Why are resumes still necessary?
We call for a change in how business is done and then we still use this remnant of a professional mindset that is no longer acceptable or effective.
I’ve thought a lot about this topic of resumes…probably too much. Stuart Foster and I have discussed it a few times but today when he brought it up, it sparked a good conversation with Amy Mengel, Dana Lewis and others. Amy Mengel just posted her thoughts on the issue which completely made me rethink my argument.
She makes some great points. Today, to disregard your resume, regardless of your industry, is foolish. It is integrated into pretty much every company’s hiring process and if you don’t have one, chances are you won’t get a job.
My point isn’t that you shouldn’t have one…my point is that you shouldn’t have to have one.
Resumes are still very relevant, when they SHOULD be irrelevant.
and here’s why…
- Resumes usually aren’t a truthful representation of someone’s value. A double standard exists here. We focus on being honest, human, transparent, selfless, etc…and yet resumes violate every one of these virtues. Every time I would visit career services, or have my resume reviewed somewhere, it would be analyzed and reformatted to hell! Every adjective and verb would have to be ideally selected from a list of “strong descriptive and action words”. I know a lot of people that put things on their resume, that they barely participated in. Resumes show how the candidate wants to be viewed, not how they’re actually viewed. How is this human? How is this honest? This is painting a perfect picture and there’s no such thing as a perfect picture. And if you don’t do it, you’ll lose to someone who does.
- There are more effective methods. Amy made the point that HR has to keep everything on record and have every resume on file. But resumes are usually outdated within months of their last update. If you really want to keep an accurate, up to date file on each candidate, why don’t we start using tools like LinkedIn over resumes? LinkedIn also provides short recommendations, which in my opinion, are A LOT more valuable than you saying how great you were at your last job. It’s greener, it’s smarter, it’s up to date, and it creates a much better view of a candidate than a one page resume.
- It’s time to become savvy. Perhaps this is more industry sensitive, so try not to take this as a blanket statement. I think that companies that aren’t web savvy no longer have an excuse. Saying I need your resume, because I don’t understand social media isn’t going to fly anymore. If you’re hiring someone that has a blog, and you haven’t read a good deal of their blog, you’re crazy. I bleed my thoughts and experiences onto this blog, and my beliefs could completely contradict the culture of your company, but you’d hire me without reading what I’ve openly shared? A highly overprepared interview with a HR person who doesn’t know diddly about the industry will never give you the same kind of insight into my knowledge and ideas that my blog provides.
I’m not saying that the HR person needs to read every blog, twitter, linkedin, and whatever else for every candidate..
Use linked in as a filter, the same way you would a resume. Then once you narrow down the selection to a few candidates, YES, you should read their blogs, their twitter and anywhere else they interact online…and wouldn’t you know it, all of those places are linked right there on their LinkedIn page!
To say that something is necessary and acceptable because the current system allows and requires it, is how a lot of horrible things have happened in this world. This is no different in concept.
brb…I have to go take my blog link off of my resume so that no HR departments read this.
EDIT: Here are some alternatives to the traditional paper resume. LinkedIn isn’t the only option.