It’s pretty cool that Leonardo da Vinci, the inventor of so many things that have ultimately created jobs, also pioneered the very mechanism that has helped fill them: the resume. In her recent article on ZipRecruiter, “The Surprising History Of The Resume (And A Look At Its Future),” blogger Nicole Cavazos writes about da Vinci’s creation of the first known resume component and how it’s evolved over the centuries.
According to Cavazos, more than 500 years ago da Vinci drafted the first known cover letter, which he sent to the Duke of Milan. (We wonder whether it would make it through a keyword search program today!) Da Vinci realized that he needed something in writing to outline his qualifications for a potential project.
What’s a resume for?
While there are few candidates of da Vinci’s caliber these days, a good resume can still make them look like geniuses in their areas of expertise. One of the most important documents candidates can develop and disseminate during their job search, a resume communicates not only their focus but also their unique experiences and qualifications. And a strong resume accompanied by a well-written, captivating cover letter can stimulate interest in a candidate, thereby getting that person to the next step in the hiring process (usually an interview). The likelihood of this happening is often contingent on whether the candidate tailors his or her cover letter and resume to the position he or she is applying for. You’d be surprised by how often the candidate does NOT go the extra mile here!
Despite its function, the conventional resume is losing favor, thanks in large part to the increasing popularity of online job application processes.
You’ve got LinkedIn!
Many HR professionals and job candidates consider the resume a necessary evil for online job postings and responses, but according to Cavazos, LinkedIn’s approach to promoting professional qualifications is slowly replacing the print resume.
Users can update their LinkedIn profiles — customized with all the information an employer could possibly need regarding a person’s work history and education (from grade school through college), plus peer and supervisor endorsement — in real time. Users can also present project case studies in their profiles. No other website gives recruiters more information about a candidate than LinkedIn does.
Even though many employers and HR professionals still ask for print resumes, this practice is likely to cease soon, making print resumes another part of history.