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The future of resumes.


Meredith Stack


Resumes may have lost their standing as the most important tool in a job seeker’s toolbox, but that doesn’t mean they are going away. Like every aspect of the job search process, resumes are evolving, and recruiters and candidates need to adapt.

Digital uploads aren’t enough.

The days of paper resumes have been over for years. If you are still printing resumes or expecting candidates to lay a paper copy on your desk, you are behind the times. Today’s resumes are all digital. Candidates upload them directly to their job applications or include a link to their Linked In profile, which is essentially a public-facing resume.

But this is where the problems start to occur. Despite the fact that companies and recruiting firms talk endlessly about ‘improving the candidate experience’ and creating more ‘engaging candidate touchpoints’, most job applications make resume-sharing a painful and time-consuming part of the process.

Anyone who has ever applied for a job online knows that most “upload your resume” features feel like they were built by a high school ‘Intro to HTML’ class. In many cases, your carefully laid out resume will display with no formatting in a different font, and often with every line merged into a single, illegible paragraph.

In the worst examples, the application then requires candidates to manually enter all the data that is already in their resumes into clunky digital fields. And if they skip even one field, or enter data in the wrong format, they can expect an error message that prevents submission.

After putting candidates through this terrible experience, the vast majority will never really hear from you (an automated ‘we got your application!’ email doesn’t count).

These data fields may make it easier for automated screening tools to rapidly review a wave of applications, but it creates a frustrating candidate experience and suggests your company is not very innovative. Don’t believe us? Apply for one of your open positions and see how cumbersome it can be.

Video, blockchain, assessment results.

Even if the resume upload experience is top-notch, the information contained within those digital docs is still static, experience-focused, and potentially over-inflated, making the information of limited value to the recruiting process.

Resumes are obviously not working in their current format but imagine what they could become. The resume of the future could be just as valuable as it once was if we start asking for more validated and valuable information. Instead of limiting resumes to past experience, resumes could offer more personalized insights about candidates, including pre-employment screening results highlighting leadership ability, temperament, and problem-solving skills; links to online portfolios of past work; short videos of candidates discussing their goals and work experience. All of that information could be validated through a secure blockchain and qualified hotlinks, eliminating the risk that it’s all a bunch of lies.

In turn, automated screening bots will get more sophisticated, learning how to tease relevant facts, and to compare data from multiple sources to figure out who among that applicant pile is truly the best fit, and who’s just good at building resumes.

All of this technology exists today. It hasn’t yet been integrated into the recruiting environment, but it is just a matter of time.

We predict that over the next five-10 years, the way people define themselves in resumes will transform from a static list of past jobs and education to a dynamic profile of their ever-evolving skills, attributes, ambitions, and accomplishments. It will give recruiters greater insight into the whole candidate, and hopefully allow the best candidates (regardless of their last name, gender, or academic affiliations) to rise to the top of the list.

Candidate gives a presentation of her resume on a tablet

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