an infamous study conducted by The
Ladders in 2012 found, which was that
recruiters spent, on average, a whopping
six seconds scanning a resume.
The resume works against people
who are self-taught—a group that
includes a sizable chunk of today’s
software developers, says Vivek
Ravisankar, co-founder and CEO
of HackerRank, who predicts 2018
“will mark the end of the resume for
developers.” Ravisankar cites the
findings of the 2018 Developer Skills
Report, a recent survey of 39,000
software developers conducted by
his company, which offers a platform
designed to help companies evaluate
candidates based on their skills. The
survey found that about half of the
respondents said resumes are not a
good reflection of their abilities.
The findings point to a disconnect
that’s no longer sustainable today,
when so many companies are furiously
searching for talented developers, says
“Although 81 percent of hiring
managers rely primarily on resumes to
evaluate developers at the beginning
of the recruiting process, nearly all of
them say actually measuring skill is
the hardest part of the technical-hiring
funnel,” he says.
Resumes, with their emphasis
on schools attended and previous
employers, may impede other wise
highly talented developers who lack
a degree from a well-known college
or who haven’t worked at a Google
or Microsoft, says Ravisankar. They
lead recruiters to discard candidates
without giving them a chance to
show off their skills, he says, while
companies engage in bidding wars
over pedigreed candidates, leading to
an artificial shortage of developers.
A better way to find talent, he says,
is to use platforms like his—which
uses competitive programming
challenges designed to let programmers
demonstrate their skills—or GitHub,
a site used by software engineers to
share, create and collaborate on code
and open-source projects and which has
become an increasingly popular place to
look for tech talent.
“I see places like GitHub becoming
the new resume,” says Ravisankar.
Resumes are also static—the ones
residing in your applicant-tracking
system won’t reflect the additional
skills and experience gained by
candidates in the time since they
applied to your organization, says
Carisa Miklusak, founder and CEO of
tilr, a firm that uses algorithms to find
candidates for companies that need to
fill a large number of positions quickly.
“The resume is passé and
Is the Resume Dead?
ineffective,” she says. “We believe
skills are the new currency of the
Candidates often “game” resumes,
customizing them to emphasize what
they believe will be most helpful in
landing a particular job, says Miklusak.
BY ANDREW R. McILVAINE
The resume has long gotten a bad
rap: Job candidates hate writing them,
recruiters hate reading them and critics
say they feed unconscious bias and lead
companies to overlook other wise great
talent. While the resume continues
to dominate, as companies build
new technologies into their hiring
processes, and recruiters and hiring
managers increasingly look to social-media platforms such as LinkedIn and
Facebook to evaluate candidates, some
organizations are moving to alternative
methods of screening that encourage
candidates to demonstrate their skills,
rather than summarize them.
An “Illusion of Validity”
An executive survey conducted last
year by the Futurestep division of Korn
Ferry suggests resumes may not be as
critical today as they once were.
More than a third (35 percent)
of those surveyed said resumes are
less important to a job search than
they were five years ago. In addition,
77 percent said networking was the
most important part of the process,
followed by interviewing ( 16 percent)
and social/online presence ( 4 percent).
Dead last? Resumes, at 3 percent.
Although all respondents reported
that they read candidates’ resumes
during the hiring process, 51 percent of
executives spend less than five minutes
reading a candidate’s resume and 13
percent spend less than two minutes.
That’s actually much longer than what
Is the resume an invaluable screening tool? Melanie Lundberg thinks o. Lundberg, assistant vice president of talent management and corporate communications at Combined Insurance, a Chubb Co., says resumes are critical in helping her decide who’s a best fit for the insurer.
“It’s an important component of the
recruiting process,” she says. “I just
don’t know how else you’d do it in the
sense of getting that full story.”
Grace Swanson has a different take.
Swanson, vice president of human
resources at fast-growing precision-
parts manufacturer Accumold, is
“not a fan of resumes.” Many of the
resumes she encounters are filled with
irrelevant (and often false) information.
Swanson says resumes are not the best
As for Nathan Hughes, his position
on resumes is crystal clear: His
company, Detroit Labs, doesn’t accept
them at all.