Are Resumes still Relevant?

Resumes these days are made for the machines and not humans. They are filled with keywords, action words, words from job descriptions, a lot of exaggeration and padding to fulfill the hiring criteria.Your resume is just one piece of the puzzle—it doesn't tell the whole story.

If Billionaires and Founders apply for a job today, there are full chances that one can be rejected by the AI-operated ATS. The ATS would have told them that their skills are outdated and irrelevant to the world of work.

Dropped out? Career gap? Cohort over masters? Communities and soft skills over online courses and excel? How to move past the stage of hiring by computers with a unique and unconventional set of skills? The answer is simple: you need a new way of thinking.

In Today’s edition, We'll talk about :

  • Are resumes still relevant?
  • Why resumes shouldn't be a judgement point?
  • If not resume, then what?
  • Unconventional Hiring Stories

Are Resumes still relevant?

This has two answers - Yes and a No. Yes, resumes are still relevant. But, no, they're not used the same way they were before the digital age.

What does this mean? It means that when you apply for a job today, your resume is just one piece of the puzzle—it doesn't tell the whole story.  We should have education, we should have experience, sector-specific experience, etc. is the old way. Now, you need to show off your talents and skills in other ways: proof of work, building a personal brand, having a blog and documenting, through a cover letter, building side projects, or in person when you interview with a potential employer.

Raman Rai who is a TISS Graduate and works on People Analytics at BYJU'S says “It's never black and white, particularly in HR related stuff. It's always grey. So, I'm not saying a resume is like just doing away with resumes. Resumes should be indicative. It can be there, but it needs to be complemented with proof of work.”

Resumes these days are made for the machines and not humans. They are filled with keywords, action words, words from job descriptions, a lot of exaggeration and padding to fulfill the hiring criteria. Mehul Ved says “I am not opposed to the idea of keyword stuffing as long as they are relevant. But is the resume really telling you something about the person their work basically more than the person say I mean from the work, speculate professional aspect? Is it really telling you about the professional aspect? What kind of work they have done? What kind of working style do they have what what are the aims and goals? How do they how what kind of company would they want to work with?”

“There has been a boom of the internet, the world is going crazy and, as a result, we have a shorter attention span. Attention is the new oil. Do you really think that you can drive attention in 10 seconds to a prospective employer who has to pay you a hefty amount?” Says Raman Rai. According to a study by CareerBuilder, nearly one quarter (24%) of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds looking at a resume. Can you tell all about yourself in 30 seconds?

Why Resumes shouldn't be a judgment point?

Resumes are commoditized - Great resumes tell a story, a short story. Raj Kunkoliekar on LinkedIn said - “A resume that talks about one project in all its dirty detail is a lot better than a resume that talks about 10 projects with no detail except some pseudo-quantitative outcomes that you only calculated while preparing your resume for your next job — simply because people told you that putting numbers and outcomes on your resume is good. But in reality, any hiring manager worth her salt wants to know your process and thinking more than the outcome because they know you can never accurately assign a number to how much you personally contributed to those outcomes you've claimed the entire credit for. It is so obvious and yet most candidates use these dishonest tricks. You aren't fooling anyone. Much better to take a single project and describe your entire journey working on it. That lets me know where you stand much better. If you say that conventional resume formats aren't suitable for this, I agree. Send me a descriptive account of the project in essay format instead.”

They are past - focused, they're not forward looking: Raman Rai says “If I am looking to promote someone, I look for “What are they capable of doing next?”. This mindset is missing while hiring and while creating resumes. I am an engineer, who went for a Masters in HR. So now, judging by my past-focused resume, I get feedback that I should move out of HR and go back to being a product guy. We should be focusing on what the person can do, rather than what they have already done. We will feel disengaged in that job after a certain time because even if I am adding value to the company, the company is not adding value to me.”

Can a resume truly check Culture-Fit? Another thing about resumes is its inability to capture the soft skills. Does the person take ownership? Are they patient, clear with communication or a good leader? Yes, organizations are expecting better soft skills in a person, even the candidates know the value it holds, but it’s not being portrayed effectively on a piece of paper. Simply writing about ‘a collaboration with a team of four on this project’ doesn't land up well.

If not resumes, then what?

By now it is clear that yes, resumes are needed, but it can’t be the only source of our hiring process, understanding the candidate at a deeper level. It requires layers on top of it to make an informed decision based on cultural alignment, skill-based, etc. But what are these layers? How can we bring this change?

1) Portfolios - Building an online portfolio that can be shared is easy to carry your past in hand. Multiple platforms like GitHub, Behance, Fueler etc. have become an important part of application processes. It highlights and showcases samples of some of your best work, along with life experiences, values and achievements.

2) Proof of work - “According to me, proof of work offers a much better impact than a resume. It builds credibility and shows my profiling. It is more interactive and engaging and it removes the bias to a certain extent.

Resumes should be indicative, complemented with proof of work, skills, etc. There are a lot of AI based technologies & leadership simulations through which people can judge these tools.” says Raman Rai

Riten who founded a Proof of work platform called Fueler, talks about a concept with a jar named Proof of Work ~ “This jar consists of everything ~ including proof of ideation, proof of knowledge, proof of concept, and proof of result. This gives a very significant idea to what has been the creativity and thought-process implied by the candidate while creating this product.”

3) Referrals - "Referrals are always a very strong indicator of finding somebody who is suitable because you are bound by a trust chain And the world is really small and people don't want to break that trust chain" Says Mehul. In the pool of thousands of resumes, hiring managers prefer internal referrals and usually speed up the process for them.

4) Personal Brand - “It is already being replaced! Having an audience, having people who know you and interact with you can add as a huge benefit. It gives a certain face to the brand by the individuals they are working with as well. If someone likes having a strong personal brand, it is going to help a brand too. Your personal brand works like an advantage. Because you have an understanding of dynamics, talking to people and having a distribution really helps.

Raman explains that instead of completely doing away with resumes, there is a different way ~ Resume + simulations + skill-based platforms + plus proof of work. Resumes are still needed for mass recruiting, hiring fast and

Unconventional Hiring Stories:

1) Moonlighting, Side Gigs and Side Hustles

2) Language of Layoffs

3) Is Offboarding as important as Onboarding now?

What we are pondering upon: