Is Your Résumé Still Relevant?

5 Feb

Spending significant time tweaking a résumé? A new Wall Street Journal article says there is a good chance that that résumé may never reach a human recruiter.

With the job market weakened and technology easing the application process, applicants have flooded the few openings available. Last year, Starbucks Corp. attracted 7.6 million applicants for 65,000 positions; other large companies reported similar numbers.

Facing the daunting number of résumés, a vast majority of sizeable companies have turned over parts of the hiring process to machine software. The automated system sifts through applicants, scanning résumés for key properties like job-related keywords and experience. The software whittles down the applicant pool to a manageable number and, only then, are they picked up by human recruiters.

Other companies have responded to the résumé overload by dropping résumés altogether. As a second Wall Street Journal article reports, one avant-garde venture capital firm has abandoned hiring through résumés in favor of a general “web presence.” The firm, Union Square Ventures, asked applicants to submit links to Twitter accounts, Tumblr blogs or LinkedIn profiles in addition to short videos promoting their interest in the position.

In the view of Christina Cacioppo, an associate at Union Square Ventures, the web presence renders a much deeper, holistic portrait of the applicant. The process also captures better-quality candidates whom are well versed in Internet capabilities, central for a tech-investing firm.

Not all avant-garde companies, however, have adopted the approach. Perhaps the most famous non-traditional employer, Google Inc., insists on reading every résumé that comes its direction. According to Google staffing director Dr. Todd Carlisle, Google sifts through its millions of résumés with an army of hundreds of recruiters.

In reading résumés, Carlisle focuses on hobbies, extracurricular activities and volunteer work to gain a sense of the applicant’s personality. For Carlisle, the most important attribute in an applicant is their fit within the company culture.

In spite of the varied approaches to résumés across the hiring environment, experts insist a quality printed (and electronic) résumé is still important. If nothing else, Carlisle says, “It’s the first sample of work we have of yours.”


by Josh Jaffe


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