I went to a great talk last night, in which the speaker said:
“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”
He was saying this to stress the importance of being on the cutting edge in your job. For me, it was important on another level, because my job as a resume writer, strictly speaking, is to make you look relevant to your prospective employers.
(As a side note, this points somewhat to the cruel nature of the job-seeking game: you may very well be relevant, qualified and capable, but unless you know how to communicate it on your resume, it won’t count).
At the end of the day, my job is not to write you a resume. It’s to ensure that you get phone calls from that resume.
For me to be able to be to do that, I have to keep my finger on the pulse of employers’ expectations, industry trends and changes in hiring methods.
In this post I’d like to share my main observations with you.
Everyone is saying that the world is changing very fast.
The Internet is continuing to shake up industries, job security is not great, however there are incredible job opportunities up for grabs.
Companies are realising that the traditional hiring processes don’t work, social media has almost sent traditional media into bankruptcy.
Why Should You Care?
How companies operate is shifting. Inescapably, however, what they want to see from potential employees is also changing.
Let’s have a look at some of the traditional hoops we all have to jump through during a job hunt:
- write resumes
- write cover letters
- provide employer references
- have university degrees
- complete personality tests
They Are Irrelevant.
The employer isn’t interested in any of those. They never have been. They only care about them as as a proxy indicator of your future job performance.
And those things are loose indicators, at best.
Just as an IQ test isn’t a test for someone’s chances for success in life (it merely measures things like spatial orientation, logic, problem-solving abilities which, in turn, are understood to be predictors of what we believe to be a “good” life), all the typical bells and whistles you are asked to show off to get a job don’t accurately test your ability to do that job well.
They merely attempt to predict it by measuring factors which are believed to lead to great performance.
The CEO’s Resume.
Do you know why CEOs and high-ranking politicians don’t have to pass the same tests as you do, when they apply for a job?
Because they are assessed on a much stronger predictor of job performance – past performance. When you’re a CEO, or a Minister for Defence, or an elite athlete, for that matter, your performance is all out there, in the public spotlight, for everyone to observe and comment on.
You Can’t Hide.
Well, until recently you could. There was no way for your potential boss to find out about your work history, except by studying your resume, cover letter, perhaps by calling a past employer (who might want to say what he thinks, but most of the time won’t), throwing some sneaky questions at you during an interview and, perhaps, giving you a standardised test to complete.
Now they can just type your name into Google.
Resume Writing In 2014.
What stopped a potential employer from getting an accurate picture of your work history in the past was a lack of connectivity.
Now that everything is online, is social and Google search is getting more and more clever, that problem is quickly disappearing.
Sometime in the near future, it’s will be next to impossible to do something noteworthy at work and not leave behind an easily discoverable digital trail of blog posts, debates, mentions in press releases and on company web pages, interviews, projects, webinars, photos, complaints, reviews and pages.
Which means that potential employers will expect to see a trail like that from a job candidate.
Is The Humble Resume Dead?
I think it’s nearing the end of its role as the main part of your job application.
This varies from job to job and from industry to industry, of course – because some markets are adopting social media and Internet much quicker than others.
However if I was to paint with a broad brush and make a forecast for the future, I’d say that a traditional written resume will become a quick introduction, an oversized business card of sorts, which must then offer options for a prospective employer to explore you are in detail through online channels.
Will Resume Writing Services Exist?
Will pilots exist when computers can control passenger aircraft? Will universities exist when all education can be done online?
The world is always changing, and it’s difficult to predict how things will look for all of us. However, I think the changes I’ve shared with you, point to an emerging trend towards your online brand being critical in the job search process.
The traditional written resume may or may not play a supporting part in the overall picture.