Do You Still Need a Traditional Resume or is an Online Profile Enough?

September 5, 2015

iStock_000013846060XSmallThere is no denying that the digital age is upon us. Technology has integrated its way into more and more aspects of our lives. It used to be that job openings were listed in the newspaper. Column after column of them for different industries. Now newspapers have relatively small job sections if they’re listed at all. Employers are turning to online job boards, company websites, social media, and more to spread the word and attract job seekers.


This has also led job seekers to become more technology oriented. Websites like LinkedIn allow them to create digital profiles that are much like a resume. Some people design personal websites and portfolios where they upload their information so that it can be more easily searched and accessed. They can include all kinds of extras to make themselves look more appealing.


With such a shift to the digital world, are traditional resumes out of date?


While maybe not as popular as they once were, they do still hold weight. Many employers still ask for candidates to submit a resume, either via email or online. Although applicants may fill out an extensive online application, there is usually still a spot for attaching their resume as a Word file or PDF. And it’s a good idea to do so.



  • Your resume is a polished snapshot of who you are. You control how it looks and what information you provide. Online applications are generally much more in depth and may return information to employers in choppy, segmented sections. By having a copy of your resume in hand, it presents a clearer, more streamlined impression.
  • Its purpose is not to land you the job, but rather an interview. Some people argue for online resumes and portfolios because they can be more elaborate and interactive. While this is true, remember that your resume is intended to get you an interview, not necessarily a job offer – at least not just yet. You don’t want to overwhelm employers and inundate them with information. You want a clean document highlighting your key accomplishments, achievements, and strengths so that employers want to find out more. In an interview you can captivate them with more details and explanation.
  • Your resume is transportable. Headed to a job fair? You can easily print out copies of your resume to bring along. Keep some in your bag at networking events in case the opportunity arises to share it with a potential employer. You could put a URL on a business card and hand those out, but there is a good chance it may get lost in the shuffle and an employer has to take extra steps to access your information. A hard copy puts it in front of their eyes right then and there.
  • Your resume is customizable. Online resumes tend to be more ‘one-size-fits-all’ because you never know who is looking at it. You can tailor a hard copy of your resume to different job openings to highlight your strongest assets that align with what employers are seeking. It allows you to make it more personalized.

Having an online presence is certainly important in today’s competitive job market, but don’t underestimate the power of a well-crafted resume.

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