Consider the Resume: Time to Say Goodbye?

As much as technology has changed the way we look for work and look for new employees, one thing has remained pretty much the same: the resume.

Sure, many automated tools allow us to create out resume, scan resumes, search to see if a resume contains the skills, education, etc. (keywords) that are needed for a candidate to be able to do the job if hired, post jobs online, apply online, and on and on and on.

And the one constant in this constant change? We still require that applicants create and send resumes!

Should the Resume Stay or Go?

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There’s been some talk over the past few years about “doing away” with the resume. Yet before we get into why this may be a good idea, let’s talk about the benefits resumes offer both the candidate and the employer.

Resumes:

  • Provide a snapchat of a candidate’s skills, education and accomplishments in a one- or two-page document. Easy to read and scan; not too hard to create.
  • Can be tailored for each job opening, highlighting a candidate’s specific skills, etc. that fit a particular job. (Benefit to job seeker.)
  • Are easily scannable into an employer’s database, allowing recruiters the chance to automatically sort through resumes, looking for the specific skills, education and background they feel a candidate should possess. (Employer benefit.)

The Argument for Saying Goodbye

Here is where resumes fall short – extremely short: they are inefficient, inaccurate and provide absolutely no true indication as to whether an applicant can actually do the job, if he will fit in with his colleagues and if he will enjoy the job, all extremely important things to know when looking for work or hiring.

Resumes also  act as a barrier to people who would be good fits and technically able to do the job because their very nature has them acting as filters and roadblocks: unless a resume has the exact skills, background and education “needed” for the job, both human and automated screeners tend to say “no.”

This, plainly, is nuts. After all, just about every hiring manager has at least once said “you’ve got the job” to someone who wasn’t a great “match on paper” who then turned out to be wonderful. And wonderfully happy and successful.

Resumes also are potent “lie machines”: they require that hiring managers and recruiters rely on what a candidate says on them. Some falsifications are relatively easy to spot with a little digging (education, certificates, job history), but how does a manager know if a person really is outgoing and a team player? The candidate truly may feel he is such, but different degrees of “plays well with others” definitely exist.

Possible Resume Alternatives

So if a job hunter or even a hiring manager and/or recruiter decides to “just say no” to a resume, what are some possible substitutes? Here are just a few (with two of them described below):

  • LinkedIn profiles: Recruiters/managers can take a look at different candidates, comparing the same elements. What’s more, because LinkedIn is a public platform, some believe they “encourage” information that’s more truthful than what could be on a resume. The bad side – for candidates – is a LinkedIn profile isn’t very flexible as to what can and can’t be included.
  • Personal websites: Obviously, these can be very candidate-focused (and candidate-subjective). It can be harder for a hiring manager to figure out what is real, what is exaggerated and what is just plain false. But websites could be exceptionally powerful – and even accurate – for candidates looking for creative work: writers, graphic artists, website designers, marketers, etc.

While we understand that the “get rid of the resume” fight will continue – and possibly grow stronger – we still accept and want them here at Helpmates. Just as we always welcome candidates who visit our offices in order to apply for work, we also ask that applicants include their resumes when applying for specific openings. Contact the office nearest you today.

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