Why We Should All Knock the Resumé Off Its Pedestal

This post was brought to you by Jobpostings.ca, Canada’s largest student job network helping aspiring professionals launch their first careers.

It’s January and, amongst the slew of unbroken resolutions, you’re ditching 2015 and calling 2016 your year to find new work.

But before you start rummaging through your documents folder searching for the resumé you haven’t touched in months, we have some advice worth mentioning: resumés just aren’t that important anymore.

Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur, author, and public speaker, said it best in his YouTube series #AskGaryVee: “The 2016 resumé is networking.”

As much as we may cringe at hearing the word after the countless times it’s been written in articles and advised by friends and colleagues, Gary’s insights are true­ – just as anyone else with pro-networking beliefs.

Now, most employers will still request applicants to send along a resumé. While it’s not completely irrelevant in the modern day job search, resumés just aren’t as top-of-mind as they used to be. Today, the way we look for and apply to jobs is changing, so it’s about time we knock resumés off the pedestal it’s been placed on for decades.

The Social Media World is Your Oyster
We’ve learned over the past decade that social media is a great tool to stay connected, piggyback followers through everyday adventures, and share emotions. As the HR world continues to spill into the online realm, more employers will be present and available, recruiting top talent directly from their social channels.

And as the tech savvy generation, it’s important to use social media to your advantage. Today, being professionally present online extends past a LinkedIn page – you can reach employers through Twitter, a blog, a niche portfolio website, or a site of your own.

Don’t just follow top companies, promote your name online by introducing yourself to X-amount of hiring managers or influencers on Twitter or LinkedIn. For those who answer (and they will, trust us), set up a coffee meeting to learn more about the company, what they do, and find out how you’ll fit in. Remember, your application will be amongst hundreds of others – all qualified – so establishing an initial connection is a far more effective practice than simply submitting a cover letter and resumé.

Land the Job Before the Offer
Your job search strategy for 2016 is simple: leverage. Today, your ticket to a job offer depends on how you set yourself apart from the competition, and not how you’re described on paper. What are you doing differently from the next candidate?

Your competition likely has a similar skillset to yours – they’re applying to the same job, after all. There’s only so much to be shared on a single piece of paper, so don’t let your resumé do all the talking. Give hiring managers a reason to pick you over another applicant.

Volunteer in the community, schmooze with employers through career fairs or industry mixers, and add your website and social media handles to your application. Hiring managers are looking for character in their candidates, so show you have hobbies and passions outside of your nine-to-five. Your goal is to find a way to establish yourself as a familiar name to employers before they even invite you for an interview. In other words: be hired before you even show up.

So, out with the old, in with the new. It’s about time we end the reign of the resumé.