Although the exact origin of the resume is unknown, Leonardo da Vinci is credited with penning the first professional one all the way back in 1482. The prestigious Italian artist used a handwritten letter of introduction to list his skills and experience in an effort to gain favor from the Duke of Milan to further his professional endeavors. Although resumes have survived for the past 500+ years, and have continued to evolve, their fate is still to be determined as the movement toward digital profiles expands.

Are They Already Extinct?

Some believe that the resume is already “dead” by virtue of the fact that they don’t accurately reflect a candidate’s fit, personality or communication style. Now, more employers are emphasizing a job seeker’s potential fit in their organization over their specific skill set, and traditional resumes don’t portray that. But even those who see the resume as already “dead” understand that resumes will continue to play at least a limited role in the hiring process, since most recruiters, hiring managers, and HR departments still rely on them to get to know the candidate. If nothing else, they can be used by hiring managers to craft better questions and optimize the time that they spend during their interviews.

Resume Alternatives

From LinkedIn profiles to PowerPoint presentations, a growing number of job seekers are focusing their effort on creating a professional digital presence to get the attention of employers who conduct online searches. A web profile is another way for job seekers to communicate their personalities and interests better than a traditional resume which typically only showcases work related skills. Recruiters and hiring managers access these profiles for a glimpse into the personalities of candidates to determine if they will be the right fit.

The handwritten technique that was used centuries ago appears to be fading as job seekers move toward utilizing more visually appealing alternatives to describe their roles, responsibilities, and previous employers. Yet, resumes are still an effective tool that can be used to shortlist candidates who are being considered for a role.

Although most recruiters agree that resumes can be inaccurate and misleading, the overall consensus seems to be that they will continue to be used in the foreseeable future as screening tools to gauge basic qualifications. Another important consideration is the fact that most employers already have systems in place that evaluate traditional resumes very efficiently. Replacing those systems would be costly and time consuming, so don’t expect the resume to die anytime soon.

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