The basic resume should probably die a slow, painful death

Basic Resume

Literally do not (and have not ever) understand the basic resume. Why is this still a thing? In the era of LinkedIn, which is apparently worth $26 billion but has essentially no value, why are we still evaluating people off the basic resume? I’m confused.

Then I run into articles like this one about how “leading companies build the workforce they need” (buzzword alert) and I see quotes like this:

The World Economic Forum predicts that “by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today.”

Yea. The basic resume is dead.

The basic resume and checklists of skills

I absolutely despise this concept. You ever see a job listing with 17 required skills, including pornography experience and speaking Italian, and then the salary range is $40,000? Huh? My broader point is this: if you truly believe we live in the era of disruption and business is shifting every 12 seconds, then who cares about pre-existing skill sets? Your job role is probably somewhat unclear anyway (often the case) and will shift 21 times in the next six months, so why not go get the best people and train ’em up to the specific role? Seems more logical to me, but we tend to overrate competence in the general hiring process.

The basic resume and the ATS

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are fucking miserable. So let me get this straight. I am a relatively intelligent person, and I need to upload my resume (my basic resume!) then fill out 18 screens of information that was already on said basic resume? We don’t think this alienates the best possible candidates? Sheesh. The hiring process is legitimately broken.

What could ever replace the basic resume?

A few ideas:

Point being: the basic resume is stupid in the “disruptive” era. It’s just a static list of skills that indicates literally nada about how you might perform when your job evolves 27 times in three months. Kill it off and find people through discussions, non-generic interview questions, and actual recruiting work. (Isn’t that what these people are paid for?)

Any other thoughts on the basic resume aside from my 400 or so words of ranting?

Ted Bauer

One Comment

  1. Too true. Job positing should say what problem the company wants to solve (in less than a page) and applications should consist of 300 word solutions to that problem. Done. I’ve hired this way. If you can’t find a good candidate, you shouldn’t be hiring.

Reply If You'd Like