Resumes have been a key ingredient in job applications since forever. However, as our business markets evolve, many have found that this supposedly all-encompassing sheet of paper may not be the best representation of a candidate’s skills, personality, and company fit. In fact, Jeff Weiner, CEO of Linkedin believes that the key to finding strong talent is looking in non-traditional places and not more at resumes.
Why is this so? Let’s dive into 3 key reasons as to why resumes may not be the best way to evaluate potential candidates in today’s working world.
1. The structure of resumes tend to focus more on experiences than skills
Resumes mainly include work experience, leadership experience, and extracurricular activities in chronological order. These sections break your resume down into chunks of experiences, instead of transferable skills which hiring managers are looking for. In fact, Utah Business found that today’s managers are more interested in skills and capabilities like creativity, problem-solving, and empathy.
Not only that, but the blatant listing of industries and past titles also causes companies to cherry-pick candidates who have had experience with big brand names or come from traditionally well-known universities. With resume drops being the first round of the hiring process, HR Executive said that a reliance on resumes causes recruiters to discard talented candidates without giving them a chance to show off their skills.
2. Important soft skills cannot be discerned from just text
Miklusak found that
Candidates are being judged and employed based on their ability to perform – something that doesn’t easily come across on a resume
This ability to perform can come in the form of both hard and soft skills. In particular, soft skills like interpersonal skills and culture fit cannot be identified or even evaluated by reading a resume. For example, a recruiter cannot confirm if a candidate has good communication skills if they do not see it demonstrated for themselves. This require other platforms such as one-way video interviews which have become more and more popular recently. In fact, Harvard Business Review found that 40% of employers now regularly use video interviewing in their recruitment processes for these reasons.
3. Resumes are lengthy and not all information is relevant
HR Executive found that
Although all respondents reported that they read candidates’ resumes during the hiring process, 51 percent of executives spend less than five minutes reading a candidate’s resume and 13 percent spend less than two minutes.
Reading through every candidate’s resume to sift out important information is just not feasible, especially when a company is handling hundreds or even thousands of applications. Relying on resumes can result in recruiters missing out details or not considering candidates who may have the required skills but have not been taught to write a resume or game the system using keywords.
Moreover, FastCompanies found that resumes are not essential for all jobs, especially entry-level ones and on-demand positions in our gig economy. Combing through irrelevant information can be a huge waste of time that can be diverted to more productive activities. Employers in these situations look for specific skillsets and soft skills, which can be much faster identified via other means such as psychometric tests or video interviews.
So, what should we use? Though resumes may be outdated, they are still a concise summary of a candidate’s skills and experience and can be used to identify traits like detail-orientedness. Instead of simply relying on resumes, they can be paired with other mediums to showcase an applicant’s candidature such as e-portfolios, psychometric tests, and one-way interviews (check out our blog which speaks about the benefits of interviewing every candidate!). In fact, structured interviews are one of the most reliable assessment techniques to gauge future job performance as seen on our Science page. Every medium has its own pros and cons, so it is eventually up to your company to know what you are looking for and customize a recruitment process that works best.