Who Killed the Resume?
On Monday, Sally Adams, Anchor/Reporter on KTRH 740 AM, asked me if I believe that the resume is dead. A CNN Money report by Kathryn Vasel proclaimed the death of the resume, and I had to really think about it for a minute or two.
I finally had to admit that, even though resumes aren’t dead, they are probably on life support. Like a good detective, we need to look for a culprit and decide who/what killed or is killing resumes. The answer isn’t simple.
For decades, I and almost every other recruiter, have realized that resumes are not 100% accurate. In fact according to HireRight, a background check company, 85% of applicants lie on resumes! That means that only 15% of resumes are true, and that means that YOU may have killed the resume when you said that you had a degree from Yale University but you actually went to LoneStar College for two years. Maybe your friend who said that he stayed at a job for 5 years, but it was really only 3 is the murderer. There are a lot of suspects.
It’s possible that the internet is the killer. How much do you like uploading your resume for a job and still not getting an interview? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just contact a real human and talk with them about our qualifications? Why are recruiters hiding from that contact?
And what about online applications where you don’t even send a resume? That looks like a crime scene right there. This can be another case where you spend time completing an application and never hear back from anyone at the company. I understand that you get frustrated, and I understand that it is a process that seems to not care about you as a human.
This detective work brings me to only one conclusion: we are all killing the resume! It’s not dead yet, but it’s struggling. I can prove it’s still alive, though.
If you’re going to a job fair, bring a resume. If you are going to an interview, bring a resume. If you want to show off your unique experience, craft a really good resume. If you are a graphic designer, give me a resume with POW power! If you are a scientist and need to list all of your patents and inventions, you definitely need a resume. I guess you pretty much need a resume now just as often as you always have.
"The résumé has probably gone from about 40-35% of the hiring process to less than 10%," said Macy Andrews, senior director of human resources at tech giant Cisco. Hey, Macy, it was always only 10% of the process! We hire people; not resumes. I know that some huge companies rely more on tangibles like applications than intangibles, but many medium-sized companies still believe that we’d like to meet you!
I’ve seen suggestions that you use LinkedIn to replace your resume. That’s interesting, too. I receive resumes that do not match the information that you posted on LinkedIn. Ooops. Didn’t you think we would look? I also see pictures on LinkedIn that are not professional and don’t give us a good look at who you are in a business setting. Use it wisely!!
My next favorite suggestion is that you network. How many of you know how to network constructively? If you think networking is just connecting with people on social platforms, trust me that isn’t working. There are too many people doing the same thing you are. If you think that networking is going to an event where all of the attendees are trying to use each other to get into a better job, that’s not true either. You have to reach someone of influence at the company that you are targeting. While it can be hard to reach HR, you can almost always reach someone who works in the department that you want to join.
When you reach that someone, let them know that you are trying to join the company and ask for suggestions about who to approach. Your goal is to get that wonderful someone to recommend and refer you. They may get a referral bonus, and you may get the job you want. Simple!
Let’s all save the resume. After all, it’s your advocate, it’s your life, and it’s your experience. Keep it up to date and make sure it looks professional. Then you can send me your 100% truthful resume, and we’ll meet.