What the resume of the future might look like.

“The resume is dead”………..er no it isn’t.

Much rubbish is being spoken about how the CV (or resume to our American readers) is now dead. You know, that static, slightly dull thing that lists all the stuff you’ve done for work. I read recently on a blog that in a resume you’re just a piece of paper but in a profile you’re a human being. What? Has someone swallowed a dictionary full off management cliches? Someone get me a bucket.

It seems to be the trend that we in recruitment always feel the need to pronounce something that is dead. You remember how job boards were dead a few years ago……well they’re still here. You remember how dead staffing agencies were………well they’re still here and now the doomsayers are turning their sights on the poor old humble resume.

A cv in some form will always exist. Whenever you apply for a job there will have to be a mechanism for the potential recruiter to assess whether your background means it’s likely that you will have the skill set required to do the job. The only likely exception to this will be very low skilled jobs where previous experience of any kind is not required beyond possibly basic physical coordination.

A much more sensible argument is that the cv will always exist but that it is likely to change somewhat and quite possibly be presented to the employer in a different way. So here’s our list of things we’d like to see on every cv. These are pretty unlikely but in an ideal world the perfect cv would include:

  1. The basics you get now with details on employment etc.
  2. A video presentation from the candidate outlining why they think they are suitable for the job including specific examples of how their previous experience could help the potential employer.
  3. Details of your education and grades supplied directly by the schools/colleges you attended
  4. Your score in a standard intelligence test which everyone on the planet must sit
  5. A copy of all your past appraisals
  6. Comments from your current/past colleagues who’ve worked above, below and alongside you, giving their input into your likely suitability for the role
  7. Your precise current or last salary
  8. References from other companies that you have come into contact with: clients,partners, suppliers which is interactive allowing the potential recruiting company to ask these people questions

Points 3 - 8 could not be edited by the candidate in any way and the information would be electronically sucked into the candidate’s resume into a predetermined set of fields that can only be viewed by someone that candidate authorises.

Which brings me nicely onto the delivery of the cv.

The future cv (ideally) would be a web based piece of work. Not a word document or pdf but a page or pages which the candidate can update point 1 above. The video section could be created a dozen different times and tweaked to suit the specific job applied for in essence creating multiple version of the same cv….except the video content would differ from application to application. Points 3 - 8 could then be inserted into the candidate’s cv and there would be no hiding place from the results. Which means of course that every employer and educational establishment would have to sign up to use some great big central repository of candidate information on appraisals, a gold standard intelligence test, and partners/clients could login when prompted and update the information on the candidate if they had come into contact with them.

The problem with the cv is that it’s written by the candidate. Most are full of half truths,  lies, damned lies and statistics (job at Yahoo anyone?). So imagine an interactive profile where at least 80% of the information is provided by others and the candidate can’t control what is said.

Now that would be interesting ! Think of all those duff hires you’ve made, you know….. the bluffers who’ve either misled you by massaging the truth on their resume or just talked a phenomenally good game during the interview. Come on, admit it, we’ve all hired at least one shocker. But with an online cv like this, it just wouldn’t happen. The bluffers would be exposed before they even got to interview and if they chose not to submit this new 360 degree profile, instead opting for the self penned traditional cv…….well you’d know they’be trying to hide something. In fact when you think about it, the entire cv (with the exception of the personal stuff like contact details) could theoretically be inserted by different organisations and sets of people…….and not by the applicant themselves. What we would need is some king of gargantuan online life database where your life could be gradually listed. Get a degree……the University updates your file. Get an accounting qualification, your employer updates your file. Got a pay rise, good/bad appraisal, new job etc etc….your employer updates your online profile. A kind of Facebook timeline for employment…..but written by others.

So is the cv dead? No, of course it isn’t but it will likely adapt as sites like Linkedin become the de facto storage facility for everyone’s career history. Already you can boost your credibility with references from people you’ve worked alongside and one wonders how long it will be before they allow users to post video profiles as well. Will it ever contain the other stuff outlined above………….watch this space.




Views: 1326

Comment by Randall Scasny on July 10, 2012 at 9:01am

Interesting post. My resume of the future would not exist. Period. Too much personal/career data is warehoused already. Get rid of all these candidate databases. Stop collecting data on people. Instead, go to a more detailed online, pre-employment questionnaire system that pre-screens candidates before they are allowed to be considered/apply for a job. Only when they pass through all the questionnaires successfully are they allowed to submit career information and apply. So, eliminates a lot of partially or unqualified people entering the system and clogging it up. I know a lot of people who refuse to use online/social media because they no longer want their information "public." They want their privacy back and are using old fashioned human networking to get hired. The problem is the software vendors have persuaded the recruiters/hiring managers that the online data collection way is the way to go. Like in the political world of today, an eruption is occurring and people are (a) tired of filling out applications or profiles, (b) not getting a courtesy response, (c) placing their private information online because we all know it gets hacked and (d) online scams by con artists who use the social media and online recruitment boards/channels to steal their information.

Randall Scasny


Comment by Christine Robinson on July 10, 2012 at 10:39am

As a resume writer, I hope the resume/CV will never be dead. However, what you're describing, Nick, sounds very much like the portfolio concept that I encourage all clients to put together--similar to the sales-related "brag book" or interview portfolio. (All of which could easily be displayed online in a private password-protected blog format or a public website.) I love this concept and wish like hell someone would pay me to do it!

It hasn't taken off for two reasons: 1) Candidates aren't interested in investing that much time on their professional portfolio until they're unemployed, desperate and have too much time on their hands. 2) Hiring managers are rarely as interested in a candidates background as I am.

