Posted by Renee Schmidt

Once upon a time paper resumes were submitted when applying for a job. With Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr, you don’t need old-fashioned resumes any more.

Are Paper Resumes Obsolete?

Remember the days when submitting a resume or two seemed like the proper way to apply for a job? Some people say that those days are over. Today companies do recruiting via Linkedin and there are reports that even Facebook may soon be an online-employment broker.

On NASDAQ it was reported that Facebook had plans to launch its job boards along with partnering companies. That would mean your digital repute will depend heavily on your Facebook page; meaning it may be time to take down those kissing photos and give that good ol’ Facebook page a fresh scrub down. Alternatively, many people may delete and/or create a new page entirely; something new and professional.

Could Facebook or LinkedIn job boards kill the “old fashioned” paper resume? We don’t know. All indications, however, seem to tell us that paper resumes may soon become passe. It’s happening already on LinkedIn (you’ll notice on the right sidebar, you’re often “invited” to apply for certain jobs based on criteria in your profile). This is data mining at its best.

A CNN article reported on Gretchen Gunn, a principal at MGD Services, a staffing firm in Stockton, New Jersey, who said that at job fairs these days, no one comes up to her with a paper resume. If they do, she simply asks for an email.  She does admit that years ago her fax machine was always busy, but today even the fax machine is out of use. Another example is Rachael King, a community worker in San Francisco who used Pinterest to display images of her speaking engagements, links to news articles and things she had done in her career. She calls her page her “Living Resume.”

While a living resume is a sweet idea, your digital repute isn’t just about the information your share with prospective employers voluntarily. Many employers search for your YouTube channel to see how you express yourself and check on what your ideas really are. Other companies in the marketing space will review the Twitter and Facebook profiles of a prospect to assess if they’re qualified (based on their social media prowess and how well it influences people). Half the interview is done before a prospect walks in the door and there are no paper resume involved whatsoever.

Union Square Ventures, a New York venture-capitalist company that invests in startups hired two analysts a month ago – not based on their resume – but rather their “web presence”. This means that your web/digital reputation does matter. So if you have no intention of cleaning up your digital ‘act’ then make sure your privacy settings limit what the general public can see. But don’t stop there –since you don’t know if a hiring manager is a friend of a friend, you’d better limit your profile so even friends of friends can’t see what’s on your page (think six-degrees of separation).

I can’t predict the future, but if Facebook develops its own job board, paper resumes may certainly become obsolete. But either way, they’ll be replaced with a digital alternative; so what will always matter are your skills, your education and your previous work experience –the basics, which really do not change.

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