Corporate Eye

Paper Resumes? OMG!


First, read or listen to NPR Morning Edition’s story entitled Job Seekers Find New Rules of Recruitment. The gist:  Recruiters and hiring managers don’t have much patience with job-seekers lacking LinkedIn profiles, snappy digital resumes, and an established social media presence.  “If someone sends us a paper resume folded in thirds, stuffed in an envelope,” opines one CEO, “it’s hard to take it seriously.”  And even for job-seekers who communicate via email, the report notes, there are potential faux pas–such as email sent via AOL and husband-and-wife addresses.

Next . . . read the “lively” (not to say vitriolic) discussion of this story.  Among the commenters are populists who think Recruiting 2.0 is elitist; sympathists who are concerned for the plight of elderly (i.e, thirty-something) job seekers; cynics who think it’s all about HR laziness; and conspiracy theorists who accuse the NPR reporter of shilling for LinkedIn.  Also a few people making thoughtful points.

Takeaways?  (a) There are a lot of passionate opinions on this topic.  (b) Recruiting 2.0 probably is elitist–but that’s the reality of the current job market.  (c) Rising unemployment statistics will shine a harsh light on hiring practices.

For another take on this topic, consider Lou Adler’s article Recruiting Top Talent 2010 – Are You a Traditionalist or a Web 2.0 Free Radical? Traditionalists, according to Adler’s model, may be using niche sites, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other 2.0 trappings–but they are still operating on “the flawed premise that top people will respond to negative, boring, and exclusionary ads if you post them in enough places.”

Free radicals, on the other hand, are “talent-driven,” and their strategy is “nurturing prospects for future opportunities.”  The article offers a ten-point test/action plan for assessing/strategizing this shift.  For example:  “3.  Go req-less, using big-target talent hubs,” and “8. Convert your recruiters from screeners and sales reps into career advisors.”

Food for thought:  What will happen if or when all major employers are nurturing talent with social networks and wooing prospects with precisely targeted micro-sites?  Will that be Recruiting Paradise–or merely passé?

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.