Is the professional resume writer a dinosaur?

Posted by Dr Glyn Brokensha | August - 25 - 2014 | 0 Comment

resumeFreeZoneLet me tell you a story please.

A while ago all of us at Expr3ss! were bemused when a professional resume writer criticised Expr3ss! in less than flattering terms.  In fact he was downright nasty about us.

This is perhaps not quite so surprising given that our Expr3ss! process disintermediates the need for resume writers, as resumes progressively become less important.

But the more we analysed it the more we realised he obviously has no clue about what we do or the care we take to help applicants gain jobs they will love and flourish in.

Of course, what he said was ill-informed opinion that could have been dispelled instantly by his spending only a couple of minutes on our website… he just assumed we were recruitment agents.  He obviously had never even taken the time to view the videos in which applicants speak about their great experiences with Expr3ss!

No-one could fail to recognise the entirely and transparently self-serving nature of his communication .  Our thoughts were, “what else is to be expected from a scared professional resume writer?”

In his circulating the untruths, inaccuracies and wrong assumptions, we have been denied even the simple courtesy of a right to reply and set the record straight.  So, after much consideration I’ve decided to post here.

Why?… because this is a textbook case… an example of the behaviour of businesses that cling desperately to what they used to do out of self interest, rather than recognising what they need to do to be of service, relevance and value to their customers.

The dinosaur reflex

Remember the newspaper barons and their spirited denial of the power of internet job boards?  The result?… a very late and largely ineffectual entry into the online space.

This reaction is typical of the process of digital disruption and its impact upon the industries it eclipses.  Just like a grief reaction, after the stage of denial comes anger and the desire to lash out hurtfully. Our resume-writing dinosaur is a prime example.

The stage that inevitably will follow this is a progressive decline in the value of the disrupted product, the professionally written resume in this case.

My advice to the writer and to all professional resume writers who wish to avoid the downward spiral into irrelevance and oblivion is to embrace the changes you fear, rather than rail against them.  Why not adapt to the inevitability of a changing world and offer something of real value to applicants?  Surely that’s better than clinging on mindlessly to a doomed cottage industry?

The “six-second-glance” … what applicants really need

What applicants really need, especially those who find it difficult to gain or regain employment are succinct one-page “elevator pitch” resumes that really speak to their strengths… not strengths in general but those directly related to the job sought.  Our own research established that years ago.

I’m sure you already know the “six-second-glance” research that showed, using eye-gaze tracking, that recruiters typically spend no more than six seconds in their first appraisal of a resume.  And as everyone knows, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

How many people are rejected arbitrarily at this critical seventh second?

A full, proper and objective assessment of all applicants identifies the genuine “star” applicants, often bringing forward the “looks wrong / is right” people too.  People who would otherwise not get a fair go.

Here at Expr3ss! we absolutely love it when we hear those success stories, much more than when we hear of the cost-savings we create.

Ben Hurley wrote positively about exactly this in BRW nearly a year ago…

Quickly identifying people who will love and flourish in a particular role, in a specific company and in an individual team helps applicants too. It helps them avoid wasted time and effort pursuing jobs that will be unsuitable. Whilst everyone does like to succeed in their bid for a job, no-one wants a bad employment experience or a “blot” on their work history because the job never was right for them

And we unashamedly love the fact that our optional video “ShowReel” allows great people to “strut their stuff” in the 21st century’s preferred medium.  This helps people who perhaps can’t afford a professional resume writer and who maybe aren’t so good at writing, document formatting and layout.  Often these are skills that are not even necessary for the job they are going for.

Sooner or later other, better, disruptive technologies will come along to challenge the pre-eminence that Expr3ss! currently enjoys.  We hope they will be ours, of course, and if that is not the case we trust we will graciously embrace a better future.

Our research with the The University of Queensland Business School and Queensland University of Technology’s Department of Psychology promises much.  Watch this space!

Thanks for dropping by…