Trends come and go; what was once cool is relegated to the uncool category; demand falls, interest wanes and new trends are born. Sometimes, if an item is lucky it may come into fashion again. Remember Furbys? Those annoying little furry toys that were such a hot item around the holidays several years ago? Well, they’re back! However, I digress; my point is that everything that goes up must come down, right?
Take a look at our old friend the paper resume. Remember when resumes were painstakingly typed on a typewriter and the agony that was incurred when you hit the wrong key? The story was that your typewritten resume would be held up to the light where any corrected mistakes would become clearly visible.
The word processor revolutionized the resume. It was with great ease that you could type it, correct it, and best of all – save it for the next time you needed it. There were endless choices of resume paper and coordinating envelopes. The quality, the thickness, the watermark, the frustration of trying to print the envelope (wait, was that just me?). I’m going to guess that paper manufacturers have seen a decline in paper products that are geared towards job seekers as the need for a paper resume has declined significantly.
With technology at our fingertips electronic resumes have seen a major increase in usage as more and more companies turn to online application processes to search out qualified candidates. Not only can job seekers quickly find out about job openings, they can just as quickly submit a resume, and receive confirmation that their application has been received. This can all be done in a matter of minutes. Technology has allowed job seekers to conduct a more efficient job search. They can apply to multiple jobs in the time it would have taken to drive to the post office and mail a paper resume.
So, is the paper resume in danger of becoming extinct? I would say it is on the endangered list but still has hope of sticking around for quite some time. Not all companies have the capacity to conduct online candidate searches; many still require a resume to be mailed in for open positions. And even if you are brought in for an interview based on the electronic resume you submitted, it is still a fantastic idea to bring a printed version with you to distribute.
While the printed resume is not dead yet, a job seeker cannot expect to rely solely on a paper version to find success in the job search. It is important to take advantage of technology, social media, and promotion of your personal brand. It is a combination of all of these things that will give you the best chance of landing your next job.
by Megan Koehler