#Nextchat: Why Resumes Need to Retire



Resumes. Should they stay or should they go?

Some will argue that resumes are no longer relevant in the new world of work, and that a list of past jobs and responsibilities and a college degree can’t translate the information about skills and competencies that employers need to make the best decisions about a candidate.

In her blog post Why Resumes Need to Retire, Kathy Rapp, CEO of hrQ, says that “resumes needed to be retired and replaced with a more dynamic way of matching talent with needs” and that resumes:

  • Put an emphasis on titles. We all know titles mean different things in different organizations. Plus, there’s the continued movement to be creative with titles, such as by having a “chief happiness officer,” a “director of first impressions” or an “ambassador of buzz.”
  • Are static. And who out there wants to update a resume every month?!!
  • Don’t identify on-demand talent. No gig worker is going to put a resume in your applicant tracking system and expect to be called for a project need.
  • Slow up the process. This is why 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn and other social tools. The rest … well, they must live on an island with very poor Internet connectivity.
  • Highlight experiences over results. We need to be looking for skills and how those skills generated results, not how many years someone has worked in “X” industry/role.

Rapp argues that “as technology continues to change the workplace, millions of people will be acquiring new skills that may have nothing to do with their past occupation or experience.”

Resumes also perpetuate a focus on college degrees; however, learning has changed in the new world of work. The HR Magazine article How to Adopt Skills-based Hiring Practices says that “there’s been a proliferation in the ways people learn since the Internet” and that “nearly one-third of the new hires employed at IBM’s Rocket Center, W.Va., facility who work on cloud computing, cybersecurity, application development and help desk support do not have four-year degrees.” The article also mentions a 2017 study by consulting firm Accenture, Dismissed by Degrees, which “found that business leaders tend to view a college degree as a ‘proxy’ for hard and soft skills, effectively shrinking the pool of viable candidates. Shifting from degree- and pedigree-based hiring to a competency-based approach can open up new pipelines for organizations struggling to find talent. Introducing objective means to gauge an applicant’s aptitude is intended to give employers a more robust profile of a job seeker’s qualifications.”

Necessity is the mother of invention, and as employers struggle to find workers with the skills and competencies they need to remain competitive, new methods for assessing a candidate’s fit will surely arise.

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on March 21 for #Nextchat with special guest Kathy Rapp (@KatRapp).  We’ll chat about whether resumes should stay or go and how employers are shaping their talent acquisition strategies for the new world of work.

Q1. What are your greatest challenges with hiring based on a resume in today’s new world of work?

Q2. How are you shaping your people/talent strategy to account for “the future of work”?

Q3. How do you weigh a college degree versus experience/skills/competencies when screening a resume?

Q4. Has your organization used skills-based hiring, and how has it changed the way you write job descriptions and conduct applicant screening?

Q5. How do you identify freelance talent or specific skills needed for a project?

Q6. What innovative ideas do you use—or have you seen other organizations use—to screen candidates in addition to or instead of a using their resume?

Q7. Will we ever be able to eliminate the resume? Why or why not?




The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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