Career coaching clients often ask me, what do I think of resumes and cover letters, are they still necessary or are they becoming obsolete? And what about online resumes or webpages to showcase your skills?
Resumes and cover letters are still a must. I think over time they will be delivered or provided in a different format. (Think LinkedIn or online resumes). But they’re not going anywhere. They are still a must. If the company says do not provide one or the other, follow their instructions. Both are still very important though.
Including a cover letter is important because 1) it shows your writing skills and how well you communicate and 2) it demonstrates you care enough about the position to write one and you are able to speak about your skills related to the position confidently. So even if they don’t ask for a cover letter, provide one. As an attachment – not in the body of the email. Err on the side of more formal and professional unless your field calls for something else more creative or different (marketing or advertising for ex).
Online resumes are becoming more popular. I think it’s nice to have one. It’s not a must but it depends on your industry. If you’re in technology, go for it. If you’re in a more traditional field you can get away without one, but consider it as a way to stand out from the crowd.
You’ve read about people who created YouTube videos for job applications as well. These days it can seem like anything goes but that is not entirely the case. Consider these two things when you are deciding what to create for yourself:
1) What’s appropriate for your industry but will still help you stand out.
2) Ensure whatever you do is professional, tasteful and well done.
Creating a video or online resume just for the heck of it, and only doing a halfway decent job, doesn’t cut it. It’s better to skip it altogether.
P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.