You've heard it since your 10th grade Business class: The resume is the gold standard if you want to get a job. But that advice? It's so 2014. Today's employers know there's more to a great employee than what she can fit on one sheet of paper and sometimes, a resume just isn't going to cut it if you really want to show your stuff. Understand when you should stick to the old standard and when it's time to pull out all the stops to snag your dream job.

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Times When a Resume Isn't Enough

...When it's Your First Job

If you've never really done the whole "job" thing before, your resume is definitely going to lack a little in the "Experience" section. And, while you can definitely beef it up with stuff like volunteer positions and even school clubs, you might also want to come up with a way to show an employer that what you lack in experience, you definitely make up for in enthusiasm. Making sure your online presence is on point and you prove that you're trustworthy and hardworking can help.

...When You're Changing to Something New

You have a feeling you'd be great at graphic design, but you've spent the last two years working in retail. How do you make sure you get noticed even when your resume is in a completely different field? An online portfolio or website can help you prove your skill to a potential employer, even if your career swap is just a hunch.

Resume Alternatives

Don't get us wrong; you'll definitely still need a great resume tailored to the job for which you're applying. But remember that in some cases, a resume alone won't be enough to make you stand out. Consider these alternatives and supplements to make sure your resume doesn't end up in the "shred" pile.

A solid digital profile

Your Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr are all fair game when employers are checking you out, so make sure your digital profile presents the best picture. Remember that you want to prove that you're trustworthy, dependable, and hardworking. Make sure your profile pics and online presence speak to that.

A website or digital portfolio

If you're hoping to get hired in a creative field, hiring managers are going to be more interested in what you can show them; not what you can tell. Creating your own website is a great way to show off your stuff and create your own personal brand that you can then link to when applying for jobs. There are tons of free resources for creating amazing websites, so there's no excuse to make your resume fly solo.


Never underestimate the power of "knowing a guy." Networking is a great way to get your foot in the door of an industry, especially if you're starting with zero experience. Attend conferences, get involved in online forums, join Facebook groups, and ask around. Sometimes, developing a personal relationship with someone is way more effective than handing over a resume.

Yes, you should definitely still have a resume. But don't make the mistake of thinking that it's the be-all-end-all for getting you a job. The more hiring managers can get to know you, the better chance you have at catching their eye. Make your resume become BFFs with supplemental stuff and you're in.