Why Resumes Need to Retire

Kathy Rapp Kathy Rapp, Resumes, War for Talent 3 Comments

I spoke at a conference 5 years ago in which I declared, “resumes suck”.  The context was about over-inflated resumes filled with key words, and on the other side, employers who dismiss great talent based on a piece (or 10) of paper.  In short, resumes needed to be retired and replaced with a more dynamic way of matching talent with needs.

Yet in 2018, we will still ask for traditional resumes, and expect internal and external recruiters to work magic when it comes to attracting high-demand talent and needed skill sets.  WHY?!?

Let’s go back to why resumes suck.  From a recent FastCompany article:

Technology has changed the marketplace, and HR is the only vertical that hasn’t seen a rapid transition, says Carisa Miklusak, CEO of the algorithmic hiring platform tilr.  “Right now tech isn’t giving people a fair opportunity to compete,” she says.  “Before you blame the resume, you need to understand that they’re a byproduct of old employer values.  Titles and years of experience are no longer a person’s number-one currency.”

Resumes also:

  • Put an emphasis on titles – We all know titles mean different things in different organizations.  Plus, there’s the continued movement to be creative with titles, such as “Chief Happiness Officer”, “Director of First Impressions”, “Ambassador of Buzz”.
  • Are static – And who out there wants to update their resume every month?!!
  • Don’t identify on-demand talent – No gig worker is going to put a resume in your ATS and expect to be called for a project need.
  • Slow up the process – Which is why 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn and other social tools.  The rest…well, they must live on an island with very poor internet connectivity.
  • Highlight experiences over results – We need to be looking for skills and how those skills generated results.  Not how many years someone has worked in “X” industry/role.

In addition to needing to identify the results of someone’s work, millions of people will be acquiring new skills that may have nothing to do with their past occupation or experience.

From McKinsey:

The changes in net occupational growth or decline imply that a very large number of people may need to shift occupational categories and learn new skills in the years ahead.  The shift could be on a scale not seen since the transition of the labor force out of agriculture in the early 1900s in the United States and Europe, and more recently in China.

We estimate that between 400 million and 800 million individuals could be displaced by automation and need to find new jobs by 2030.

75 million to 375 million may need to switch occupational categories and learn new skills.

The future of work is here.  We are in an ever-evolving era of a new workforce in which technology and where and how people want to work will impact how successful an organization will be.  Freelancers, Gig Workers, On-Demand Talent, Independent Consultants are all a huge chunk of this new workforce and bring needed skill sets in a just-in-time scenario.  Our people strategies need to progress and will require a non-traditional approach.

How HR leaders adapt their people strategies to identify and harness talent and skills will be paramount to their own success, not to mention their organizations.

And the ability to pull off that strategy won’t show up in a traditional resume.

Kathy Rapp

Kathy Rapp is the CEO of hrQ where she helps companies find groovy HR Talent for permanent or project roles across the country. Prior to joining hrQ Kathy booked more than 15 years of diverse HR leadership experience working in F500s and start-up organizations. A connoisseur of the intersection between pop culture and business, Kathy believes many talent insights can be gleamed from the succession planning lessons experienced by Van Halen and AC/DC.

Comments 3

  1. Pingback: Why Resumes Need to Retire | True Wage - Seattle Salary Data Consulting

  2. Kathy — You make a good case here for resumes to go away, but what should take their place?

    I have been surprised that things like LinkedIn Profiles haven’t become the go-to way to quickly get a fix on a candidate instead of a resume. And, as someone who has applied for a lot of jobs recently, even when you get asked for your LinkedIn profile, more times than not, they also want your resume as well.

    That doesn’t make any sense.

    For resumes to go away, we need something that people can turn to instead. I’m all for using the LinkedIn profile, but there may be other ways to get background info into the hands of hiring pros other than that.

    If you advocate to get rid of something, you need to make a case for what will take it’s place. I’m all for non-traditional approaches, but really, we need to get a little more specific than that.

    1. Hey John – Thanks for the comments. The resume angle was more about our need to focus on skills and results in terms of talent and what the future of work is demanding vs. what should replace a resume.

      I wish I was smart enough to develop the technology or adapt the ATS machines of the world to pull in a social profile and truly retire the resume….but that’s not my lane so I can’t offer a solution.

      This post was meant to stimulate the conversation around what is truly needed to create a people/talent strategy that is ready to take on gig workers and those who will need to retool their careers because of what’s around the corner (i.e. AI, robotics, etc.).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *