The Resume Is Dead. What’s Important To a Headhunter Is Your Compelling ‘WHY’

By Bruce Powell Toronto Recruiter & Founding Partner

Are resumes really dead? Well not completely, but they have certainly started to lose their relevance. Online information, such as your LinkedIn profile and personal website, are the preferred go-to spots for headhunters and hiring managers. Think about it, when you want to find out about someone – what do you do? You Google them to see what comes up, you search for them on LinkedIn, or you check out their social media pages.

Headhunting resumes are dead

At IQ Partners, half of the people we recruit and place these days don’t have an up-to-date resume when we present them to our clients. That’s because if we’re recruiting people who are not actively looking they usually don’t have a current resume. If they take the time to do anything, they’ll go online to tweak and update their LinkedIn profile.

Use the power of the written word to identify your compelling WHY.

What’s more important than having a traditional resume is identifying and crafting your compelling WHY. And the way to do that is by harnessing the power of the written word.

Your compelling WHY should be a short, concise statement that clearly articulates what is your point of career difference. It’s who you are as a brand and answers questions like these:

  •  Why are you different?
  • Why should we be interested in you?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why are you of value to an organization?
  • Why should we believe you?


Use the power of the written word to craft your compelling WHY. It could be a statement at the top of your resume, the intro to your LinkedIn profile, or the key message on your website. You want to give a recruiter or hiring manager a reason to read further down in your resume or to click through and review your profile.

The written word is wherever you find it. It could be one or two sentences in an email that you send me – if there is a compelling WHY, that’s all I need to qualify me to go further.

For example, a corporate communications writer could say:

“I’m a world-class corporate communications writer with the ability to drive sales decision in your business. For samples of my work, click here.”

It could be a tweet. Or a bleet. It’s your elevator pitch in words. Think about, Google is not about graphics. It’s about content and the written word. With the evolution of online content, advertising and search, content and compelling language is what makes you stand out.

To make yourself stand out in today’s employment market, worry less about the look of your resume and instead harness the power of the written word to communicate your compelling WHY.

For other ways to stand out in your career search, check out our blog section Tips From a Head Hunter For Job Seekers.

IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm with offices in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have teams of specialist recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations, Energy, Mining & Engineering, Life Sciences, and Construction, Property & Real Estate. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.