Left Behind

I was recently reading through some posts on a management forum where resumes and job search were being discussed. One of the posts astounded me. The writer was questioning the necessity of an e-resume in today’s job search. Maybe he was just out of touch or maybe he doesn’t understand how technology has developed but his basic premise was that electronic resumes are obsolete.

First of all, we started developing “scannable” resumes years and years ago when technology evolved and recruiters and hiring managers were starting to use flat-bed scanning technology to convert paper-based resumes into electronic format. It’s been years now since we’ve provided paper resumes to clients since they are simply not needed but we were one of the first firms that recognized the need for a resume that was OCR-compatible. We also were one of the first firms to provide laser prints of resumes rather than dot-matrix. Remember those? Technology and job search evolved and we evolved with it.

Today, we provide an e-resume option for all our clients. An e-resume is a more modern version of a scannable resume but it is still built around the core principal of having a resume that is computer-friendly. These days, however, an e-resume has to be database friendly and human friendly, too. We always keep the reader in mind here at GI. We develop resumes for the readers’; the recruiters and hiring managers. We poll them twice yearly to find out what they want and need in a resume and then we strive to provide that. They want resumes that upload smoothly to databases but can also be downloaded, emailed, and actually read by a human eye. That’s an e-resume.

About the time I read this forum post, I received a brochure for Kennedy Information’s annual Recruiting Conference and Expo (held in Vegas this year). This is one of the biggest industry conferences for recruiting and HR. The theme this year is “Real-World Recruiting for Today’s Workforce. The sessions are led by recruiting and HR experts from some of the most recognizable companies in the world such as Siemens, Bank of America, Nike, and Citigroup just to name a few. Sponsors of the event include Qualigence, LinkedIn, ExecuNet, Simply Hired and TalentHook, all Internet-based service companies.

Entry into the conference is quite expensive with recruiters paying up to $3380.00 per person to attend the entire schedule, not including accommodations at the Las Vegas Hilton, the venue for the event. So what are recruiters paying so much to learn about? Here are some of the session titles with a bit of description: “The New Game in Town … “Recruiting by Video Game” … “Replacing retiring “boomers’ with talented Gen X and Y engineers and scientists..”

“OFCCP Compliance for External Resume Database Sourcing” … “Learn how to prove that your sourcing activities are consistent and fair in order to avoid unnecessary litigation”

“Talent 3.0 … Latest Innovations to “Recognize and Grow Talent’” … “Learn how you can leverage new discoveries in neuroscience and expert performance and the latest web 2.0 technologies to recognize and grow your company’s talent base.”

“Marrying Physical and Online Networking” … “Explore the implications of regional recruiting markets on the use of online social networks.”

“The Best Kept Secret of Inexpensive, Effective, Local Online Recruiting” … “Recruiters and employers today have a dazzling array of options for publishing their job opportunities, from Craigslist and the local newspaper to Monster and CareerBuilder.”

“Online Video’s Impact on Employment” … “The hot button topic of video resumes is sure to rear its ugly head as well.”

“How to Use Search Engines & Social Networking Sites to Screen Candidates … Including Landmines and Pitfalls” … “You’ll assess the pros and cons of utilizing Internet sites and see how privacy and discrimination laws apply.”

“Is Social Networking & SEM the Next Frontier in Recruiting?” “Social networking sites have appeared quickly on the Internet landscape and continue to flourish. We need to capitalize on this phenomenon.”

“Real-world Recruiting and the Electronic Future” … “a panel of experts will help you keep pace with the trends and technologies that matter to recruiters now … and in the months ahead.”

Anyone out there in the job market still doubt that technology is impacting job search? Anyone think an e-resume is a silly, unnecessary expense? Anyone think we will ever go backwards in terms of the impact of technology on job search? If so, maybe you should be planning a trip to Vegas in May. You need to get up to speed on what the person across the desk in the job search process … the recruiter or the hiring manager - is doing because you are going to be left behind if you don’t get with the program.