What Will Resumes Look Like 10 Years from Now?

Consider for a moment that Google, Facebook, and Amazon.com did not even exist 20 years ago. Certainly there have been vast changes in the way that consumers and organizations access and consume information, purchase products and services, and interact with one-another. Technological improvements have also spearheaded major changes in the recruiting process for organizations. Despite a wide variety of changes, however, the traditional recruiting documents resumes and cover letters have not changed much, and in my opinion remain largely ineffective.

What are the major deficiencies of resumes? They do not show actual work products, recommendations from team members and managers, or communication and teamwork skills. In fact, most recruiters will not even see an actual work product from a potential candidate until they are hired. Why has nobody fixed these glaring problems? Mostly, because companies pay lip-service to the importance of human capital and do not actually take the recruitment of employees as seriously as they should. Nor have they developed innovative processes of making hiring decisions that are more effective than simply personal decisions of hiring managers (which have been proven ineffective).

This brings us to the question of what a resume will look like ten years from now. I believe there will be several distinct changes to the traditional resume.

Interactive Online Resumes - While recruiting has largely moved online, job applicants have simply taken their traditional resumes and cover letters and submitted them through the internet. Ten years from now, I believe every single applicant will have a personal website specifically for the job search process. Think LinkedIn but combined with interactive features such as samples of work products, videos, and transcripts of academic coursework.

Work Product Examples- One of the most important components of the resume of the future is samples of actual work products. If you are applying for investment banking jobs, this will include actual examples of financial models you have built (taking into account company privacy concerns). If you are applying for marketing or advertising jobs it will include actual examples of advertisements you have created. The resume can still remain a one page document, but will include links to other documents, spreadsheets, or videos so companies can quickly gather more information about a candidate before making a decision about the interview.

These resources will undoubtedly take a long time to develop, given that organizations are still struggling on how to best utilize sites like LinkedIn (even though the company has been around since 2003). In the meantime, applicants should do as much as they can to preempt the questions that a recruiter may have. Take the initiative and send some sample work products or include a few recommendations from former employers. Each additional piece of information lowers the risk for the organization to hire a new employee.

Igor Khayet is the President and Founder of My Resume Shop, a career services company offering assistance with resumes, cover letters, and interview preparation. He is a former Admissions Interviewer for the Yale School of Management and a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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