Resumes have several limitations. To understand why, let me explain to you a typical recruitment process and how resumes fail to serve their purpose.
Every hiring process begins with the hiring manager (or any other person assigned with the task of filling the vacant position) creating a job description. Never mind the fact that most job descriptions(JD) are lousy, insufficient and poorly written. But let’s forget that for a moment and assume that our JD is created. The recruiter then posts the content across various platforms like job portals, his own website, vendors, and/or circulates it among his employees for referrals.
Job portals do a search within their database to pull out matching resumes that match the recruiter’s JD. But don’t expect them to do a thorough match. They simply pick out a few words and phrases from the description and search (using “control F) for these keywords in resumes.
This is where the problem starts. The JD is distilled by recruiters and potential candidates to few keywords. The recruitment staff cannot and does not read the complete resume. They do a quick search for the key words only.
If keywords are all that it ultimately boils down to, why waste time and space writing so much of text on a resume. Wouldn’t it make sense to present these skills straightaway in a manner that articulates one’s skills well?
The keyword search mechanism for matching requirements has several limitations. For one, keywords tend to lose out on synonyms and therefore potential candidates. For example, the term Software Engineer is not really different from Software Developer. When a hiring manager mentions “Software Engineer” on the JD, it is quite possible that the recruiter searches for the specified term, but ignores candidates who’ve titled themselves as Software Developers. Thus, applicants who could otherwise be potential candidates for the job are left out.
Let’s look at another problem- one that’s subtle, yet, significant. Different resumes are written differently. They differ in structure, flow, content, length, etc. It becomes very difficult for the mind to assimilate, compare and analyse different documents. Similarly, recruiters who’re probably exposed to hundreds of resumes everyday find it extremely difficult to read different documents presented in different ways and yet distill the essence from each of them.
Ramu is founder of It's Your Skills. Feels he has been fortunate to have had education in engineering and human resources and experience in non-IT and IT industries. They have helped him evolve an all round perspective on the talent space.