Traditional resumes still reign supreme

Posted June 12, 2012, by Molly Wiltshire-Bridle

We may be living in a digital age, but leading HR professionals still rank the traditional resume as the most effective recruitment tool, according to new research from specialist employment firm, Robert Half International.

A survey of 200 top-tier HR representatives revealed that despite the growing popularity of social media platforms such as LinkedIn, the majority of employers still consider them a secondary means for assessing candidates’ suitability.

Whilst a third of respondents admit to utilising social media during the recruitment process, 38 per cent predict it is unlikely to supplant the conventional resume, with a further 23 per cent ruling out the notion entirely.

Andrew Brushfield, Director of Robert Half, explains that this is in part due to the tendency for digital modes of communication to limit the capacity for detail.

‘CVs provide job seekers with the opportunity to include a more relevant and specific outline of why they are best suited to a particular position, or tailor their CV for a specific opportunity’, says Brushfield.

Though the old faithful three-page document maintains its position at the forefront of recruitment, it has also never been more critical for job seekers to keep abreast of the evolving digital landscape.

‘The growth of social media has increased the number of channels at an employer’s disposal, and therefore job seekers need to make sure that they are presenting a professional profile across the board – both online and offline’, says Brushfield.

With research indicating that close to a third of HR professionals are using social media to source talent, projecting a strong online presence could prove to be the competitive edge.

A digital resume is an opportunity to supplement your paper credentials – to receive employer or colleague endorsements, expand your networks and remain informed of new employment prospects. But this enhanced exposure does come at a price.

‘You never know who is looking you up online, which makes it extremely important for job seekers, as well as those currently employed, to pay attention to their online footprint’, says Brushfield.

In the same way that presenting a succinct snapshot of your key strengths, skills and experience is paramount to a successful resume, contenders within the online arena need to ensure that they are putting their best foot forward.

‘From “liking” a certain brand on Facebook or complaining about an organisation that has provided bad customer service; to offering an interesting point of view to industry discussions occurring online; candidates need to consider how their behaviours online may positively or negatively impact a potential employer’s impression of them’, says Brushfield.

Ultimately, as Brushfield asserts, job seekers should endeavour to strike a dynamic balance between their digital profile and traditional job application.

‘Candidates need to be looking at their profiles both online and offline if they want to secure the best positions’.

Molly Wiltshire-Bridle

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