No more is a piece of paper highlighting your purpose, qualifications and core competencies enough to land you your dream job. In 2012, WSJ published a buzzing news article called “No More Resume, Say Some Firms”. Recently we learnt that startups like the Delhi-based Helpchat have completely stopped looking at candidate resumes.
Given that the younger generation is the most tech savvy, it is no surprise that the trend of doing away with traditional resumes in India has come up in the startups. Companies are increasingly getting creative in their recruitment approaches in the ongoing ‘war for skilled talent’. In some cases, such as Google and Uber, this means giving puzzles and code challenges to judge a candidate’s aptitude. For others, it means asking for examples of the web presence of these individuals. The real goal is to get off the paper and in front of each other.
While most still request the resume as a part of the recruitment package, some firms are bypassing it altogether in favor of the digital footprint of the candidate. Vijay Sharma, CEO of Belong.co, which provides talent acquisition solutions, recently told the Economic Times that out of his 30 odd startup clients, which includes some familiar names like Ola, Snapdeal and Practo, 30-40% have done away with the resume culture.
Digital is interactive. A resume is ultimately only text and companies often feel the need to digitally cross check the legitimacy of those claims. Who you are, what you care about, what you are good at — all these are data points that genuinely reflect in the people’s digital footprints.
What about the skills and the aptitude that are over and above the qualifications? How you maintain your LinkedIn account, Twitter feed, your Wordpress blog or website says not only a lot about your interests, but also about expressiveness, communication skills and world view. It is a 360-degree view of a candidate beyond facts, scores and GRE-vocabulary infused purpose statements.
LinkedIn, as a hiring platform, is the most important digital touch point between recruiters and candidates. A well crafted headline and a powerful summary highlighting one’s passions, qualifications and goals (and spruced up with keywords from favorite job descriptions) are the key to keep the LinkedIn account current.
Platforms like GitHub, Quora, Instagram, Pinterest, Stack Overflow and Behance are specialized platforms and are increasingly being used by sourcers and recruiters to scout as much information they can about the candidate. We have all heard stories of people who landed a wonderful job through these unconventional channels. This especially makes sense for startups, whose most critical resource is its initial team. "Doing this we get a first-hand impression about the candidate," said Uttam Kumar Sanghi, who leads talent acquisition at Zenefits India to the Economic Times. "We see his interests and contributions, what skillsets he brings to the table, is he a techie at heart etc. We see his activities to see what kind of a person he is and we don't even feel shy about going and checking out his FB profile. You really need to know what kind of a person you are bringing on board for which a resume might not help.”
There is little doubt that there is no excuse for not performing on the digital world’s various platforms. Fortunately, most of us are happy to curate our digital selves and keep finding new ways to do so.