New resume cool? The old-fashioned hard copy?

Dawn Burke Candidate Pool, Change, Dawn Hrdlica, Recruiting, Resumes

We all like new and shiny.  Call me nuts—but is it possible the newest and shiniest resume style is the old-fashioned hard-copy?  Somebody poke holes in this please, ’cause I’m trying to figure it out.  I think this warrants some input from the FOT pro-recruiters and readers. (Kris Dunn, Tim Sackett, chime in here!)

So here is the deal.  I went to my desk and a kind soul doing a mail-run grabbed my stack of mail for me.  Sitting on my keyboard was a large manila envelope and tucked neatly inside a hard copy of a resume.  I was intrigued.  I hadn’t seen one of these in so long that it felt fresh.  I don’t know why, but this was the first time in a while I actually looked at the resume and read every word.

After reading, I did go over to my recruiting team to find the candidate also applied via our electronic ATS as well.  A conversation ensued between me and my recruiting team. Come to find out this candidate wasn’t the right match, but a spirited conversation was had and this candidate was given a second, hard look.

What gives?

As an executive level HR pro, I don’t do down-and-dirty recruiting anymore.  Do I interview?  Sure.  But I’m not elbow deep in the ATS, grinding out resume after resume, nor am I attending career fair after career fair.  I have a stellar recruiting team that does that, but for me it is not part of my daily routine.

Some may say, “if I were knee deep in resumes every day I wouldn’t want a hard copy”; too cumbersome.  It’s true I’m not knee deep in resumes everyday but I am neck deep in emails.  I get tons of them for a zillion reasons.  And frankly my friends, I’m a little burnt out of the email grind.  Usually if I get an email resume I do one of two things:  a) forward straight to my recruiters or b) lose it in my email black hole of death.  This is not intentional; its just resume reading may not be my top executive priority that day.

Others may say who cares if I get the resume since I am not the recruiter.  That too is true, but as an HR Exec I still do have influence.  And frankly speaking, to anyone looking for a job, it is still a feather in your cap if you can get your name in front of any executive at my company.  Again, we have influence.

I am not going to suggest hard-copy resumes only nor am I going to say that email format is passé.  It is clearly not.  In my situation, likely it was not so much the “hard-copy” alone that intrigued me, but rather it was just a different delivery method from my normal day-to-day.  It stood out.

So what’s a candidate to do?

  • Think from the point of view of the resume recipient.  Who are you sending info to and how will they best view the goods.
  • Getting your name in front of influencers is important.  Find a way; their way is preferable. Some influencers are receptionists, just saying.
  • Follow the application protocol regardless.  If you are instructed to apply via ATS – do it.
  • Go Rogue and keep it fresh.  You have nothing to lose.  After you follow application protocol, send a hard copy, forward a video resume, email me your blog link, send a tout blurb.
  • Entertain me. I’ve yet to see this method fail to get me to at least review their material.

I guess everything old is new again sometimes.