Resumes Are Not Dead

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medical background with a heart beat pulseIt might be tempting to listen to those who insist that resumes are dead. But here’s the thing—they’re not. Rather, expectations for them have changed. Instead of burying your resume, you need to revive it.

Resumes are not dead. Not even close. And any job seeker who treats them as such is making a big mistake.

Looking through our stats at ZipRecruiter, I can tell you that recruiters and employers are viewing hundreds of thousands of resumes per month. That’s on our site alone. Some of the resume views come via submitted applications, while others are from recruiters actively seeking out candidates in our resume database.

These numbers indicate that recruiters are far from giving up on resumes. As such, job seekers need to follow suit.

Now, let’s move on to a big reason why your resume might not have been successful to date.

As recruiting, talent acquisition, and HR have become more and more specialized, the expectations for resumes have raised exponentially. The problem is that job seekers have not kept up with the expectations.

Take the popular study from last year that shows that the average resume is viewed for just six seconds. In part, people speculate that is due to the sheer number of resumes submitted for each job opening. But it’s equally as true that recruiters simply don’t need more time than this to decide whether a resume has “it” or not. Most resumes don’t, but job seekers don’t realize that.

So what can you, the job seeker, do? For starters, you need to take the time to really educate yourself about what recruiters are looking for. Do you know how to tailor your resume for each position you apply to? Can you identify the keywords so you make it through an ATS? And what about formatting your resume for digital submission? Or how to incorporate strong action verbs?

For some, learning the above information (and more) will mean self-teaching. Just be careful of what advice you follow. The Internet is filled with dated (and just plain bad) job search advice. If you’re truly overwhelmed, then you might want to consult a professional resume writer or someone in your network who is a seasoned recruiter or HR specialist.

While it’s unfortunate that seemingly trivial things can ruin your chances of being noticed, it’s also a fact of life. The resume game has changed and job seekers need to learn how to play it.

By Rachel Dotson