Are There Alternatives to Resumes?

If resumes didn't exist anymore or if employers just stopped accepting them, how would you choose to convey your talents?

I was recently reading this article on the Wall Street Journal about Union Square Ventures removal of resumes in their hiring process. Christina over at USV is sharing the progress they are making and discovering that people are behaving different then expected. Namely that despite a timeline for taking their online interview, candidates waited until the last minute to get in before the deadline... busy prepping or procrastinating? I think the latter.

Interesting though, as I'm sure the fire and forget resume submission process that happens so frequently is a bit circumvented here as the candidate needs to think about the firm they are applying to, the skills they have, and the value they add. Of course I'm not the first to come up with this, Seth Godin has been talking about not having resumes since 2008. The difference of course is that Seth and others are taking the approach that those looking for jobs need to change their style. What Union Square Ventures is doing and what I think is more likely to change the game is how employers change how they recruit candidates.

There have been a few startups related to filtering resumes over the last few years and certainly LinkedIn is trying to change the way that resumes are shared amongst peers. Are there better ways?

Granted, shitty jobs are those that are created by other people and dream jobs are those that you create yourself... but working in those shitty jobs that someone else dreams up is one that we deal with in our society. But I digress, we are talking about innovating in the hiring process and getting both the candidate and employer closer to a good fit while reducing the amount of time it takes.

So take a step back and think through how you would truly communicate that you were a good fit if there not such a thing as a resume. If you are or were unemployed and decided that you wanted to have a particular job at a particular firm, how would you want to convey your skills and talents in a world with no resumes? How would you ask for information from potential candidates without a resume?

  • clay campbell

    The resume has done its job of letting an employer know of a persons basic skills and given them a ruler to measure othesr by. However, it never has really told the whole story of a prospect of given the full picture. This problem has led to a lot of video resume start ups such as etc. I don’t know if that’s the solution either… but it is sure better than a piece of paper

  • Josh Maher

    I think that if employers change what they are asking for in a bigger way, we can move away from resumes and into better communication exchanges. Maybe it will be video… but I know I don’t want to have to get on video to tell someone I want to work at their firm. I think the mode of communication does matter…

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