Resumes have been a part of the interview process for many years. It’s an established practice in many industries and white collar jobs to have a resume prepared which can be reviewed by a prospective employer. Either the resume itself gets you in the door, or it’s usually considered a must-read document anyway if you get noticed by networking or someone you know.
Is this showing some initial signs of changing a bit? An interesting article in the WSJ discussed how a few employers are focusing less on resumes these days when evaluating prospective job candidates. Rather, they’re looking at other factors. Examples noted included quizzes, surveys, videos, and checking a candidate’s web presence. Giving this some thought, it’s clear that things have changed quite a bit in just the last few years. Furthermore, I believe that we might be on the cusp of some more far reaching changes in the job search/recruitment process in the not too distant future.
In the past, how could an organization know that a potential applicant for a job would be a good fit and able to succeed? One way would have been to look at a resume, then interview the person to see if he or she gave good answers. References could be checked and questions asked about the person’s experience. Perhaps a basic personality test or quiz could be given. Short of other publicly available information, the amount of information to evaluate a candidate was limited.
As of today, we can do a number of things that help us understand what a candidate for job is truly made of beyond just the resume.
Linkedin – sure it might seem like an online resume in some ways. However, you can tell more about a person here than what would show up on a resume. You can see to whom a candidate is connected, and what roles those individuals hold. It’s a way to better frame up the type of work the person might have done, the talent level of the people with whom they interacted, and the degree of connectedness the individual has. This provides additional information that a resume can’t.
Facebook – depending on privacy settings, you can learn about a person’s personality from what’s out there. Crazy pictures? Well, maybe they don’t match up with your professional persona, and this could be good…or bad. Depends. But it’s another layer of information that helps tell the story of who you are.
Googling – just googling someone can tell you some things about a person. If someone is applying for a job, a quick search might reveal some talents and accomplishments that the person has had. Or, it could show some less than flattering things.
What this comes down to is the notion that when we’re trying to get a job, it’s not just the old standy factors that matter. Rather, since the readily available information has increased in volume, we’re being evaluated more comprehensively now.
How will this change going forward? What are we on the cusp of?
Good questions. I’m not an expert on this, so I’m quite curious what you think.
To me, I can see social proof as becoming even more important. Going beyond what’s on today’s social networks, and what appears in search results, it might be that a online presence that demonstrates achievement, talent, potential, etc could be expected. Perhaps having a blog, and demonstrating subject-matter expertise in your field could become the norm rather than just a mark of the exceptionally motivated. Maybe it will be more important to have written white papers, contributed to an e-book, or in some way show that you know what you’re doing.
Maybe we’ll have to have PowerPoint type of presentations of our skills available for all to see. Perhaps it will become more much more common than it is today to have a video where you can demonstrate your knowledge, or give an “elevator speech” to be seen. Or, maybe we will have to compete with others in online skills assessments, being ranked on some kind of social and sharable platform.
I’m just totally brainstorming here, and sharing ideas that come to mind. Perhaps some of these things are more pervasive than many of us realize already. Perhaps this is overblown, and it will still often come down to traditional networking and who you know – which is super important today and has been for a long time. However, it sure seems like there’s at least some evolution coming in the way the job market is negotiated, from the perspective of both employers and employees.
My Questions for You:
Did you find your most recent employment through more traditional methods, or through any newer ones?
What changes have you noticed in recent years in how people are hired and find employment?
Looking ahead, what changes do you think we might see in terms of how people find jobs and how companies look for employees? I’m curious what you think might be coming our way, if anything.