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The Resume of the Future

11 Feb 2021 7:38 PM | Deleted user

The death of the resume has been a hot topic for the last few years. Most recently, in a CNN article, a Cisco executive claimed that the resume is now less than 10% of the hiring process. But what 10%? How critical is the resume?

Similarly, in the 2017 Job Seeker Nation report, Jobvite found that only 26% of recruiters consider a cover letter important to their hiring decision.

This data confuses job seekers ... do they need a resume or not? How can they maneuver without one when they network into a position or apply on LinkedIn and then are asked for their resume anyway during the hiring process?

When you dig deeper into the data, it appears that resumes are still a part of the majority of hiring processes. We dug into this data in a recent Resume Writing Academy Open Mastery Call and you can view the recording of the webinar and read the summary below.

Echoing a sentiments of Pete Radloff from a Recruiting Daily blog, the reports of the death of the resume have been greatly exaggerated.

That said, new recruiting technology is changing how the resume is used in the hiring process and causing the resume to evolve and other communications tools -- like social media profiles -- to be more prominent in the hiring process (even if they are not replacing the resume).

Social Media Hiring

Data from the 2016 Jobvite Recruiter Nation report is widely known today -- that more than 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn at some point during the hiring process (to source candidates, receive applications, or evaluate potential candidates). Data from CareerBuilder's 2017 study supports this, showing 70% of recruiters use social media to screen candidates.

But how prevalent is the use of LinkedIn as an application tool? Is a LinkedIn profile replacing the resume during the application process? LinkedIn's marketing materials state that a "hire is made every 10 seconds on LinkedIn." But they don't share if this is through LinkedIn's application feature or through networking. My anecdotal data from hiring managers indicates that most require LinkedIn applicants to also send a resume or upload one to their applicant tracking system (ATS).

Obstacles to Social Media Profiles Replacing Resumes

It is feasible that at some point in the future social media profiles will replace the resume. For that to happen, here are some of the hurdles that human resources will have to overcome.

Resumes are currently the currency for storing and scoring in ATS. Nearly half of companies (48%) have HR software that is more than 7 years old ... meaning they are not adapting to accept LinkedIn profile applications into their ATS for scoring and use throughout the hiring process.

HR policies and procedures are slow to adapt as well, and most companies consider the resume the formal document they keep on file to meet EEO and other requirements. A LinkedIn profile is messy and lengthy to print and can change at a whim!

Lastly, LinkedIn has a big hurdle to overcome in attracting users to the platform. Recruiters have lamented the limited access to passive job seekers on the platform for the past few years, and data shows that LinkedIn's average monthly users are dismal compared to other social media -- both in terms of general users and those who are in active job search

Hiring Technologies & The Resume of the Future

The most prevalent hiring technology used today -- the applicant tracking system (ATS) -- is currently keeping the resume alive and well. More than 95% of the Fortune 500 use applicant tracking systems, with 30% of this group choosing Taleo.

There are many misconceptions about resume formatting to pass through applicant tracking systems. Here are a few resources to help you keep up to date in sharing the correct information with clients and not create unnecessary ineffective formats.

Although artificial intelligence (AI) may upend the traditional resume in the future, the most common use of it today in recruiting is inside the ATS to improve scoring and selection of ... you guessed it ... resumes, or to rediscover resumes in the company's system to make sure candidates aren't missed.

AI may also be used to source and score candidates based on social media profiles (see profile augmentation) and as companies create and score hiring assessments or simulations that are being used in lieu of resumes by a few companies.

The technology that may have the most impact on candidates being able to control the narrative of their career and who gets to see that narrative is also the farthest out from implementation -- blockchain. This technology could allow candidates to take control of the visibility of all their social media profiles and background check information ... providing secure, reliable, validated data for hiring managers. Blockchain faces both practical and political hurdles as probably the most disruptive technology in the last few decades.


As professionals in the careers industry, it is important for us to stay on top of trends and know what is coming next for our clients. It is probable that the resume will look significantly different 5 years from today, but for now ... your clients still need a resume -- filled with accomplishments, designed for the human reader, and ready to go through an applicant tracking system.


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