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Holding onto what doesn’t work seems to have become the order of the day.  Rather than open doors for new opportunities we are quite content in maintaining the status quo.  The resume is one such animal that is long overdue for a major overhaul.  Job applicants hate them because it simply doesn’t reflect the whole you, and if one was to try and make it such it would become a book of epic proportions.  Employers hate them because it has become a cookie cutter exercise of consistent formats, embellished with a bit of designer paint and the real content has to be unearthed deep within the smarty crafted eloquent words of today.  In short resumes suck and it doesn’t get any better when as a secondary measure we try and compensate using a barrage of interviews by various parties.

So what is the problem?  In short, having been on both sides of the document and being out of the employed job market for more than 2-1/2 decades the problem is that nothing works.  It doesn’t work because the jobs we are trying to fill, the candidates we are trying to attract and the talent that we are willing to develop cannot be portrayed ‘the resume’.  In fact, if we go a bit afield and look to foreign employees you will find added bits and traits added that are decisively unique, possibly bordering on illegal in some nations (both East and West).  So what do we do?  Do we put up and shut up, do we adapt using compensating measure or is it time for a new straw man to be put forth and developed in the upcoming years?

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I am obviously not happy with what we have today.  There is however some pretty talented content and design examples and this gives my encouragement that the general format of the Holistic Repertoire (HR coincidentally it matches up with Human Resource) will become the new resume of the future (or at least those who want to been understood or for companies who want the whole person). It does not service anyone except those looking for traditional consistency that fails to achieve our goals of either getting work or hiring ‘right’ people.  But what is ‘right’ and how is that different than in years gone by?  Today, 2014 ……. personality, social skills, interests/abilities, talents, and even a bit about what things they have dreamt about.  In short a holistic repertoire of the person and not just a fragment traditional glimpse of work.  Yes, there was a time in which that was all an employer was much interested in and the same also held true as to what a candidate wished to expose about themselves.  As an example of this point many employers are looking for an inside glimpse about the person through their social network activities.  Its not just looking at what they have been engaged in during the last few months but goes back and parallels both work and even school periods of time.  I have personally know about the forensics of social network examination to even look at when posts, views and comments were being made (to what extent) and whether this coincided with a time in which their attention should have been elsewhere.  While on one hand social network experience and exposure is today a positive element it can also be to your demise if it was exercised in a prudent fashion.

The HR, replacement for the long traditional resume, is new and without form.  So what I am about to share with you is based upon what I would either want to share (candidate) or have (employer).  I envision the HR to be a series of tab delimited 1-2 page sections.  Each section addressing a specific focus of interest.  It is my suggestion that at least 3, no more than 5 sections be included in any HR bundle.  The three (3) that I suggest are:

  • Professional,
  • Personal and
  • Talents. 

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The Professional section would be what we know today as the resume and would include;

  • Professional Career Objective (one-two line desire),
  • Education and
  • Work experience.

The Personal section would focus on your interests;

  • Professional/Personal Balance,
  • Personal interests,
  • Accomplishments, and
  • Social Involvements.

Talent section is a place where you can describe some of the things that you have pursued, accomplished but possibly are no longer involved with.  This may be past interests, achievements or involvements that you have had but for whatever reason you are no longer active, and current undertakings including things you want to accomplish (sort of like your bucket list).  Why is this important?  It really reflects a cross section of your evolution as a person, the journey that you have made but also the direction that you are presently going in.

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What I am still struggling with is how to bring this evolution forward.  We also must considered the internal workings of human resource departments that may be constantly challenged by an ongoing barrage of applicants to which the solution has been the use of technology to collect critical data.  I don’t believe that this particular aspect will be a problem because the professional section is not a departure from traditional resume formats.  Its more a case of collecting the additional information that is contained in the new HR form and to be able to relate this to meaningful information that will permit proper consideration.  If you put your HR out there employers may not be ready or interested in accepting this new form.  As an employer if you want the new form how can you foster applicants to comply with it?  I might suggest that its the obligation of employers to encourage the adoption of HR using an application format process.  Ultimately this will lead to a folio that will resemble the proposed HR template previously described.  Keep in mind however that this is not about emulating or creating a form, but producing content rich information that encourages better candidate selection.

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So as we proceed forward into the great unknown its up to us to shape and reshape, invent and reinvent each and everything around us.  Continuous process improvement is about change, not just for the sake of it but because it is providing ever growing value.  Its fundamentally driven by knowledge, experience and the exploitation of new additives whether it be technology or simply the advent of new supporting outlets.  Kaizen (Japanese) means ‘change for the best’ and its my hope that the fundamental adoption of a new style of resume (the HR) be the crown jewel to getting right resources-in right seats-for right growth potential.