Friday, September 03, 2004

The Curse of Résumé Revolution

For my recent newsletter, one of the articles I have written touched on the résumé revolution - a flurry of IT applications designed to manage applicants' résumés that only served to flood recruiters with unqualified applications.

(You can view the article here.)

One of my newsletter reader, Jim shared with me his view on electronic job application. His perspective is very refreshing, and I thought I will share it with you all here:

"Very interested in your article on this subject. This problem, of course, has its roots in the late eighties with the advent of the word processor. This is the first real 'villain of the piece'.

Prior to the arrival of the word processor applications for jobs usually had to be hand written or typed (on a typewriter). Many 'would be' applicants baulked at the prospect of such a task. The handwriting of many people is
often somewhat less than lovely to behold. Things like grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation are profound mysteries to many native English speakers born in these British islands.

The impetus to apply often collapsed when confronted by these first hurdles. This kept a huge pile of rubbish away from the recruiter's desk.

Then along came word processors, quickly followed by email and suddenly everything changed. Suddenly everyone was empowered. Everyone could 'write'. Everyone could apply. And they do.

I have no idea how you check this tidal wave of dross from hitting your computers. One site - Worldwideworker - use a checklist of the client's 'must have' criteria. Before submission of any details to client, candidates have to complete a series of questions, each of which requires a
straight yes / no answer. Any negative responses means that the application is not processed further.

This only works - of course - if candidates are honest. (Many feel that a 'white lie', at the outset, can be justified to get that vital first review by the client's selection people.)

As a candidate whose resume often seems to get buried in the incoming avalanche I've pondered this problem at some length. How to stand out? How to catch the eye? How to grab the recruiter's attention?

Know what to do? Be different. Do what nobody else is doing anymore.

Write a letter."


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