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Leave your resume in the car...

There is much discussion today about the relevance of the resume in today's talent acquisition market. There are so many other tools that are much more contemporary. Just as job boards have taken over from newspaper advertising, so too are social networking sites making the resume redundant.

A resume is a singular dimensional documentation of historical data and that person's "proposal" endeavouring to sell themselves to either the head-hunter or the company. In that sense it is useful as it spells out the skill the person has in either how they express themselves in written language and a useful chronology of their work history. But that's about it! It does nothing to represent how well they may do in the role they are seeking.

For one, the resume tells you nothing but history and often, it's just that person's interpretation of what they've done, and as I've discovered, that turns out to be revisionist, fiction and/or a fairy tale in terms of the leadership and management competences represented in the document. And if you pay for a professional resume-writing service, then a resume is neither a true predictor of good writing-ability nor solid evidence that the candidate is possesses the skills they say they have. Someone may be quite adept at using the "right" buzz words and phrases, but it can't substitute for the human elements and conditions that you've identified. Those...and background checks and due diligence.

I'm a great fan of dynamic "presentation" and sitting down with someone and learning more about them as a person. This does much more. This coupled with the likes of a dynamic profile, such as LinkedIn is a much, much better reference point because whilst it may contain historic information, it also expands on the person by their associations, their groups and activities, and other information that creates the full picture of "the person".

But I'd go one step further. I believe the formal interview today is redundant. In reality, it's about the relationship that the person can develop, whether it be fleetingly as they grab that coffee prior to meeting you (how they interact with the server), how they relate to you, and in the end, how they relate to the client and others within the company once they meet them. After all, a company contains a plethora of relationships both internally and externally, and this is what makes success or failure in a company. So in the end, when someone is interviewed, it can ba as simple as "do they like each other?" and this cannot be expressed in a resume or any written document, or via a formal interview where formalities prevail.

So always ask for a link to a prospect's professional profile and if you're cheeky, check out Facebook, because a picture (or a movie..) really does paint a thousand words!

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