I came across this article on another career professional's Facebook status, and my first thought (which I tweeted) was, "Just read a career article from a major, mainstream business magazine that was completely off base. It's no wonder job seekers are confused."
I wondered if I should even draw attention to the article, because it would increase attention to yet another presumptuous, prescriptive article that is going to confuse job seekers. But I think it's important for us, as career professionals, to reinforce the idea that there are lots of opinions about what does and doesn't work in the job search -- but even huge media companies endorse some stinkers.
(My colleague, Julie Walraven, of Design Resumes, does the same thing in her blog post today: "Point - Counter Point: Is the Resume Dead?")
Here's the article: "Five Out-Of-Date Job Search Tactics" from Bloomberg Business. In a series of blog posts, I'm going to offer my rebuttal to each of their points. (You can feel free to weigh in using the Comments section below.)
They say not to use any kind of special paper or matching envelopes in your job search because "Dedicated-use resume paper is a 1980s artifact."
Brought to you by the same people who find online applications "more efficient" are the folks who suggest you use "plain white bond paper" when you *do* print out a resume to bring with you? Yikes. Have you heard of the importance of first impressions, people?
How do you stand out today? Go the extra mile.
If everyone else is applying online, follow-up with a paper resume in person or via mail. Sure, the 16-year-old temp employee ("Jennifer," I call her) may not care (LOL, BFF -- BRB!!!*) but the hiring manager (as long as they're over 25), probably will appreciate the effort.
While I agree with the author that content is king, ugly resumes aren't effective either. Horizontal lines absolutely have a place on resumes ... even for non-creative types. Is she serious?!?!
Rather than being out of date, dedicated resume paper and envelopes can help you stand out from a sea of job seekers.
[Addition: This article, "Is The Paper Resume Dead?" appeared in online in Wall Street Journal's Career section on Jan. 25, 2012. The answer is: It's not.]
Tomorrow: "Creaky Cover Letter Language."
* Jennifer is more versed in text messaging than text resumes ... LOL = Laugh out loud; BFF = Best friends forever; BRB = Be right back)