Scarcity of information is what started resumes. An employer, looking for a new employee needed something to determine their qualifications. They needed this because there was no other way to get it. Information about potential employees was controlled by the applicant. It’s a nifty little dance we’ve all become acquainted with. You give the information that best “sells” you. You carefully craft a document, outlining your strengths, accomplishments, and objectives. You determined what the new employer sees, consciously leaving out information that could hurt you. The employer then culls through all the resumes looking for key words, and specific experience. The dance continues as employers have interviews trying extrapolate what you know, how you do your job and the extent of your capabilities. The dance has been created because of lack of information and the fact that we, the applicant, control it.
I think the dance is coming to an end or at the very least changing. As more and more people come online it is easier to learn more about them. I see a world where if you don’t have an online presence you won’t even be considered for opportunities. We are moving from a resume on paper to a dynamic or living resume played out online. Employers won’t be patient receiving resumes from potential employees controlling what information they see, when they have candidates who actively blog about their profession, can be found expressing their ideas and positions in groups on LinkedIn, in forums and in blog comments. Employers will be able to follow and engage potential candidates by participating in industry specific groups, networks and forums. Employers will get a view into who is respected in the group, who’s opinions, ideas, and perspectives are valued. They will get visibility into candidates philosophies, approaches to their career, their depth of industry knowledge and more. Employers will know a lot more about a candidate before they even reach out to them.
If you read this blog, you know what I think about sales. I’ve written about the sales process and what I think it looks like and how to manage it. I have shared my views on what makes a great sales person vs. what makes a good sales person. I’ve talked about motivation and sales leadership. I’ve given my two cents on negotiation. Any employer can look at this blog and quickly figure out how I think, how I go about my job and the kind of sales executive I would make. Through my LinkedIn page they can see my relative experience as well as my blog posts, what books I’m reading and have read who I’m connected to and what LinkedIn groups I belong to. They can join those groups and view my participation. What discussions I respond to, what discussions I start, what I say in my responses and more. Employers can follow me on Twitter and evaluate what I say, what links I share and who follows me. If you read my blog, check me out on LinkedIN and follow my on Twitter, there is no need for my resume. There is nothing it can give you that you don’t already know.
For years resumes were small windows, controlled by applicants, into their world. Resumes are tightly controlled documents providing employers with high-powered snippets of who the applicants are and what they did. In most cases, I think resumes are more about what people don’t say rather than what they do say. As social media becomes a core element in our lives, the resume will no longer have role. Employers and recruiters will not tolerate a narrow expression of who we are controlled by us in a single sheet of paper. If a trail of who we are, what we do, how we do it, and why we do it can’t be found online, employers just won’t listen.
As an employer, I know I won’t.