Remember the time when resumes were in paper only

So how does resume 50 years ago compared to the resumes of today? Ever wondered? Well, read on to find more!

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Remember the time when resumes were in paper only?

Resumes are meant to be an advertisement of your professional caliber. And the advancement we have made in how we advertise ourselves to potential employers over the last 50 years, is nothing short of technological marvel. From paper to pixels, done in a few decades. It shows in a stretched square piece of paper, the values you can bring to the job in the form of learned skills that comes from years of collected experience. So how did this nature of advertisement change over time, ever wonder? Let’s stroll through history today.

Yes, paper form is still used today!

Yes, there was a time when something called a resume paper existed, and, they still do to this date. When you are a senior professional or a CEO of a multinational, you do not want to attend an interview with a resume printed on an average paper. You want a rich document that comes with a premium finish. An ultra-polished document that will compliment your brand. We explore paper options in more detail on this page. And it is customary to take your printed resume to a job interview.

The transition from typewriter to word processor

Try sending a job application without your Wi-Fi (no cheating, turn your mobile data off, basically no internet), then you’d know how impossible it would be back then in the 80’s, where Fax was the only mode of quick and safe transmission for documents.

Up until mid-80’s, resumes were faxed after being written on a typewriter, to millennials these are another set of terms which they have never seen in real life, much like cassettes or floppy disks. But with the advent of word processor like Microsoft Word in late 80’s, it created a paradigm shift in employing word processors to create a professional resume. And the trend continues to this date. And coupling that with the explosive growth of internet and email addresses from the early 90’s, you can see how the future of job market turned out to be what it is today.

So how was it back in the days to apply for a job?

Before it was mostly paper advertisements, or if you are prospecting, you would send your printed resume and send to the company postal address in an envelope. On that note, when was the last time you put a pen on a paper to write a letter? Yup, probably never!

Also, hiring in the job market was extremely network driven, as soon as there was a vacancy or an opportunity, existing employee used to inform relevant individuals in their circles to apply to the job, and then the interview follows and if it’s a match for both, the hiring is completed. But this is now modernized with LinkedIn, whereby to this date, the number #1 method people find a new job is via referral.

How internet and LinkedIn increased access to talent pool

With the breakthrough of internet and email, suddenly there is an excess of talent and naturally the power of balance moved to the employers. And that is why today, we all write a riveting resume to demonstrate we are without equal. It has turned into a hyper competitive job market and with traditional industries disappearing completely, thanks to automation and artificial intelligence (AI), the future is staring at its own sort of problems. The low skills jobs like customer service at grocery, manufacturing and even specialized services like bookkeeping/accounting will eventually disappear like the milkman of 60’s. But that’s a topic for another day.

LinkedIn is your ace of the deck, if you take your career seriously. Its time to put out your profile, learn the ropes of LinkedIn. 1 in 9 people in the world use LinkedIn. You better get on the boat, before the boat races into the horizon with you still stuck in a desolated island.

How technology dictates new rules of resume writing

Just writing well isn’t enough. Your resume must prove to Applicant Tracking System (ATS), an AI which decides if your application is suitable to receive the attention of recruiters or hiring managers. It uses complex algorithms to find a top pool of candidates for the position, which will then be reviewed by an actual human being.

Resumes are now mostly consumed in screen pixels

Recruiters or hiring managers only prints those resume that are worth their while! In other words, the candidates that deserves to be invited to an interview or if the resumes are to be sent for a senior manager’s consideration. So, in the modern job market, resume should only be sent to companies or recruiters in PDF. The global authority of safe and secured document transmission with complete compatibility in cross platforms, a PDF will open in Mac, Windows or even on any smart phones whether its Android or iPhone.

Now if you were to tell someone in the 70’s to consider keywords when writing a resume and to create a PDF, they would most likely contemplate if they live high enough to make their jump successful. But fret not, creating PDF is not as pesky as they are making it out to be, it’s as easy as pouring a glass of water from a tap! Once you have made your resume in a Microsoft Word or Apple’s Mac Pages, you can save it in PDF with 1 click. There, not so suicidal now, is it?

Resumes from the 70’s

We’ve found some gems from the past. A bit of a time capsule for you to see how it was like back in the days. All credits go to the original posters for sharing it with the whole wide world. Pictures does say plenty of words, as these resume shows.

1970 Resume image source






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Remember the time when resumes were in paper only
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Areli Nevan has 15 years of writing experience in career columns. A professional resume writer with vast experience in his portfolios helping candidates create job winning applications.