Are Resumes Still Effective Hiring Tools?

Ah, resumes… one of the biggest staples of the hiring world. The very mention of these documents bring back fond (or not so fond) memories of proofreading, stamp-licking, and even door-to-door handouts as we all searched for our early career jobs.

Modern day resumes have definitely gotten a facelift thanks to word processing and graphic design, but their components and layouts have more or less stayed the same. The rules, once concrete and unarguable, have become a bit blurred. (The debate of one-page vs. two-pages still rages on within the hiring community!)

With that said, the big question has come up: are resumes still relevant? Are they still the best tools for employers looking to find star candidates for their business? You’ll certainly find mixed reviews amongst experts, from the staunchly traditional to the thoroughly modern-minded. As for us, we decided to throw our hat in the ring and share our two cents on the matter!

The pros and cons

Very few people out there will argue that while the resume has served job-seekers and employers well over the years, it’s far from a perfect method of finding the right hires. But even in 2017-18, there are still some benefits:

Pros: Since the resume/CV is accepted worldwide as the standard method for applying to jobs, it’s not likely to go away anytime soon, meaning it’s in the employer’s interest to continue accepting them. They can be accepted in both a physical and digital format, which allows employers to manage how they want to organize and track their applications.

Cons: The biggest downside to resumes are that they’re limited regarding how much info they can convey. How well can you get to know an applicant from a page (or two) of written information? Are you tossing out your best applicants’ resumes without even knowing it?

So what are the alternatives?

The internet has more or less been embraces by all businesses as a key element of the hiring process, even if it’s as simple as allowing applicants to email a resume. Personally, we’re fans of keeping the hiring process simple – however, it’s also important to consider that you may be losing out on important information that can ultimately help you identify your perfect hire!

We’ve all been in that situation before: scheduling a promising applicant for an interview only to find that they’re not the right fit in person. The reality is, there are tons of excellent job seekers who may have less than perfect resumes. And let’s face it, if you’re hiring for a role that doesn’t require excellent design, copywriting, and proofreading skills, judging a candidate based on those elements on their application will probably result in you selecting the wrong individuals for the interview.

So what alternatives are out there? Here are a few of the leading trends in hiring that will not only streamline and simplify your hiring process, but ensure that you get the most important information needed to evaluate your candidate properly.

Online profiles. Thanks to online platforms like Linkedin, employers have a lot more resources to refer to when evaluating their candidates. A lot of larger corporate companies recognized the value of having this additional information on hand by setting up extensive internal forms for applicants to fill out. However, most employers today find that applicants are deterred from these lengthy and convoluted processes. The solution? Consider adopting an online user-friendly platform that allows job seekers to fill in their information with ease, maximizing the value of the information you receive without sacrificing candidate interest. Not sure where to start? Try HigherMe’s Applicant Tracking System!

Video. A picture says a thousand words – so imagine how much a video can share when it comes to hiring? Everyone and their cousin has access to a camera, so it makes sense to take advantage of this trend and leverage it to your advantage. Encouraging applicants to submit a Video Cover Letter will help you get to know their personality and demeanor at the application stage, which will help fill in the blanks left by resumes alone. Plus, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions when choosing who to invite for a face-to-face interview, saving you time and resources!

Texting. Did you know that texting is the preferred method of communication for the majority of millennial job seekers? On top of that, an increasing number of job seekers say that they prefer communicating with potential employers via text message. Consider incorporating this element into your hiring process – it can be as simple as engaging with candidates through texting, or having candidates submit their application through text message. There are great services like HigherMe that can help you set up Text-to-Apply campaigns and Automatic Interview Scheduling through these channels!

With all this said, the bottom line is: the resume is not obsolete. However, this staple of the industry isn’t enough to carry you through the hiring process on its own – not if you’re looking to find the best and the brightest your industry has to offer. By coupling modern technology with your existing hiring process, you can simplify and streamline your hiring efforts while targeting great candidates with ease!

Ready to update your hiring process? Start with HigherMe – connect with our team at, or visit our Applicant Tracking System page!

See other templates