So what you're suggesting sounds like something that would be more helpful to the recruiter than the HR rep, and a time investment for the candidate he/she may not be willing or free to make. Same with Randall's suggestion because, again, the resume is the starting point document providing the basic selling points of a candidate. What would happen if you, as a recruiter, required candidates to jump through such complex hoops? (Serious question because I'm not a recruiter! But I know how recruiters are perceived by many candidates.)

Comment by Russ Recruits on July 10, 2012 at 12:37pm

The CV is not dead - nor will it evolve in the way suggested for many years to come. Before it can happen, Candidates need to get the basics right - and the number I see on a daily basis that dont, suggests it will be many years before the digital age effects CV's in the way described.

I dont beleive for a minute that you will ever get all the schools and Uni's in the UK to start supplying information on grades that can be directly input into the "electronic portfolio" - for a start who pays for the technology..? Schools and Uni's in this country are financially stretched as it is and I cannot see what benefit to them this would bring.

Its also a one size fits solution - when we all encourage candidates to tailor their CV around the role they have applied for (not lie or change - tailor).


How will recruiters top n tail...?


As suggested above - The CV is just a calling card, no more. The real meat on the bone comes from the questions you ask the candidate, or the Q&A's you send.


As for an "universal" Intelligence test - Having liased with JCP, Imigration & legal eagles - This would datable if its legal.



Comment by Randall Scasny on July 10, 2012 at 4:07pm

Providing the detail you mention in your 8 points implicitly suggests that one will need this information because people will be job seeking a lot. That's not how normal human beings and the typical job seeker thinks. Most people assume when they look for a job and get hired they will be there for a long time. The contract job hobo mentality is really in a minority across all career levels and industry sectors. So, if I only think I need to look for a job a few times over the course of a working life time, what compels me to provide anyone all this information?

What the recruiting gurus need to figure out is not how to collect more information but collect LESS information to get the same results!

Randall Scasny


Comment by Christine Robinson on July 10, 2012 at 4:18pm

@Randall:  Hence the need for professional resume writers.

Disclaimer:  I swear I didn't come here to troll for business!  Just offering my perspective.  I DO demand a lot of info from my clients, then sift through many of the things Nick suggests... then try to whittle it down into the marketing document that becomes a resume or CV.

I've been in the business for 10+ years, but tend to keep to myself. In a couple of weeks I'll be packing up my laptop and office for a move from Rochester/Buffalo, NY to Huntsville, Alabama (big aerospace and defense industry). I've toyed with the idea of marketing myself to recruiting firms there, but have resisted.  Not sure why.  Seems like it would be a good gig for me, and would probably help out some  harried recruiters.  I don't know.  

Do recruiters and resume writers hang in the same circles?  They probably should.

Comment by Randall Scasny on July 11, 2012 at 9:06am

@Christine: I agree that a resume writer needs to collect a lot of information to get a real clear portrait of a job seeker's knowledge, skills & abilities. I have a 7-page resume data collection form. But of course I don't use all the information I receive. In addition, the clients are not always forthcoming.  Butt most of the information is private. the final product is a honed, clear and persuasive statement. For my clients, I only post resumes for public viewing for brief periods of time. It's been my experience that resumes kept up eternally only become part of marketing lists. I wish online schools would go away!

If you are moving from NY to Alabama, make sure you are well versed in Federal Resume Writing requirements.

I've toyed with the idea myself of marketing myself to recruiting firms. Never have. I guess it comes down to who's going to pay? Unless recruiters offer services to clients, I have never found they are interested. If they have a client who is a rare catch with an awful resume (tech people), they can tell the person to fix it.

I've found that marketing a stand-alone resume writing service is a hard business (unless it is in the Federal sector). That's why I include resume rewrites within my job search assistance services.

Good luck!

Randall Scasny


Comment by Russ Recruits on July 11, 2012 at 9:42am

@ Christine - I do feel pro CV writers have a place, and a have a role within Recruitment. I myself have sat with candiates over a coffe and moulded the CV on many occasion - I think we may be the bigger threat, recruiters / internals who write good CV's, as we also tend to write the specs for the client, or if internal like me, the stakeholders.

I dont belive a good CV will ever be replaced - the E generation stuff can compliment but not replace it, nor the need for people like you and your services.

Generally - All this web / E Gen CV stuff - Employers also do not like to see their staff with employment profiles, and more companies (here in the UK) are making staff sign policies that would prevent them touting their CV in the formats suggested - it will lead to most candidates focusing on CV's when they are looking, much as it does now.


Comment by Clara Irizarry on July 11, 2012 at 11:35am

Interesting concept of having a public electronic CV very mucy like an electornic health record.  It is innovative. 

Comment by Nick Leigh-Morgan on July 12, 2012 at 11:44am

I think maybe a couple of you have misread what I'm getting at here. 

What I'm suggesting is that the concept of the resume being written by the job applicant is the wrong way round. Someone applying for a job has an obvious vested interested in portraying themselves and what they've done is a favourable and often misleading light, and that overlooks all those 2 month jobs that they left under strange circumstances which never even make it onto their resume. No what I'm suggesting is that it makes much more sense that the resume is replaced by some kind of online file built by others be it schools, colleges, employers you've worked for.....and not you, the applicant. This way a prospective employer gets all the information on you, but objectively presented.

I'm not saying this is ever likely to happen. I don't think it will, well certainly not in my lifetime and since it's not about the person providing more data or a more rounded picture of themselves, all those resume writers out there........this idea would likely put you out of business. But don't worry....it's not likely to happen anytime soon.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on July 13, 2012 at 12:56am
Nick I'm with you. Can we also hope that all job descriptions will be created only by people who have worked in that job with a Footnote from a hiring manager as to changes, additions or deletions in responsibilities for the new person.

And in my perfect world HR would never be allowed to create another job description full of meaningless , high blown, biz speak unless the job is in HR where they can impress each other with all that verbal masturbation.


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