Traditional Vs Online Resume: Choose The Best One


Although online resumes are taking over, the era of paper resumes isn’t over yet. So, as the two formats keep coexisting, the job-seekers are wondering which one to choose in their job search. And, obviously, the answer won’t be the same for everyone – everything depends on the industry, professional experience, type of the company, etc.

However, if you believe that printed resumes are dead, you might be missing on some opportunities. Let’s have a closer look at pros and cons of using traditional and online resume so you could decide on the appropriate format for your career needs.

The traditional resume

Traditional resumes have evolved as the job market did, but its structure and content basically remained the same. It’s usually a one to three page document which contains information on your work experience, education, community involvement, professional achievements, etc.


  • Old-fashioned resumes are best for traditional industries
    Some industries are heavily influenced by well-established traditions, and this means you’re expected to apply for job in a certain way. This includes academia, law, government jobs and big companies with strict corporate culture. If you’re in one of these fields, be sure to apply with a standard resume.
  • A hard copy of resume has better presenting value
    Our eyes process the information from digital sources and paper differently. That’s why the physical copy of your resume gives a different quality to the presentation of the information than the online version.
  • You can prepare individualized paper portfolios
    If you are required to attach the samples of your work with the resume (or bring them for an interview), paper can do much better than the online version. You can print out as many samples of your work as you wish and organized different portfolios for various employers/clients. Again, the physical presence of samples allows you to organize them into a folder in a way you consider is best.


  • Paper resumes aren’t as efficient in creative industries
    In IT or creative industries you are expected to showcase your tech abilities and your creativity. So, if you apply with a standard resume, the employers might think that you are either older applicants or simply lack the traits needed for the position.
  • The information is not editable
    As soon as you’ve printed out the final version, you can’t make amendments to it any longer. So, if you’ve found a punctuation error or would like to change your resume a bit to apply for the different position, you’ll have to edit it and print again, which takes more time and effort.

Online resumes

Online resumes embrace a wide range of information about the applicant consolidated in the web, starting from a simple resume posted online to a visual and inforgraphic resume and even personal website.  Online resumes are rarely printed on paper as their format looks best on the screen of a laptop or smartphone due to the excess of graphic content.


  • Web resumes offer exceptional flexibility
    Web applications go far and beyond the traditional resume in terms of visual appearance and flexibility of formatting. The looks of web resumes are only limited by your creativity. You can organize the text in form of inforgraphic, add multimedia content such as video or presentation and support it with samples of your work.
  • Online resumes are easy to update
    In contradiction to a paper resume, online resumes are easy to update. If you forgot to add some important facts, it’ll take you a few minutes to get things fixed and this information will be available for prospective employers instantly.
  • They are best for IT and creative industries
    If you apply for marketing or design job, see your resume as another chance to showcase your skills. It is recommended that you apply with an online resume that has a number of samples and unique design – that’s another chance for you to get noticed.
    If you’re in IT, use your resume to highlight your tech skills. For instance, you can provide a link to a personal website created on your own to demonstrate your applicable skills in website development.
  • The information is not limited
    In a traditional resume, you have to get your whole career history condensed into one or two pages, which makes it hard to outline all of your abilities, especially if you’ve been in the industry for decades. states that an online resume can contain the information on your key projects and samples of your work without any limits.
  • Online resumes are convenient
    Internet makes it irresistibly easy to apply for jobs. If you’ve already parked your resume online, you can apply for desired positions in a few clicks – and you can do it anytime from anywhere. You can send in your resume, provide a link to your portfolio or fill in the form with convenience and speed which are impossible for traditional resumes.


  • Modern resumes can be ATS-unfriendly
    Despite the attractive format and unique design, web resumes have one major disadvantage – they are often ATS unfriendly. As most big companies utilize ATS, fancy formatting may be destroyed and the text might be not recognized by the system; thus, your resume will be tossed even before the hiring manager actually sees it.
  • Some companies see visual content as an unnecessary addition to a resume
    Some of the traditional industries believe in the power of old-fashioned resumes and are confident that visual content simply doesn’t belong to a resume. In this case, you’ll have troubles with getting the invitation for an interview.

The bottom line

The modern technology offers multiple tools to use your creativity in a resume. However, the key question you have to ask yourself is “Is the investment of time and effort in creating a web resume worth it?”

  • Tailor your application to the preferences of the employer
    Start with figuring out the preferred way of application for every employer. If the company insists on you sending a traditional resume, no need to send the link to your personal website hoping to ‘stand out’. Your application may end up in the spam folder.
  • Make your creative resume look professional
    If you are determined to create a visual resume, make sure it looks professional. It’s easy to spoil a creative resume by going too far in your creativity. So, if you’re not sure your visual resume looks good enough, have another set of eyes to check it before you apply for a job.
    Also, make sure you’ve used the right colors when creating a resume. It’s no surprise that colors communicate the information as well as the text does; so let the colors you use support the message you’re trying to convey in a resume.
  • Always have a printed copy of resume at hand
    Even if you are a fan of modern resume formats, be sure to have a traditional resume with you for interviews. In case any tech issues arise (for instance, your online resume fails to open or the formatting messes up), you’ll have your professional experience and achievements presented on paper. Moreover, a hiring manager will appreciate your foresight.

Today, it’s wise to use both versions of resume to combine them depending on the preferences of employer. If you still don’t have a traditional resume, you can ask for help of an expert resume writer and get a resume which highlights your best qualifications at an affordable price.

Have you ever managed to get the job with web or inforgraphic resume?

Our experienced writers can create a powerful resume suitable for each position. However, you may also request a specific resume depending on the job you are applying for, thus it will be tailored individually for your profession:

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