And Why Should We Ban the Resume: The Three C's of Career Arc

Over the course of several years – be it 10 or 40 – you leave a wake behind you that represents the impact you've made. Recruiters traditionally relied on your resume to tell them about your career arc, but today a lot is being written about how your electronic footprint may be a better, more complete representation of your professional mark.

I have fully embraced social media as a grand, open marketplace of resource communication, coordination and exchange. I saw early on that this was a quick and easy way for me to display my accomplishments. And while we may have (somewhat) valid concerns about privacy, it really is the best medium to showplace your skills and accomplishments. Both common social media platforms like Linked In, Google+, Twitter (and – to some extent Facebook) and specialized professional sites like HR.com or Toolbox.com provide ideal environments for displaying your talents much more broadly than traditional resumes might do.

There are many defenders of the traditional however.

We can say all we want about how traditional methods of work, of recruitment, of talent management form a solid rock-bed of the human resource process, but these foundations are being shaken to their core in the New Employee Economy. One place where this challenge is heatedly discussed is within the “resume is dead” discussion. For some of these pundits, the new Career Arc, represented in your social media foot print is the way to go.

Why is social media career arc potentially the best way to get a feel for a person? Here are three reasons I believe it is:

  1. Context: A good social media footprint can show you the impact of your career activities. It can show whether the things you did mattered to anyone. It can show what kind of influence you have.
  2. Comprehensiveness: You can’t say much in a two page resume. Even a greatly written resume has to leave off important things that have happened in your life. Your social media footprint can provide some much more rich detail about who you are and what you've done.
  3. Community: We all perform in a broader professional community. How we interact with that community, how we are perceived by that community and how we contribute to the community are important elements of the kind of employee you might be.

Obviously not everyone actively participates in social media, but for those who do, using social media to understand your candidate is a great way to help find a better fit. 

Views: 243

Tags: HR, Innovation, Recruiting, Trends

Comment by Todd Lempicke on October 31, 2012 at 10:05am

Good luck finding that next job with your social media profile. This headline may get attention but the reality is that resumes are not only the accepted medium but the required medium. This whole debate is stale.

Comment by stephenbooth.uk on October 31, 2012 at 11:49am

I think that the Resume, like discrimination and TB, is going to be with us for some time despite our attempts to stamp it out.  And, like discrimination and TB, that's a bad thing. 

There's a saying in science that the fastest way to get a new idea accepted is to wait for the old sientists to die.  That's what we're looking at here.  There are a lot of people in senior positions for whom the resume has been king for most of their career so they're going to demand a resume for every hiring decision and spend many an hour polishing their own.  As time progresses they will age out of the workforce and there will be a chance for other methods to come to the fore.

It is probably worth noting that the Resume has not been around all that long, the process Jerry proposes is (social media use aside) not that different from the general process used in hiring a hundred or so years ago.  Indeed, here in the UK, it was not uncommon up to the 1950s and some what into the 60s for a son or daughter to get their first job by simply following their father (or sometimes their mother, this was a time when many women still gave up work when they had their first child) to work the day after their 15th birthday and being sent to the Personnel office with a letter from their school giving their results and a note from the parent's manager saying "Find the lad/lass something to do".  After that is was down to whatever they happened to have a flair for. 

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