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 useful 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 – 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.
Of course that is the employer side. I now wonder about the applicants’ side. Not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera but they might perform perfectly well in the job, and even exceed the position requirements. Camera’s do weird things to people, when people know they are being recorded they perform differently than they do in real life. To Swelin’s point there is an opportunity for a new story hook; however, isn’t this the point of the cover letter? To tell the story and have a hook?
Don’t get me wrong, I think Swelin is onto something here, this concept of resumes must be updated; however, I can’t wrap my head around making it work in a practical and efficient way with video applications. Admittedly, I don’t know the process that Swelin’s organization goes through for video resumes. I’d like to learn more, but I am confident resumes are here for a little while longer.
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, I do have a favourite resume writer. Please reach out to me to find out who he is and why I recommend him. He understands how to write the resume so the software (or employer) will be attracted to the key words and phrases.
Christopher is the CEO and Founder of Change My Life Coaching — a fast growing whole-life coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind. He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”. Christopher spent 15+ years working in the corporate world with a plethora of industries and companies. His focus was primarily in planning, strategy, and leadership of change management and communication. Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker who truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him at Christopher@ChangeMyLifeCoaching.ca.