Are Resumes Dying?
With some career experts predicting that traditional resumes may be on their way out, readers may question the notion of the storytelling resume. Citing online recruiting expert John Sullivan as well as Allan Schweyer of the Human Capital Institute, Dib prognosticates that “within a few years most companies who are hiring or recruiting online will use e-profiles in place of the traditional resume. E-profiles allow access to information that is sorted and easy to use.” Dib’s finger is on the pulse of those who predict that paperless recruiting will become the norm. While the resume may disappear from the online job search and morph into new forms and spin-offs, it will still be used for mailing, networking, and interviewing. No matter what form the resume takes, expert wordsmithing will still be required, Dib notes, “to compose keyword-rich online profiles and resume builders, and to develop compelling success stories for interviews.” A focus-group participant agrees, stating that “in the business world, there will always be a time and place when candidates will need a quick, concise, easily accessible summary of their skills. I think technology will continue to streamline the job application process, and resumes will adapt accordingly but never go away completely.”
It’s also just possible that the current business trend toward storytelling will move the resume to a more rather than less narrative form. As businesspeople recognize the power of storytelling and eschew emotionless data, PowerPoint presentations, dry analytical facts, and terse bullet points, they will be drawn to story-based resumes. As A Whole New Mind author Daniel Pink warns, “minimizing the importance of story places you in professional and personal peril.”
Employers and recruiters express a constant concern about finding candidates who are a good fit with their organizations, who will perform, and get results. Given that they fret about the ability to predict candidate performance before hiring, they should welcome information in the resume that helps them to get to know more about the candidate rather than less. In fact, it is not decision-makers’ distaste for rich information that is driving the current trend toward standardized profile forms that enable employers to compare apples to apples; instead, it is the revolution in Internet recruiting and job-hunting which has inundated employers with too many resumes to deal with. But as Pink points out, we have a “hunger for what stories can provide “ context enriched by emotion, a deeper understanding of how we fit in and why that matters.”
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