We all like new and shiny. Call me nuts—but is it possible the newest and shiniest resume style is the old-fashioned hard-copy? Somebody poke holes in this please, ’cause I’m trying to figure it out. I think this warrants some input from the FOT pro-recruiters and readers. (Kris Dunn, Tim Sackett, chime in here!)
So here is the deal. I went to my desk and a kind soul doing a mail-run grabbed my stack of mail for me. Sitting on my keyboard was a large manila envelope and tucked neatly inside a hard copy of a resume. I was intrigued. I hadn’t seen one of these in so long that it felt fresh. I don’t know why, but this was the first time in a while I actually looked at the resume and read every word.
After reading, I did go over to my recruiting team to find the candidate also applied via our electronic ATS as well. A conversation ensued between me and my recruiting team. Come to find out this candidate wasn’t the right match, but a spirited conversation was had and this candidate was given a second, hard look.
As an executive level HR pro, I don’t do down-and-dirty recruiting anymore. Do I interview? Sure. But I’m not elbow deep in the ATS, grinding out resume after resume, nor am I attending career fair after career fair. I have a stellar recruiting team that does that, but for me it is not part of my daily routine.
Some may say, “if I were knee deep in resumes every day I wouldn’t want a hard copy”; too cumbersome. It’s true I’m not knee deep in resumes everyday but I am neck deep in emails. I get tons of them for a zillion reasons. And frankly my friends, I’m a little burnt out of the email grind. Usually if I get an email resume I do one of two things: a) forward straight to my recruiters or b) lose it in my email black hole of death. This is not intentional; its just resume reading may not be my top executive priority that day.
Others may say who cares if I get the resume since I am not the recruiter. That too is true, but as an HR Exec I still do have influence. And frankly speaking, to anyone looking for a job, it is still a feather in your cap if you can get your name in front of any executive at my company. Again, we have influence.
I am not going to suggest hard-copy resumes only nor am I going to say that email format is passé. It is clearly not. In my situation, likely it was not so much the “hard-copy” alone that intrigued me, but rather it was just a different delivery method from my normal day-to-day. It stood out.
So what’s a candidate to do?
- Think from the point of view of the resume recipient. Who are you sending info to and how will they best view the goods.
- Getting your name in front of influencers is important. Find a way; their way is preferable. Some influencers are receptionists, just saying.
- Follow the application protocol regardless. If you are instructed to apply via ATS – do it.
- Go Rogue and keep it fresh. You have nothing to lose. After you follow application protocol, send a hard copy, forward a video resume, email me your blog link, send a tout blurb.
- Entertain me. I’ve yet to see this method fail to get me to at least review their material.
I guess everything old is new again sometimes.
Dawn Burke, Sr. Consultant for Recruiting Toolbox and founder/advisor for Dawn Burke HR, is an HR leader, speaker, and writer specializing in new HR practices, engagement and workplace culture. Her HR/recruiting/leadership career has spanned the last 20 years, with past gigs including a foundational role as VP of People for Birmingham, AL’s award-winning technology company, Daxko (And yes, Kris Dunn and Dawn are making Bham the HR capital of the world! Who knew?). You can also check her out at DawnHBurke.com and a variety of other interesting places. Google her, it’ll keep you posted on what she is up to.
Most importantly: She is addicted to TV, knows most of the lyrics to Hamilton and West Side Story, loves to cry at movies (check out Cinema Paradiso for a cry fest!), thinks wine, a wheel of Brie and Milk Duds make a well-balanced dinner, and sings in her car daily. Her husband and cat are the Yin to her Yang.