The Paper Resume: A Dying Medium or Still Relevant?

Why hasn’t LinkedIn completely replaced the traditional paper resume?

This is an excellent question. It’s also one that was asked recently on Quora. Out of the four responses it received, the first and last ones provided the most satisfying answer, in my humble opinion, to the deep-thinker, who initiated the debate.

Those replies (by Jim Plunkett and Gayle McDowell respectively) both touched on the main obstacle in LinkedIn‘s path — a lack of motivation fuelled by either a resistance to change, or a fear of the unknown, by the employer and their potential recruits.

Numerous articles have been written, throughout the past decade, offering helpful-tips on landing the “perfect” job. The most popular being to access the “hidden” job market. Creative job-hunters work smarter, instead of harder. They harness the power of their private network (acquaintances, friends, family and co-workers) to discover unadvertised job openings in their city. That being said, it is not an easy skill to master, and it can be difficult-to-near-impossible for some people to do.

Thanks to the explosion of social networking sites, job-seekers don’t have to master this skill — potential employers will seek them out instead. And it’s all facilitated via the ingeniousness of a LinkedIn profile. Users create a well-organized and detailed, electronic portfolio of their educational achievements, current and past work history, and can include an extensive compilation of their transferable skills (a section that has space-limitations on a traditional resume).

The benefit to employers is just as great. They have access to literally thousands of qualified new hires. Why spend money advertising a vacancy, when you have such easy access to head-hunt the cream-of-the-crop? LinkedIn‘s database is simple to search through, and user profiles come complete with handy skill endorsements and letters of recommendation. This allows employers to save money and increase efficiency, since their HR departments no longer need to sort through piles of applications to find the best candidates.

In this debate, the appropriate question is not about why LinkedIn hasn’t replaced the need for a paper resume. As far as most job-seekers are concerned, they already have. 

The true question we must ask is, why are today’s companies wasting their resources, on an outdated recruitment model?

Do you agree, or disagree? Get on your soapbox Share your opinion in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Join the Conversation!