Why You Need a Digital Resume

It seems like something is always changing about what people need to do to get hired. In the last few years I’ve read job posts that ask for your social media accounts, web page, and blog, and I’ve been in interviews where the hiring manager was insistent that the candidate needed a smartphone in order to get the position. Now, the big thing seems to be digital resumes. But what exactly are they?

The Digital Resume

It’s hard to pin down exactly what is meant by “digital resume,” because people in different lines of work have come up with incredibly varied definitions, some with all kinds of bells and whistles and some pretty standard. Generally speaking, the only real requirement for a resume to be “digital” is that you can link to it on the web.

That means that the information about your work history that you put on LinkedIn, for example, is a digital resume. Likewise, so is the PDF you uploaded to your website or to a resume database. But the term “digital resume” can also include things like graphs, videos, and links to writing, images, and projects you’ve done, as well as your social media profiles. Basically, the sky is the limit as far as creativity goes, and if you are in a creative industry, it’s probably in your best interest to go all out and really try to catch people’s attention by making it as visually interesting as possible.

(Here’s a great example of a graphic designer’s digital resume)

Let’s face it, though – most of us aren’t in creative industries, and the companies we’re targeting probably aren’t going to care enough to read the short story we wrote in high school or watch the PowerPoint presentation illustrating our 25 percent increase in sales. If you fall under that category, do you still need a digital resume? In a word, yes.

Why Everyone Needs a Digital Resume

Ultimately, you need one because companies are asking for them, and most want something more than you pointing them to your LinkedIn profile. So, what does that leave you with?

Put it on your website. If you’ve already got a website, this can be a simple solution with a lot of flexibility. You can either upload your resume to the site as a PDF, or be more dynamic by typing it in using HTML (or, more likely, a content management system like WordPress) so that you can add in any links that you want. For example, you can link directly to the sites of your former employers, so they can learn more about them.

Use an online resume builder. For those of us who don’t already have websites, the simpler (and cheaper) solution may be to use an online resume builder that provides your own web page. You’ll probably have to type the information into their system, but many will automatically create your resume in several different templates so that you can choose your favorite, as well as providing you with a simple URL that links to your page, such as www.website.com/YOURNAME. Some even allow minimal links, such as to your social media profiles.

What are your tips for creating a stand-out digital resume?


About the Author
Josh Weiss-Roessler is a professional resume writer and also co-owner of Weiss-Roessler Writing, which helps individuals and small businesses market their products and services online through blogs, website copy, social media, search engine optimization, and other content marketing strategies.

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Rachel Dotson

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Rachel Dotson is a former digital marketing manager and blog contributor at ZipRecruiter. She is based in Venice, California.

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