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Career Focus

Resumes: Obsolete or Still Required?

By LISA TRUDEL - January 16 2022

The answer to this question depends on your occupational target. According to recent surveys and labour market reports, the Canadian workplace is at a crossroads with hiring practices. For example, if you are seeing employment in an occupation where there is a labour shortage such as a Server, Security Guard, or Cleaner, you might not even require a resume. Many workers are securing these jobs without the traditional resume. On the other hand, occupations such as Financial Services Managers and Marketing Professionals, require a customized cover letter, resume and LinkedIn Profile. 

In an article published online in the Fall of 2021, Hisayuki Idekoba, the CEO of Recruit Holdings who owns Indeed and Glassdoor, stated that “resumes are outdated and should be replaced”. He advised that despite many companies struggling to find qualified staff, many small and medium sized businesses are still recruiting the way they did a decade ago which is by asking to submit a resume. He stated that “the current labour shortage is a chance to move away from a resume-profile culture and resumes could be replaced with questions and assessments to see how a job seeker would handle specific tasks required by the role”.  

This type of recruitment and redesign of hiring practices is already happening in some sectors and for some occupations. For example, companies including Scotiabank, Deloitte and OLX Group use an assessment style recruitment. They use Plum which is an assessment developed in partnership with leading researchers at Central Michigan University. Plum has proven to be reliable for revealing human potential, advancing diversity talent, and selecting candidates who fit the role. Other pre-employment assessments include Caliper, Predictive Index, eSkill, TestGorilla, Berke, and Criteria. These are personality tests which focus on measuring natural strengths, potential to succeed, approaches to communication, social interaction and problem solving. 

What does this mean for the job seeker?  If you are seeking employment of any kind, still be prepared with a resume that will pass “applicant tracking systems” yet also be ready to complete online assessments. These could be personality assessments, or tests in numerical reasoning, verbal interaction, situational judgement, or a standard typing speed test.   

In order to be prepared, start by understanding why you are being tested. Employers administer testing and assessments to learn specific results so they can decide if you match the position you are applying to. It might not seem fair that hiring conclusions are based test results however these assessments and tests are part of many recruitment processes, so it better not to be surprised if you are asked to complete one, or two, or more. 

One of the reasons these assessments are becoming mandatory is due to the fact that over 50% of candidates lie on their resumes, at least according to the Society of Human Resources Management. Another reason is that positive references can be fabricated, and the traditional in-person interview or even the common Zoom interview, can only provide a quick snapshot of who a candidate really is.  Assessments provide a valuable extra piece to the hiring equation and ultimately reduces recruiting costs.

Future forecasts and trends might state that the workplace will move away from the current resume-profile culture, yet it is likely that resumes will not become obsolete just yet and will still be required for the next few years. So, have your resume and LinkedIn Profile ready if you are looking for employment.  However also be alert to the reality that many companies will continue to find creative ways to widen the way they search for new staff. There are many flaws in the resume-only approach and pre-employment assessments help to strip away bias and reveals the potential that employers want to consider when hiring and retaining talent.

To find out more about resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn, and career planning issues contact your local Employment Ontario Career Centre and find out if you meet the criteria to use their free services. 

This article was written by Lisa Trudel, Career Specialist with Achēv (pronounced “achieve”). You can contact Lisa at ltrudel@achev.ca


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