Are resumes dead?
If your answer is NO, you can stop reading (thanks for stopping by and please tip your waitress). If you said YES, am I under any obligation to notify the next of kin?
You can probably guess I think paper resumes have outlived their usefulness.
Email (along with texting for you crazy kids) is replacing snail mail. Land lines are being put out of commission by cell phones (how I miss the rotary phone and the party line). Newspapers are getting crushed by the internet. And the Kindle seems to be every librarian’s worst nightmare.
Since technology seems to be changing every facet of our lives, why should resumes be any different?
Maybe it’s time to lighten my mailman’s load.
Maybe it’s time to stop killing so many trees.
Maybe it’s time to stop wasting money on stamps.
Maybe it’s time to shift the focus from fancy resume paper and cool fonts to what a candidate has really accomplished.
Maybe the new resume should be electronic.
Maybe it should be a personal website, wiki, blog, a series of podcasts, or even a summary of a candidate’s online presence.
Maybe this could be a mandatory class in every college education program. Just think, we could produce graduates who understand technology and how it can be used in schools to benefit students (a novel concept I know, but call me a dreamer).
I haven’t worked out the details (don’t worry, they are just details), but resumes should be more than a phone number, an address (snail mail… it’s dead people, move on), an odd sounding objective statement, embellished job history, and three references.
While the classic resume drives me crazy, nothing angers me more than the three references at the bottom of the page (yes, I said one page… don’t even think I can wade through 5 pages of your resume… I’m just not that into you).
Who’s idea was the whole reference thing?
When did this become the standard end-of-the resume space filler?
When did we convince ourselves that it was so important to ask potential employees to name three people who think they are great?
I get it, your pastor loves you.
Your pastor loves everyone. That’s why they are in the pastor business.
Your pastor might even like me (okay, that’s just crazy talk but you get my point).
Do we actually believe people who are desperate to find a job will list references who think they are lazy, incompetent, and don’t deserve to make a living wage?
I know resumes are simply a way to narrow down a group of candidates into a manageable number of interviews, but how great would it be if you could just get online and learn a candidate’s personal history.
To me, knowing someone’s technology ability is far more important then if they were on their high school swim team or a member of swing choir.
I can Google a person’s name and find drunken inappropriate pictures of them, but I can’t access their technology skills online.
It just doesn’t seem fair.
Or very 2010.
As an added bonus, electronic resumes mean less paper cuts. And I don’t care who you are, that’s always a good thing.