Lynda Spiegel en Résumé, Job Search, HR Recruiters founder • Rising Star Resumes 7/10/2016 · 2 min de lectura · +700

Why the First Person Resume is Disrupting Recruiting

Why the First Person Resume is Disrupting RecruitingPublished in The Wall Street Journal Experts Blog October, 2, 2016

Say goodbye to the traditional, third-person résumé. The first-person résumé is the wave of the future.

It needed to happen.. The typical  résumé is boring and often meaningless, largely because it is written in the disembodied third person. The trend toward first-person  résumés, in which candidates forge a connection between themselves and their potential employer, is one way job applicants are breaking through.

As a former human-resources executive, I spent years reviewing  résumés that were startlingly similar. I’ve learned that every candidate is a “proven leader,” an “energetic and charismatic team builder,” in possession of a “bottom-line focus.” Every sales rep “consistently meets and exceeds quotas,” while every marketing professional “conceives innovative strategies.” I’ve even seen this exact language on a medical office receptionist’s  résumé. (“A proven leader of what?” I inquired. “And how can you substantiate that?”

But the first-person  résumé not only puts some specifics around experience that would otherwise be indistinguishable from other candidates, but it also provides a glimpse into each candidate’s personality. Note how the summary of this marketing professional differentiates the job seeker’s unique value proposition:

Before: A creative, results-driven and energetic marketing professional with 10+ years of extensive media experience in the television sector; capable of delivering comprehensive knowledge of the latest media trends and consumer habits; thrive on the challenge of short timelines and last-minute changes. Strong ability to guide and train teams on how to best connect and grow a business’s marketing campaign. Bilingual: Spanish/English.

After: I am a Senior Media Buyer with extensive experience in unwired advertising strategies for Fortune 100 companies. Contract negotiation is a core strength; I have achieved significant profitability by bringing on new business and re-negotiating terms to address shortfalls. An effective manager with P&L accountability, I improve employee retention through training and mentorship. Being bilingual in Spanish, I forge productive business relationships with the growing Latino demographic.

The concept of personal branding made clear how job seekers could differentiate themselves from the competition. By functioning less as a chronological history of  employment and more of a vehicle for establishing one’s brand–hopefully one that would resonate with targeted employers–first-person  résumés establish a candidate’s distinct signature.

I first tested the concept in early 2015, soliciting feedback from recruiters in my LinkedIn network. Their responses were unconditionally positive. Recruiters enjoyed being able to get a feel for the person behind the credentials, and their comments ranged from, “It’s always seems weird for candidates to refer to themselves in the third person,” to “it’s the digital equivalent of an elevator speech–I immediately get who this person is and whether or not this  résumé deserves a deeper look.”

As of now, first-person  résumés stand out to recruiters not only for their added value, but because the format is still relatively new. However, even if first-person  résumés become the norm, candidates are still differentiated.

So far, candidates in creative fields have been more receptive than those in law and finance to converting to a first-person approach, but candidates in more traditional fields are coming around. As the proportion of millennials in the workforce grows, the first-person résumé speaks to the global trend toward individualism, a sensibility that values the individual over a series of job functions.

Job seekers may actually find it easier to develop their résumé in the first person by simply “talking” to their target employer using simple, non-hyperbolic language. “Show, don’t tell,” is the strategy to employ here, so directly under the summary, curate a list of specific accomplishments that demonstrate the traits the candidate wants to be known for. For example, rather than saying, “I’m a team player,”  a short bullet that describes how they achieved consensus in a difficult situation tells the story without hackneyed language.

First-person résumés are disrupting recruiting because–for a change–they serve the needs of both recruiter and candidate. Recruiters benefit from being able to get a sense of the person behind the credentials, so that they can screen for character traits as well as concrete skills. Meanwhile, candidates are able to succinctly tell their unique story and establish their value.

Brian McKenzie 3/11/2016 · #9

I can dress it up, dumb it down, shove it down the Twit Stream in 144 characters, smother it in Pineapple and skewer it wit a pen - it all matters not - the resume (at least mine) is a worthless waste of time. I would get more traction by twerkin in a banana hammock on Instagram ~ it is afterall what they want....that and a herd of Spirit Animals.

Lynda Spiegel 8/10/2016 · #8

#7 OMG, Jared! First of all, thank you for your comments. Proof that ATS are the black hole into which resumes fall, never to be viewed by human eyes, is in the proliferation of companies that have developed software to game the ATS. Where will it end?
HR - let's go retro. Let's actually, as Deb Helfrich points out, write meaningful job descriptions. This article I wrote for Cornerstone OnDemand goes into detail about how companies can write meaningful job descriptions.
Then, let's do what First Round, the company profiled in the article above does; employ a high level HR person to actually READ resumes and get to know the candidates, so they can hire for traits, not keywords.

+2 +2
Jared J. Wiese 8/10/2016 · #7

#4 Glad to hear your view on ATSs - Applicant Tracking Systems, if I'm not mistaken - AKA Black Hole ;)

Jared J. Wiese 8/10/2016 · #6

#5 Of course, Lynda! I have no clue on timing. Moreover, your work in soliciting feedback from recruiters is real proof.

And I sincerely thank you for taking your time to share your experience with your First-person résumés.
I think you did a fabulous job of explaining it, with examples.

I highly recommend and hope more people notice!

+1 +1
Lynda Spiegel 8/10/2016 · #5

#2 Thank you, Jared Wiese, both for sharing and for taking the time to post a comment. Humans are programmed to enjoy hearing stories, so bringing that understanding to the job search is an important insight.
Yes, I've heard of Liz Ryan's human voice resume - and it doesn't matter who got there first because if two HR professionals advocate the same strategy, job candidates ought to consider it.

+1 +1
Lynda Spiegel 8/10/2016 · #4

#1 Thanks, as always, Deb Helfrich, for adding value with your comment. Yes, job descriptions have been a contributing factor to the problem of matching the right candidate with a job, but JDs are written by HR, and I think that we - in many ways - are the source of why recruiting is broken. Searching for ways to make recruiting easier by outsourcing the initial decision to ATS software is the biggest mistake. Yes, recruiting takes time, but honor the process and don't rely on software to do the job.

+2 +2
Jared J. Wiese 7/10/2016 · #3

Sharing in Career Development.

Jared J. Wiese 7/10/2016 · #2

Great post, @Lynda Spiegel.
Telling your story, at least right under the top Summary section is the way to go! “Show, don’t tell,” "the job seeker’s unique value proposition".

As I think @Deb Helfrich was saying, most listings and resumes have to fit 3rd person to get into the Black Hole.

Ever hear of Liz Ryan and her Human Voice Resume?