If I Were Running A Company…Resumes

As I was watching the Olympics, I was watching the gymnastics event (forgot what part) and was struck by NBC’s gymnastics color analyst, Tim Daggert, analysis of the different styles between Russia and the U.S.A. To paraphrase Tim, “While the U.S. puts on a spectacular display for their routines, Russia does, but in an artistic way because of their ballet experience.” Daggert wasn’t dissing anyone; he made an observation the U.S. focuses on athleticism, while the Russians focus on the whole aspect of the routine (music, routines, pace). In a sense, the U.S. focuses on the key things the judges are looking for mostly like positioning, rotation, and athleticism, while the Russian do focus on athleticism, they want to put on a performance art at a sporting event. What does it have to do with resumes? Everything.

There are numerous blogs and articles saying about the death of the resume and you don’t need it anymore because with LinkedIn and social media. I agree with the people that the death of the resume is near…but it shouldn’t be.

What I like about creating (and reading) resumes are you’re telling a story on your own terms. You structure your story you want, either by relevance, skill or chronologically, for the organization you’re applying for. The under appreciated aspect of doing your resume is visually how you want it: do you want bullet points, what should you say under the company you worked for, what font to use, how much spacing, how to write a good introduction, and others.

People who say the death of the resume will say we are living in big data where companies can access your information and see what skills you have and who you have worked for. That’s why there’s a proponent from moving from the “art” of recruiting to the “science” of recruiting. Yes, big data is important, but you need to struck a balance between “art” and “science.” You have the data of the person’s skills, but how do you use that for your company? This is where the hiring manager and company culture comes in. They have the skills and work in the same industry, but what changes are the environment and people in that organization. You don’t know what to expect meeting new people and new surroundings. This is why recruiting and hiring are always a crapshoot and at best, educated guesses.

I think social media, blogging, and other avenues can enhance your career profile, but it should be an addendum to your resume. You resume should be your introduction to the organization, not a list of skills and accomplishments.

I might be in the minority here, but I want to see an actual resume to imagine the story of the person and I want to get more intrigued after reading their resume, I want to see their social profile (if they let us in) to see if the story is consistent, then hopefully will talk to them if their story holds form. Sadly though, that skill is gone in lieu of buzzwords to try to game the company’s ATS and the employees. Basically, I’m a Russian gymnast living in U.S. territory.

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