Why are resumes still such a central and critical component of the job search, even in an age of instant communication and information sharing? This is a common question among job seekers (though it’s not so common among hiring managers, who already know why resumes are valuable.) Here are ten simple answers.
1. Resumes are easy to complete and submit.
Job seekers can complete and polish a resume in a few days, if not hours. And since resume formats are universal, one resume can be used to apply for job after job. This makes the hiring process easier for both applicants and reviewers.
2. Resumes are easy to update.
Once a resume lands the candidate a job and is no longer needed, it can be tucked away and forgotten about for years. But the next time you have to reach for it, it’s right there. And with a few little tweaks and additions, it’s ready for action again.
3. Resumes are ingenious.
Standard resume subheadings package vast volumes of information in a brilliantly simple format. Regardless of the industry, the position, or the employer’s business model, these standardized sections—education, work history, etc.—are the details that all employers need before they make a hiring decision.
4. Resumes are easy to skim, process, and remember.
Their one-page length and simple format make resumes easy to review and remember, even when employers have to sift through dozens of them in one sitting.
5. Resumes are easy to compare.
Their standardized format also makes resumes an easy way to compare the credentials of multiple applicants. This keeps the selection process simple and fair.
6. Resumes are easy to file away and return to later.
If employers can’t finish an entire resume review in one session (which they usually can’t) a simple folder of resumes can be placed to the side and returned to later. This isn’t the case with, for example, performance auditions or interviews.
7. Resumes are easy to share.
Also unlike an interview, a resume can be handed over to another decision-maker who enters the selection process. Ten reviewers can review and comment on a single resume, bringing ten different perspectives to the table.
8. Resumes keep toxic information at bay.
There’s a reason why photographs should never be attached to a resume. Your looks have no bearing on your ability to do the job, and most employers don’t want this information, since it can unconsciously influence their decision and expose them to accusations of bias. The same applies to religion, ethnicity, family status, and dozens of other criteria that don’t (ideally) make their way into this simple document.
9. Resumes inform staffing and management decisions down the road.
After a candidate is hired, their resume is usually filed away in the HR office, often as part of her general personal records. If mangers leave the company, their replacements can use these files to gain quick insight and background regarding their new teams.
10. Resumes are eternal.
No matter how it’s shared and exchanged, your resume is a simple, readable, memorable profile that summarizes your entire working life. We may use different devices to communicate and share data in the future—apps, chips, or brainwave downloads—but the purpose of a resume and the information it contains will always have value. Visit LiveCareer and use the tools on the site to make sure your resume represents you at your best…now and in the years ahead.