Going Beyond the Resume: How will Job Searching Change in the Future?

Will Job Searching Change in the Future?

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.



  1. says

    Hmmm… interviews of the future… I think we’ll see much more group interviews, as working within a team is more and more important. There will be video interviews, although for the final rounds the in-person touch still trumps all. And personality tests or skills testing will remain as important as they were before. And then for the interviews of the future FUTURE, we’ll all just communicate telepathetically our qualitifications and desire for the position. 😉

    • Squirrelers says

      Well Heeled – good point on group interviews. I see that in my daughter’s school (elementary) they do quite a bit of group work compared to what I remember when younger. It’s the way the world is going, and kids are being trained that way more and more it seems.

  2. says

    I think LinkedIn is already a huge part of the recruitment process. I have been contacted several times based on my profile and professional background.

    As we move forward, I think finding good candidates will rely more on online activities and a little less on the paper resume. However, it is just a change in form of the resume. My LinkedIn profile is a professional resume, just on the internet instead of paper.

    • Squirrelers says

      Eric – agreed that Linkedin is huge now. People must be on Linkedin, I think. I too get contacted periodically, out of the blue, based on my profile/backround.

  3. says

    I’m self employed, so you can be sure I put myself through a rigorous process before agreeing to bring me onboard.

    Your LinkedIn comment has me thinking. Does this mean that scores like Klout become more important? I think Klout is pretty silly right now (I’m so popular!)….but I’m interested if employers will take it more seriously than I do.

    • Squirrelers says

      AverageJoe – I too wonder about Klout – perhaps some select employers might care? I don’t know, that’s a good question. I know some employers would be interested in someone with a good, active online profile, depending on the position.

  4. says

    Though I do see a lot of changes I dont really know if the most important ones will ever change. Yes Linkedin and other sources have made a difference and to me the resume has been lost its touch. For the most part though most of the good jobs are going to people who have a strong network and know people. Its amazing how many of my friends say they cant find a job and they have no contacts. But the ones with strong connects are not only finding jobs but great paying ones.

    • Squirrelers says

      Thomas – oh, I agree that knowing people is still a shortcut and best way. It’s the entire process and structure that’s continually shifting and evolving.

  5. says

    My friends who work in tech fields have had online resumes/professional sites for years. I could certainly see things moving a bit that way.
    LinkedIn scares me a little bit. I mean, I have some absolutely amazing LinkedIn connections, but very few are actually in my field. (I’m a gamer, and I know some of the top people in the video game industry, but I work in healthcare.)
    Employers are already using FaceBook. Actually, the biggest way I see that changing is that right now, having those embarrassing pictures up can cost you a job. In the future, as we get more and more people in positions who have had their FaceBook accounts for years, I think that won’t matter as much, as long as it’s obvious that the pictures were from two years ago, not two weeks ago.
    At the same time, what I do on my weekends has no bearing on how well I can do my job, so I think over time, employers will stop caring about the social side. (Except for some specific instances.)

    • Squirrelers says

      shanendoah – true that people can be checked out by potential employers, which is why it’s important for everyone to keep this in mind and use common sense. Even though it makes sense that one does over the weekend doesn’t impact the ability to do a job, biases do exist fair or not. Just good to remember!

  6. says

    My current paid employment gig came to me the old fashioned way: By submitting a resume in response to a job posting, followed by an in-person interview. (I’ll note that everyone involved is over age 50.) However, and I hope this doesn’t sound immodest, I have a pretty strong resume at this point. I probably come across better on paper than in person :-), which is not the case for many.

    I do, however, believe the resume is becoming passé. One person I follow on Twitter–who is a Twitter-master–believes one can find a job using Twitter alone. LinkedIn has become important I think, and I’ve actually referred people who may have an interest in my background to my LinkedIn profile in lieu of giving my resume. In my opinion, you can formulate a more complete picture of yourself through a well-done LinkedIn Profile than with a resume. Plus you can update it as needed, real-time.

    If I were hiring someone, I wouldn’t need to see a resume and I wouldn’t ask for one, if they had a complete LinkedIn profile. I might do some Googling as well, to verify facts, etc.

    • Squirrelers says

      Kurt – good point on the value of a linkedin profile, specifically the depth to which you can learn about someone through it. There are recommendations, as well as links to connections, which can help put the picture together. It’s vital for people in many professions to have a complete linkedin profile.

    • Squirrelers says

      krantcents – networking is important for sure, it’s just changed in terms of the options by which we can do it.

  7. says

    Every job I’ve gotten has been because if someone I knew. I think networking will always be the most productive way of getting hired. I can see a lot of whats being done now as the process finally catching up with technology. As you said, tech shows the dark side too. Which may lead to people censoring themselves or unplugging for a bit of extra privacy.

  8. says

    I remember reading that WSJ article you mentioned in your post. I can understand why employers would want to know your level of online influence as well as your web presence. Particularly if you work in a sales or marketing function. Even if a potential employer doesn’t ask for this information, assuming you haven’t created an embarrassing online persona, it could give you an advantage over the competition. How many people are going to go through the trouble of creating a video to sell their skills? Not many.

    I remember telling my former boss to have his son buy the domain for his first and last name and create a semi-personal blog that relates to the field he wants to work in upon graduation. I’m sure this will become increasingly more common. Might as well get a head start.

    • Squirrelers says

      Shawanda – your idea on getting a personal domain and having a blog relating to one’s field just might be more common in the future. It’s a platform for showing our talents, interests, intellect, and ambition – as well as being a controllable advertisement for ourselves.

  9. says

    I got my most recent job through Linked In. What’s funny is that this recruiter asked if I would be interested in coming in to interview for the position a couple weeks after I had submitted my resume on their website and gotten no response. The resume I submitted was identical to the resume I had on my profile.

  10. Maysel says

    I learned how hard people sometimes have to work in order to make money. Thanks for posting your lesson in your job.. I am so lucky that I to read this! Thanks a lot..

  11. says

    yes, you are right because many employers these are preferring to know the candidates awareness about social networking. It really makes sense of his activeness.

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