The digital age needs a new resume that consists of your real skills and verified capabilities to lower the rate of miss-hires.
I am 33 out of 47…
As in me having hired 47 people in my career so far with 14 bad hires. I have learned one thing: resumes are useless.
Yes, they truly are a useless waste of paper (or PDF electrons). They are just a dressed up shop window someone wants to present themselves with a bunch of brand names and embellished skills and experiences. They actually reveal more about someone’s writing skills than their technical skills which I learned the hard way.
So after a few bad hired in my first startup company, I created a small online test that I made up and before any interview I asked the shortlisted people to do that test, which consisted of 3 questions only. The first one was an excel/logic test, the second one about analytical capacities and the last one about their writing and creative skills, all do be completed in 60 minutes at your home PC. Nothing special. You can take a look at it here. Part of the trick was that it was a bit difficult to complete this test within 60 minutes, so I always wondered if people would try to complete all 3 on time, go over time or just do 2 questions well.
There wasn't really a perfect answer to the test. But looking back, the amazing thing was this: everyone who did this test well (and who also did a good interview later) ended up as a superb addition to the team. However, every time I skipped the test (for instance, because the candidate was referred from a trusted friend/recruiter and I felt it would be too silly to ask him to do this test), or when I hired someone based on a good interview alone despite bad showing in the test, they turned out to be a bad hire.
Fast forward to my current company: same story. Initially we hired programmers and relied only on their CV. OMG, we did fail horribly and we had to let go these people within 2 weeks. But when we used Github or Stack Overflow as our online reference to check for these guys, we had a 100% rate for choosing the right people.
I am convinced there are enough signals out there online about a candidates’ skills and capabilities that beat the old school resume every time. Yes, every time!
The old resume was built for a world in which you had 2-3 employers in your career and a university degree made you already stand out. Nowadays, everyone has at least one Masters and hops from job to job in this growing gig economy. There is no sense anymore to list your 14 jobs from the last 5 years as I am not calling each for a reference.
As as WSJ article about Dr. Sundararajan’s work at New York University’s Stern School of Business predicts: “Over time, your portfolio of accomplishment, digitized and available across the platforms you’ve provided through, may be like a detailed next generation resume (…)”.
Employers like me, want an easy and credible way to check that you really possess the skills you claim. You should reuse all the tests, certificates, degrees and jobs you have done already. I am not saying get rid of your past, quite the contrary: use your demonstrated skills and show them to me in a credible way. Then I will hire you as I know I can trust in your skills 100%.
RIP old CV, welcome digital resume of skills!