The Resume, Revolutionized

Although it is difficult to track the true origin of the resume, it is safe to say that when formal application processes went into place, the resume was formed. Interview Studio Blog has a spiffy visual chart that suggests the resume could have started as early back as 1482, not long after the formal printing press was invented. Wow.

Regardless of when the resume was formally created, the most important fact is that the resume has remained a constant and vital tool in the employment process – widely used for several decades, but drastically refined and advanced in just a few short years!

A decade ago a resume required just three basic sections: contact details, employment history, and education. Reverse chronological work history was the norm, detailed job descriptions were typical, and length wasn’t strictly dictated.

Today’s resumes are much more refined; formats have evolved to include the combined resume, content must now be skilfully selected and heavily results-focused, and length is carefully measured. Nowadays a resume must contain: keywords, concrete examples of achievement and success, related qualifications, and unique branding statements. The kicker, all of this must be said in a much leaner manner.
According to Career Thought Leaders 2011 white paper “The Now, The New and The Next in Careers”: “It is essential to keep [today’s resume] short”.

Career Thought Leaders’ paper (which is an excellent compilation of current career trends) further emphasizes that in the present: “Resume branding is a must; particularly for professionals, managers, and executives… a personal brand is an authentic differentiator that identifies and communicates the unique value of an individual clearly and concisely”.

Not only has the content and focus of resumes’ changed, but their method of delivery as well. Although hardcopy resumes are still used, they are also distributed via email, posted online, or shared through social media sites. Google itself acts as your own ‘digital resume’. A simple online search can turn up plenty of details about you (or anyone!), and employers are using online searches with greater intensity to scout out potential candidates in addition to reading through submitted documents.

So now ask yourself, how evolved is your resume?! Does it have keywords or core competencies? Does it showcase a succinctly structured profile with a high impact value proposition? Does all of your online material display a cohesive brand? If this all sounds like gibberish, or if you are still using a resume created more than 10 years ago, you probably want to revamp it before ‘employ’ing it in future job searches! A resume today must scream “advanced”….. not “obsolete!”.


Adrienne Tom

Looking to take your executive resume or job search to the next level to land your next job faster and increase your earning power? I can help! Visit me online at to learn more about my award-winning resume writing, LinkedIn writing, and job search strategies for top professionals and executives located across Canada and the USA.
Posted in

Leave a Comment