RIP Resumes. For Roles—For Scripts

Seeking Work. Resumes. Mismatch. Bad Hiring. Cost. Culture.

In all communication, context is important.

It depends. Don’t we often say that?

Unfortunately, most of us overlook the context when we make the most important decisions in our life. While seeking work — a job, a contract, or partnership, and also when hiring.

The Pain — A Wrong Commitment

While seeking work, we are committed to something what Leonardo da Vinci wrote for the first time in 1482 (source Business Insider). We are doing it how employers were expecting in 1950s (source BeBusinessed) — they asked for a resume. Even the introduction of a game changer in 2003 — LinkedIn could not dent our commitment.

A resume is a woefully inadequate measure to communicate our experiences, skills, and strengths, meaningfully. Thousands of templates (does not matter if they call it fancy and custom branded — the fancier the shittier) do not help it as moving a couple of bricks here and there in a wall rarely adds value and context to the overall building.

When applicants learnt that organizations use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to filter resumes, they started writing resumes for ATS just as copywriters all over the world were writing web copy for search engines. Not for humans.

Seth Godin questioned resumes in 2008 (see the TrackBack response in comments of the post). Today when organizations are evolving for their branding, marketing, and in their UX processes to embrace storytelling, hiring and job seeking continue to be in the age-old merry-go-round mode.

The Missing Script

There is a lot of gap in what the organization communicates what they need and what the candidates convey that they can offer.

The conventional job descriptions target skills. Either they are feeding ATS, or they are not investing in writing custom scripts. Even if some of them do, the resumes on the other sides cannot respond.

Hiring is a lot about guesswork and it is the biggest challenge for many organizations in the world. Bad hiring costs so muchTeri Morse, Vice President, Human Resources, Xerox said in 2014 that Big data can take the guesswork out of the hiring process. But it does not address the core issue —the linear subjectivity involved in hiring.

Of late, Textio is changing the hiring game to an extent but we need both the hands to clap.

Scripts Needed

When I worked in coveda in 2005, I lauded the diversity there. It seemed as if while hiring, they were not really looking for people — they were looking for roles. Just as a seasoned filmmaker first writes a good script and then picks the best-fit actors for their roles.

The job description was a meticulously crafted script and this script was a part of the larger organization narrative.

The hunt was for a role.

Roles Needed. RIP Resumes.

Resumes are the order of the day — for hiring managers and for those who seek work. Old order?

“The old order changeth yielding place to new.” — Alfred Tennyson

Organizations invest a lot to plan, write, and publish their case studies to share how they identify a problem, solve it, and how it benefits their customers.

While seeking work, candidates too need to write success stories. They should be available as a role and not merely as a skills-set. A role that invites scripts from organizations so that they hire us for our role.

Roles and Scripts

The team at vhite are working on something in this direction. Watch out for an update, soon.

Update: I am happy to share that Stippi is on Product Hunt Upcoming. You can subscribe to stay connected for it is live.