December 5, 2018

Why Modern Recruitment Goes Past the Resume

Written by
Jessica Barrett Halcom
Why is TechnologyAdvice Free?
Tags: HR

Not long ago, resumes were one of the most crucial aspects of presenting yourself as a job candidate. People spent a lot of time choosing the right kind of paper to print them on, considering which font was the most professional, and carefully selecting words and titles that presented them in the best light.

ALSO READ: Can Social Recruiting Work for Your Office?

There is an inherent flaw in resumes, however, made glaringly obvious with the advent of modern recruitment technology; they only tell a portion of someone’s story. Resumes are little more than a list of where someone has worked, and a handful of things they may have accomplished along the way. Why is this a problem?

What a Resume Doesn’t Tell Us

Resumes have no way of answering the questions you really have as an employer. How well does someone do x, y and z? Are they a match with your company culture? Did they mesh well with their colleagues at past jobs? What areas are they still developing, and is that okay with us that they do it here?

Sure, we can sort of tap in to some of those questions in an interview, but how does someone get to the interview in the first place? Historically, it had been through putting out a great resume. Modern recruitment has changed the game, from resumes being a way through the gate, to them now being a basic talking point or point of reference.

Relying on resumes alone to determine which candidates move on to the next phase in the recruitment process means potentially passing on top talent simply because their resume isn’t terribly impressive sounding or they didn’t use the right keywords. It’s also proven to have little bearing on the validity of a resume’s efficacy. Consider a passive candidate with no resume prepared. Their skills and reputation make them so marketable they’re approached by recruiters regardless of their lack of an active job search and a current resume.

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Modern Recruitment Beyond Resumes

Today’s recruiters are moving to a savvier way of recruiting. They now have access to social media that gives them a good idea of someone’s reputation and in some cases, the ability to look at a person’s body of work. Additionally, through sites like LinkedIn, recruiters can view written recommendations of candidates to get first hand accounts of someone’s credibility. Job seekers are beginning to understand that their online reputation is incredibly important.

Here’s another way we can look at this. Let’s say you’re traveling to a new city, and you’re hoping to have dinner at the best Italian restaurant in town. You can pull up the menus of each restaurant in the area, read their offerings, view pictures of their d√©cor, and choose the one that looks the best, or, you can ask locals where to go, read online reviews, and almost ensure you’re getting the best risotto you’ve had in a long time.

By mining the tools you have at your disposal, you can find the best candidates to fill the position, and with less work than it used to take to comb through all of those resumes that piled up on your desk. Try finding candidates with the data you already have in tools like:

  • Social networking sites: (Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter)
  • Recruitment software with past candidates: pull up those old resumes for new positions, you might be surprised!
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) tools: what customers and partners have you worked with in the past that have great employees? Who do employees and customers love from your partners?

Today’s Recruiting Tools and Processes

Not only is social media a way that recruiters find out more about a candidate, but it’s a tool used to find them in the first place. The same is true for recruitment technology that allows recruiters to conduct searches based upon things like skill sets, education, geographical location and employment history. From there, recruiters can reach out to potential candidates and present opportunities, without a resume ever changing hands.

Recruiting technology and social media play a major role in modern recruiting, and the entire process isn’t dependent on the former linear process: candidate applies, candidate interviews, manager makes offer. Today’s recruiting processes are an amalgamation of different tools, networking, conferences, meetups, references, and even outside collaborative projects. Today’s employment landscape means that it’s less likely that each employee within a company got there in exactly the same way.

Consider the implications of relying too heavily on a candidate’s resume, and the skill set and talent you could be missing out on because of it. Remember that there is an entire story not being told on that piece of paper; one that you can uncover by going deeper within the network of tools available to you.

Jessica Barrett Halcom is a writer for, with specializations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.

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