Could the traditional resume be dead? That day may be fast approaching. Day after day with my clients, I consistently approach the resume as a minimum standard requirement for the job search. While at the same time, the resume is becoming less and less useless when you are applying against 100 to 400 candidates.
Recently, Allison Swelin posted an article on LinkedIn called R.I.P. Resume’s where she said that it’s time for resume’s to go the way of the dodo.
Swelin writes, “A resume rarely tells us about the human, even worse is when you get a cover letter that is just a regurgitation of the “job requirements” and they’ve missed the opportunity to share a story with a hook. Often, googling the candidate to find the ‘story’ is more worthwhile.”
Truthfully, I don’t completely disagree with Swelin’s assessments; however, it must be made clear that the initiative to kill resumes cannot come from the candidates. This initiative must come from the employers. And it has to be replaced with something that can still be easily reviewed by the employer.
She speaks of doing video resume’s instead. While I like this initiative, it is not completely practical. Right now the resume reading software on the market scans resumes for appropriate key words and phrases (just like Google does). This is how human resource people and employers quickly find the resumes with the most relevant experience. Assuming a company has access to this kind of software. If not, it is a trial and error; quick scan of the key bullet points to ensure a candidate meets the criteria.
The problem with video resumes is, what do you do when you have 200 applications all done on video, each of them two to five minutes long. Even at two minutes long this means there will be more than six and a half hours of watching videos to find the right candidates. While I love the idea, it just doesn’t seem practical. With videos you can’t simply skim the videos to find the key points, I am stuck to the pace that the person in the video has set for me. What if my main criteria are education or experience or a type of skill they might have… how do I find this quickly on video. Don’t get me wrong, I think Swelin is onto something here but I can’t wrap my head around making it work in a practical and efficient way.
What can you do about it?
For now, keep writing those resumes and make sure that they are written for the resume reading software that exists (i.e. no tables, using key words, etc). It can take years to figure out how to write a resume that will get picked up properly so I strongly recommend using a resume editor or writer. Because I know some of you will ask, my favourite is Dave Turner with Wordscapes Resume Writing Service. He understands how to write the resume so the software (or employer) will be attracted to the key words and phrases.