Is Google Your New Resume?

I’ve seen plenty of bloggers say that “Google is the new resume.”  They say “if you aren’t on Google (or LinkedIn), you don’t exist.”

The thinking is valid… to a degree.

Here is what they are trying to say, and my take:

Google is the new resume: Why use the boring old two page document that no one likes?  Instead, I should be able to Google you and see how amazing and qualified you are.

Here’s my take: The search results for someone on Google have a long ways to go before they will replace a resume, for many reasons:

  • A resume is a succinct document that summarizes your career and qualifications, and should be customized for the industry, job title or company.  Google results are hodgepodge results, thrown together by a search engine, and not controlled by the candidate.
  • A resume is accepted by the people making the decision, or weighing in.  The format is common and familiar.  If you have to run someone by 10 people, are you going to forward their Google search results and let people figure out what is good and what to ignore, or are you going to forward their resume?  Everyone knows what a resume is, and how to read it. Not everyone knows how to sift through search results.
  • A resume is part of the ingrained (defined: Firmly fixed or established; difficult to change.) hiring process. When has HR even moved fast on anything, much less something as ingrained as the resume?
  • Even if a candidate could control the Google search results (see Vizibility if you want to attempt this), many people don’t have anything that will come up when you search for them… which goes to the next point….

If you aren’t on Google (or LinkedIn), you don’t exist: Recruiters and hiring decision makers and influencers look for talent on search engines, mostly Google.  If they search for, for example, a project manager in Seattle who is certified and has 20 years experience in a certain industry, and that matches you exactly, but you don’t have a good Google presence or a LinkedIn profile that comes up, you don’t exist, they wont’ find you, and you will miss out.  In short, you don’t exist.

Here’s my take: Recruiters are not as shallow and simple as this. Many recruiters I know are networkers who spend more time on the phone and hanging at industry events. If they are looking for you, they will ask their network, who are hopefully your colleagues in your company and other companies in your area.  You’ll be harder to find, but that’s the challenge a recruiter accepts.  If everyone was easy to find in a Google or LinkedIn search, the value of a recruiter would be diminished.  Valuable recruiters specialize in finding the hard-to-find talent… whether they are online or not!

Will technology replace the resume?  Perhaps, eventually, but not anytime soon.

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