, there is no standardized replacement that “everyone” reads in lieu of a resume.

Even though resumes have evolved significantly from a mere chronology of your past, and managing your online identity IS critical to landing the job you want… resumes are consistently relied upon by the following groups:

  • Recruiters, who don’t relish the task of manually entering your employment data into their database, and therefore prefer scanning in your resume
  • Interviewers, who need your chronology in front of them in order to make sense of it when they assess your qualifications–and who really prefer talking to you in person instead of staring at you on Skype
  • Networking contacts, who would be quite lost if you handed them only a business card with your LinkedIn profile URL–because now they have the extra step of looking it up and then emailing it to a contact (who will then want your resume, of course)
  • Hiring authorities, who may have just learned about you and want to “get your resume” into their hands–and will then circulate your resume (paper or electronic) around their office as proof of your fitness for the job they’re about to post

Don’t mistake the place of your resume in your quest: it won’t network for you, it won’t call employers on your behalf, and it won’t magically land in the lap of an interested party without your facilitation.

However, it’s also not going away anytime soon! You WILL be asked (and hopefully frequently) for a branded, value-specific resume that aligns with your career level and goals during a job search.