8 Things Employers Can Do To Make The Job Process Better For Candidates
We live in an age where resumes are no longer as effective as they used to be. Personally, I believe they're obsolete.
How can you summarize your accomplishments in one-sentence descriptions? How can you showcase your talents, skills and passions without being able to see the tangibles and end results?
As a writer, you may have published works for some of the biggest media companies in the world. Yet, this piece of paper -- your resume -- doesn't do them justice. It doesn't showcase your work. It doesn't show the effect and positive reaction your work has had on your audience, clients or followers.
Your resume may show your role as a senior mobile app developer, but what about the side stories? What about all the details that go into your hustle and experience within that role? Perhaps you went from a junior role to a senior role in months. Perhaps you led a team while producing a product or service that saved the company from losing millions of dollars, and you did it only four months into that role.
You're right that these are all highlights and bullet points you can add to your resume or cover letter. But how many people actually look at your resume? Why do I keep hearing the same story of people not being "qualified" enough for positions they can see themselves thriving in?
I started noticing a pattern. Many of my friends and the intelligent people of my age group who are looking for meaningful work continue to find it nearly impossible to gain attention from employers.
I'm not really sure what the big disconnect is. Maybe you're marketing yourself wrong. It might possibly be the economy. Here are eight things I promise I'll do if I ever become an employer:
1. I will invest in talented, passionate people.
Isn't part of building a great company recruiting and collaborating with people who share similar passions and visions to that of the company itself? Why aren't people getting more opportunities to do what they love? Or at the very least, why aren't more people having the opportunity to learn about the positions they see themselves thriving in?
Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe I just shouldn't be the one in charge of recruiting. But I believe in investing in passionate people.
I would hire someone who may not be the most experienced, yet shows a lot of potential and passion. I'd hire someone who just gets it. I want someone who understands the big picture with regard to what my company is doing, as opposed to someone who has five to seven years of more experience.
2. I'll request realistic and relevant information from my candidates.
I can only hope for a better future: a future where your work speaks for itself. I believe in a world where you don't have to go through tedious questions like, “How would your closest friends or supervisor describe you?”
That would probably be a better question for my friends or supervisor because I'm not a damn mind reader. For all I know, some of my friends or supervisors may secretly think I'm an awkward attention whore. Others might find me to be a sweet guy. You never really know how someone truly views you, unless you hear him or her behind closed doors.
"Where do you see yourself five years from now?" also isn't the best question to ask candidates. I see myself as a billionaire. I'm very hopeful.
Is that going to happen? I'm not so sure.
3. I will kill the concept of the cover letter.
Quite frankly, cover letters are like a foreign language to me. I've been told by counselors and human resource managers that you should create your cover letter around the qualifications and responsibilities written in the job description.
So, the proper way to write a cover letter is to sell yourself on what the cover letter wants you to be, instead of what actually makes you special? I personally see problems with that.
Yes, you have to show sides of yourself that are relatable to the position. But personally, I would want to see your story instead. We live in a creative age, and things are not always black and white.
4. I will ask you to show me your story and personal brand.
Show me what you're passionate about. Show me what makes you you. I want to know everything about your skills, personality and talents.
Make a website. Squarespace is a great tool to use if you don't know where to start. For example, I designed and developed my own personal brand and site, which showcases my work and what I'm all about.
Invest in making a personal website, and use that as your resume. Are you a photographer? Engineer? Video editor? Model? Lawyer? Finance person? Make a website that showcases your photos, projects, videos, shoots, cases or investment portfolios. Make sure it tells employers a story about what you did, what it meant to you and why it was important to you (or the person you worked for).
Make a YouTube channel and showcase yourself, your work and your voice through a blog or other platform. Show people who you are and what you love. Build your future by starting with yourself.
Be creative. Share your character. Show the unapologetic, authentic side of the person you are. Show the employer what you're hesitant about showing, where you see yourself improving and what you excel at.
The system should be based on honesty, not fraudulence. With that, the employer will be able to see if you're the right fit for the company based on everything you love and your journey.
If the employer decides not to move forward with you, at least you'll know the company wasn't even a right fit. You will know you were transparent and honest about your desires and everything you've done that makes you who you are.
5. I will know that job applications are not triathlons.
It's frustrating when an applicant has to register on a company site to upload his or her resume, but then has to rewrite all his or her information anyway. I already uploaded my beautifully deigned resume that I spent hours making on Adobe Illustrator. Is there really a purpose to write the whole damn thing again on your site?
Thirty minutes later, you finally press the submit button for your application. You wait two months, and you still hear no response. By that time, you aren't even mad. However, if you rack all those applications up, you've probably lost like five days of your life.
6. I will give rejected applicants an option to request feedback.
A curious individual is always striving to grow and improve. I like to learn about how I can grow.
I do the same when I'm seeking out a job. I personally want to know why I didn't get the position. I want to know where I can improve, according to the employer's standards.
I'd be respectful to applicants. I wouldn't provide an email address like “firstname.lastname@example.org,” which immediately sends bounce back emails saying the message can't be delivered when applicants try to respond and ask why they didn't get the job.
This is especially inconsiderate if you're going to put someone through an application that takes longer than 20 minutes to complete. I'd like to give him or her the option to request feedback, at the very least. That's all I'm saying.
7. I will emphasize the importance of a practical -- yet strong -- hiring process.
At the same time, I've wasted several employers' time by applying to several jobs at once, without looking them over or seeing if those positions would be the right fit. Is that fair to the employer? Absolutely not.
I've also spent hours or days trying to best position myself for an application, but I still received nothing back from the hiring manager. No one is to blame. Both sides are guilty to some degree.
I just believe we should build a better system. Not every company is like this. I'm not throwing everyone under the bus. I'm speaking to a certain type of animal here.
I might be a dreamer, but I just have a completely different concept in mind of how things should work. There should be a matchmaking system that connects the right people with the right companies. If people can fall in love every day from online dating sites and apps, why can't we do the same for people and their professions?
I understand that it's not as easy as it sounds. Employers look over tons of applications on a daily basis.
I just dream of a world in which more people are happy with their lines of work. I want them to spend most of their lives working because they enjoy it, instead of being miserable because they're left with no other options.
8. I will make sure people love what they're doing.
I listen to a lot of people within my age group, and some just want more. They want to feel fulfilled, and they want to be a part of something that resonates with their core beliefs. The biggest indicator that people are unhappy with their jobs is the fact that they consistently complain about Mondays. In my book, the moment you stop yearning for Friday is the moment you've made it.
Sometimes, people ask me if I'm a morning person. I usually answer "no". While I was working at my corporate job, I would wake up, more mornings than not, by dreading my day.
Now, I wake up making less money for now, unfortunately. But I do so with a minor jolt of excitement. I don't know why, but I think it has something to do with getting up and having each day to contribute to the world.
There's another day to build my story. There's another day for opportunity and building my legacy, so to speak.
But I'd be lying if I said I wake up every morning like that. Some days are slower. Some days, you have setbacks, and things don't go as planned.
But it's not because it's Monday. It's because I could be doing better. I could be doing more.
I just want to be a part of the bright future many companies are currently striving toward and building each day. I see companies, people and entrepreneurs who just get it. Constantly innovating, pioneering and creating environments that focus on people is the single most important thing on earth.