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Do you still need a resume to find a job?

old abandoned resumes

In today’s job market, we often hear about people securing work in unconventional ways. Whether it’s using Instagram to showcase creativity, or networking with decision makers via LinkedIn, there are now many alternatives to the traditional paper resume format. Many question whether you still need a resume to find a job.

Yes, there are new ways to search for a job. But let’s not write off the well-crafted resume just yet.


One of main competitors to traditional resumes is the professional networking site LinkedIn. It gives you the option to present an elaborate online profile, providing a wealth of information and insights into your career. You can also upload slides and presentations.

Potential employers are now requesting a LinkedIn profile in lieu of a resume. However they are also going online to review and assess prospective candidates, so take care what you post online and protect your personal brand.

Graphic resumes

There are also the latest developments of graphic and hybrid resumes, social media campaigns and other personal marketing approaches. Infographics and online presentations are changing the way we conceptualise a resume. If you’re targeting particular career fields (e.g. creative industries), these types of resumes can be clever, creative and effective in getting interviews.

However planning and preparing these new concepts can take as long as writing a traditional resume. And beware – will they still seem unique and creative once employers have seen hundreds of them?

Still need a resume? Yes – but an evolving one

Despite speculation about its demise, paper resumes aren’t dead yet and are unlikely to go away any time soon. Although applicants rarely post resumes these day, paper CVs (in an electronic form) still have a role to play in finding a job.

Like many things, resumes are evolving. They used to be generic, all-purpose documents, laboriously and individually typed and then posted. Now, thanks to personal computers and cheaper printing, job-seekers can produce targeted resumes and cover letters tailored to each job advertisement.

Many organisations and recruitment firms use software programs to help with shortlisting candidates. These recruitment tools rely on traditional CVs to search for keywords to filter out unsuitable candidates.

Often potential employers, especially older individuals, prefer having a hard copy document to assess candidates. Even although you may email or submit it online, you can boost your chances of getting an interview if you also hand deliver or post it.

Key points (whatever you use)

But whether you choose to use a traditional paper CV, a modern alternative or a combination of both, you still need a resume that:

  • Uses an easy to understand format
  • Demonstrates your skills and abilities
  • Presents your experience and achievements clearly and logically
  • Avoids grammatical errors and other signs of inattention to detail
  • Uses keywords that can be searched for by scanning software or humans.

The resume is dead, long live the resume!