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No Resume Is Not an OptionFact: Anyone who says the resume is dead has another thing coming.

One of the elements of my profession that I really love is learning about people from their resumes. As a recruiter, it provides me with vital information, and I’m always surprised how often people overlook the importance of it.

I often get push back from candidates saying, “I don’t have a resume — I have always gotten jobs from referrals!” It is great to network for a job, but you still need a paper trail, and in the recruiting world that paper trail is a resume.

It is not enough to go by word of mouth for a candidate, i.e. “I am recommending Johnny for XYZ position, because he was awesome when I worked with him!” Nope. That does not hold water.

I need to know the names of the companies you worked for and the dates of your employment. I need to see your career progression. I need to know your responsibilities at each role. I need to research the companies you worked for and who we may know in common. By not providing me with your resume, you may think you are beating the system, but you are actually creating more work on the back end.

But what about LinkedIn?

To be clear, your LinkedIn profile is not a resume. I will repeat this again for clarity: Your LinkedIn profile is NOT a resume.

LinkedIn profiles provide rough dates and do not account for gaps in employment, nor are they a formal representation of your skill set. You are not doing yourself any favors by relying on your LinkedIn profile. A resume shows thought and attention to detail, whereas LinkedIn shows me you are in a rush and do not have the time to dedicate to the interview process.

Even if you are unsure about the role you are interviewing for, do not burn bridges with cursory efforts. Commit to presenting yourself well or do not bother at all.

With the advent of online professional profiles like Stack Overflow and LinkedIn, among others, people seem to have inferred that your online profile is satisfactory, but I beg you to rethink this. Using your profile may be the easy way to apply for jobs, but a well-thought-out, and well-edited resume speaks volumes about your attention to detail and professionalism.

Alive and Kicking

The resume is not dead, my friends. I still read every one that come across my desk. I formulate questions based on the candidate’s background they’ve provided, and I make a note of their resume writing skills.

So before you tell the next company/hiring manager/recruiter you speak to that you don’t have a resume, you may want to spend some time dusting yours off and putting in some effort!

Do you agree or do you think the resume is on the verge of being outdated?



Lindsey Gurian is a Senior Talent Specialist responsible for recruiting initiatives at both the firm and
its portfolio companies. Connect with her on Twitter @lindseygurian.

  • CliffElam

    Hmm, good article, this was very timely for me…. I have gotten 100% of my jobs since forever from referrals. My resume was always post-hoc for the benefit of HR during the interview process or as part of my role as consultant. So my resume had a mixture of product and consulting-speak in it. Yuck.

    When I left my last company I wanted to take some time to ponder my next career move so I got some consulting gigs to keep the kids from whinging about lack of food and shoes and all that and actually brought my resume up to date with a fair amount of detail and attention. (And lots of help from other people!)

    Then I updated LinkedIn so it was a fair copy of my resume.

    Honestly, last time I made a change I made it on LinkedIn first and on my resume second, but that was just because it was where I was when I noticed an opportunity to add clarity.

    Maybe a “generate resume” button on LinkedIn?


    • Lindsey Gurian

      Thanks for the comment. I agree, that you need to keep your LinkedIn up to date because that is most likely where people will look for you, but definitely keep your resume up to date as well.

      Sometimes LinkedIn profiles are not accurate in terms of exact dates- nor do they always read well.

      It is best to have both a resume and a solid LinkedIn profile in your arsenal!