Resumes are dying, long live the resume

By Cale Guthrie Weissman , written on April 22, 2013

From The News Desk

Finding a job listing these days may be easier, but actually landing a job seems harder. Websites like Idealist, MediaBistro, Monster, and Indeed promise to get your resume to potential employers. But a couple of new job-finder apps are ditching the tried-and-true CV for a different approach to matching employers to employees.

Last week the new job-application app Apploi launched, claiming to be the “job application: reinvented,” and today GroupTalent went live, matching contract-to-hire placements via an “e-Harmony-like algorithm.” Both want to end the daily job-searching grind: perform Internet search, find job you might like, write cover letter, send it with resume, pray, rinse, repeat.

At the Apploi launch event in Manhattan last week, one phrase thrown around was: “the death of the resume.” Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes said on a panel introducing Apploi’s program, “Paper resumes are dying, if not currently dead.” Apploi’s CEO Joshua Waldman added, “I still question why in 2013 we are using the common currency of the resume.”

Disdain for this seemingly benign form is rampant. Okay, the paper part I get, but to Apploi and its supporters a resume in digital form has also become passe. At the Apploi launch that flimsy list of talents and experiences every candidate must produce was referred to as an emblem of the industrial revolution. So I guess we’ve gone post-industrial now, but has anything really supplanted the resume and its no nonsense listing of job experiences and education? Nevertheless, Apploi’s job application… err… app claims to offer employers the information they want without the pretense of a formal resume. But pretty much all it does is pose personalized questions in a variety of media. Think a nicer looking Google Docs with video capability (and some backend stuff tailored for job-hiring) and you’ll grok the idea.

For the simulation, Waldman offered the example of a pizzeria (known for crappy service) hiring new counter staff. The first question a potential job seeker had to field was something to the effect of “Will you be nice to customers?” followed by either a "Yes" or a "No." How many people would be dumb enough to say no? At any rate, after there was a short video of an angry customer complaining about service, which required the job applicant to record a response.

Apploi’s creators emphasized that mobile technology has changed everything. (I think we’ve heard that before.) So now I can apply for a job on my phone while waiting in line at my neighborhood bodega to pay for roach motels. But does it mean I’m more qualified for the job because I have a smartphone? I don’t think so, Apploi.

GroupTalent, on the other hand, claims to refocus on talent. The goal is not to direct job seekers to the largest number of employment opportunities but to find the right fit. It’s geared to freelancers, who can use the supposedly improved job-search filter to forge a lasting bond with employers. Specifically, GroupTalent focuses on designers and developers, to better match them for potential positions. The difference with GroupTalent is its yen for matchmaking. It’s tailored for a specific industry, with the intention of getting people real paying gigs. It’s “fixing the broken hiring process,” it boasts.

But why is the hiring process broken? Undoubtedly more people are looking for jobs, and employers are trying to find a way to weed through the endless much of information sent their way. LinkedIn seems to be one of the most useful resources because it not only provides a digital resume, but also shows affiliation, networking, and references. If anything is killing the resume, it’s LinkedIn.

And can either Apploi or GroupTalent slay LinkedIn? Don’t hold your breath.

[Image courtesy markgranitz]