There are just some economic, business, and social sectors that are slow to change, even when technology and society are screaming at them. Consider, for example, how long it took educational institutions to finally embrace both technology and student needs to offer online degree programs that replaced the old correspondence course format.
Another one of these sectors is the entire area of recruitment and employment.
Decision-makers are still asking for resumes or CVs, and job seekers are still hammering them out like they did decades ago. Yes, styles and formats may have changed some, and candidates may feel freer to add some color and pizazz, but, the “meat” of these documents remains the same - name, contact info, work experience, education, specific skills and talents, and any notable achievements. And candidates are encouraged to be as brief as possible and yet still make themselves stand out among the competition.
All of this has meant that candidates must craft a unique resume for each job opening and that recruiters and employers must scan through hundreds of documents for each opening. And somehow, they all look the same, making it harder to weed out the best potentials.
Yet, even if kicking and screaming, the world of resumes and CVs is already beginning to be dragged into the 21st century.
A Few Current Modernizations
Technology has begun to impact the recruitment and hiring process in several ways already:
- The workforce is changing. The advent of the “gig economy” has meant that fewer people are entering the traditional workplace environment. Freelancing and entrepreneurship allow freedom, flexibility, and work/life balance that earlier generations did not have or value. In fact, it is predicted that, by 2020, 43% of the workforce in the U.S. alone will be freelancing. And how do freelancers and entrepreneurs get business? On the web, that’s how. They use all of the technology possible to promote themselves, develop personal branding, and, in the case of freelancers, register on as many related job boards as possible.
- Recruiters and Employers use technology to digitally scan resumes and CVs for specific keywords/phrases that indicate a candidate has skills, abilities, and experience that are directly related to their needs.
- Recruiters use technology to check backgrounds of potential candidates, including their social media profiles and accounts.
- Interviews via video technology are becoming more and more common, especially when a viable candidate is geographically remote, especially in another country.
Other Changes are Coming – Count on It
Technology will be the biggest catalyst of change in how resumes and CVs will be designed, developed, and presented to recruiters and potential employers. Here are some things you can expect as you prepare these documents in the future.
- Graphic Designs will replace a lot of text: Providing visual summaries of work experience through timelines and infographics will become the new norm.
- Potential employers will be directed to personal websites and social media profiles for more detailed information if they believe that a candidate may be a good fit.
- Personal branding through websites and social media will be mandatory for candidates. They will become their own digital marketers. Initial applicant documents will drive recruiters and employers to those web-based
- Privacy and confidentiality continue to gain in importance. To protect personal information, it is likely that initial application documents of the future will not contain personal information that could be compromised. Such information can be made available through permission-based means, once a recruiter or potential employer demonstrates an interest.
- The need to prevent biases is also a continued concern. Name, gender, age, race/ethnicity, etc. are often revealed in resumes and CV documents, both textually and through a photo. Recipients of initial resume and CV documents may well ask that candidates omit all of this information until definite interest is established.
- Automation of resume and CV construction will become more sophisticated. Using keywords and other details of position postings, a complete resume or CV document may automatically be modified to include only those experiences, skills, etc. that are relevant to a specific position. The candidate will be relieved of the burden of crafting unique and individual resumes for each position.
- Translation will be automated. As global hiring continues to rise, the translation of resumes, CVs, websites, social media profiles, will become more important. Currently, applicants look to professional translation services, like The Word Point, to localize their documents for foreign recruiters. But as automated translation and localization improve candidates will be able to take that task off of their plates, and employers will have the convenience of reading documents in their native languages – a win-win for both.
- Automated Transitions between resumes and CVs. Traditionally, resumes area shorter documents, while CVs are lengthier and composed in prose-type paragraphs, often required for positions in higher education and research. As well, in some countries, the two terms are interchangeable or mean the opposite. Regardless, a candidate may have to submit a shorter document for some positions and the lengthier one for others. As long as all of the information is available to the “machine,” these transitions can occur automatically.
And so, young people who will be facing the world of work within the next decade or so, and looking toward job hunting, will be facing a different environment.
- They will be considering freelancing and/or entrepreneurship.
- They will be looking at very different documentation requirements and specifications from recruiters and potential employers
- They will have to market themselves via many different venues – websites with portfolios, social media profiles, etc.
- They will be using lots of sophisticated technology to design resumes and CVs, and the formats will be quite different, as indicated above. Recruiters and employers will be directed to details of background and experience on the web rather than through reading a single document.
- Video interviewing will be the norm and will allow for greater “about me” communication with a potential employer. Information relevant to the position will already have been made available through all of those other digital venues.
It’s about time, really. The traditional methods of recruitment and hiring are simply inefficient, time-consuming, and becoming less and less effective. Both candidates and decision-makers should be welcoming these changes.