By now, updating one’s resume during the job search process is as commonplace as breathing.
The resume started as a value-add in the hiring process. It was a chance to separate yourself from your peers through organization, structure and storytelling about your skills. The resume has grown into the corner stone of talent acquisition, as it is the key method of tracking and organizing of candidate data in any Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Unfortunately, as things become standard and systemic humans will constantly push the limits to work that system.
As a result, the resume, once a cornerstone for candidate differentiation, has become a baseline to begin any career move. This shift has had predictable consequences–a survey of 2500 hiring managers revealed that 56% have caught people lying on their resume.
The same survey found that 25% of hiring managers encountered candidates who fabricated their previous employment. These statistics prove that the system is now overloaded with misdirection and it is time for resume to go the way of the dinosaur.
Resume success is tied to keyword optimization
With the advent of search engine optimization and key word checkers on applicant databases often prospective employees feel the need to overload their resume with key words simply to make it in to the hiring process. This directly contributes to the “war on talent” as the labels on this piece of paper do not match up with the skill set of the candidate. In a world where time is money, taking hours to discern which skills a candidate has, leads to a massive opportunity cost. This leads to many diamonds being sidelined in a 6 second resume review.
One vignette recently uncovered was a candidate simply loading up the last white space on her resume with key words in white font. When printed out the hiring manager is none the wiser but on a machine those keywords push that resume to the top of the pile. This disparity between labels and skills has become a theme within today’s hiring climate.
Resumes introduce bias into the process from the outset
What school did you attend? How old are you? What is your visa status?
All these questions immediately cross through a managers head when reviewing a resume. Whether they realize it or not, this is an unconscious reaction when receiving a resume. The fact that any of these could be a non-starter for a candidate seeking his/her next career move is unfortunate and wrong.
Resumes provide a timeline of your career history and this history varies in quality. This variety in quality does not necessarily represent a discrepancy in skills… It often represents a disparity in opportunities presented through ones life.
A candidate growing up in a less than advantaged climate and attending a mid-major school is automatically 2 steps behind someone who could be of equal mental acumen from a more advantaged back ground. In order to truly understand the diversity issue we see in the technology space, one must understand these advantages compound as a candidate’s career moves forward.
Resumes all look the same
The time commitment to go through resume review and into a first phone screen is immense. The recruiting teams at most companies are overloaded with this task. To the point where many companies completely disregard the pool of inbound applicants. They focus entirely on candidates sourced by recruiters (under the direction of hiring managers) and employee referrals. Often this will lead to large group of individuals with similar affinities and actually decrease the overall productivity and creativity of a company’s workforce.
With regard to technical recruiting there are now services which actually will write your resume for you and guarantee to get you to a first round interview. This often leads to side by side coaching on any phone screen and inevitably wasted time during the candidate’s onsite. Once these services find a resume which produces a phone call or response from a specific company they simply change the name and personal data at the top to pump more of their clients in the hiring funnel.
Creativity is king and queen in today’s world and this has touched the resume space as well. I have seen developers code there resume into game of super Mario. Marketers are creating video resumes and using social media skill to drive shares and gain an organic audience for this skill demonstration. Musicians immediately submit a demo of their work.
What’s the common theme amongst the strategies? Skills.
The resume 2.0 will be an objective showcase of ones skills directly relating to job activities.