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Résumés Are Starting to Look Like Instagram, and Sometimes Even Tinder (wsj.com)
178 points by DanBC 61 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 242 comments



I'd be fine with a resume that included some modern design elements, especially if it were a position which might involve some design work. A "by the numbers" summary could make it easier to see the points a candidate thinks are important.

But a photograph would make me immediately pass. There's no way for me to be sure I can avoid prejudice. I already hate that resumes include names/addresses in such a prominent place. Those should be off to the side, so they can easily be removed before the resume even gets to me.

> The flashy résumés are colliding with efforts by employers to strip down CVs to their most basic elements—coding skills, college degrees, work histories—to reduce bias in hiring. Many companies run résumés through tools called applicant tracking systems that remove photos and other design embellishments. Others are looking for ways to blind out even names and addresses, which could reveal gender, race or socioeconomic status.

Exactly! We should be trying to reduce bias in hiring, not add to it. This is exactly what is meant by "privilege". Either they're hoping to get hired based on how they look, or they don't realize or care that they're creating more work for someone else to strip out all this junk before anyone can read it.


In countries like Germany it is normal to include your picture. Don't see what the problem is, before you hire someone you are usually seeing them in person anyway.


In the United States it is definitely not normal to include your picture, and doing so can lead to conscious or unconscious bias against someone because of their race, gender, beauty, etc.

Germany has these problems too.


These problems don't go away by not including a picture... In Germany a resume without a picture looks odd.


This reminds me of a funny conversation I had with a coworker: he's black and was complaining that his sister named his nephew "Lashawn" (for those outside the US: it's a very stereotypically African-American name). He remarked: "do you want his resume to go directly to the trash bin every time?" Funny at the time but kind of depressing in retrospect.


I have to add the obligatory reference to Freakonomics and the impact your name has on "how a child performs in school and even her career opportunities".

Great write up in either the first or second Freakonomics book about how adversely impacting being called Jasmin is in the the US.

[0] http://freakonomics.com/podcast/how-much-does-your-name-matt...


Dr. Marijuana Pepsi, holds a doctorate in higher education leadership. Her dissertation was entitled, “Black names in white classrooms: Teacher behaviors and student perceptions."

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/columnists/jim-stingl/20...


We call her Mary Jane Pepsi


She goes as Marijuna, but in some situations, she goes as “M P”.


I know your coworker was probably exaggerating for the point of the joke but Lashawn isn't even that bad. It's when people slam together parts of three different names to make some four syllable albatross of a name that your resume gets trashed by default.

There's also white people names that will get your resume trashed for implying low class but they tend to lack the aural flare that stereo-typically low class black people names have.


Examples of low class white names? I'm curious.


Jeb, Cecil, Jethro, Dustin...


Cecil is lower class? I'd say the opposite, that makes me think mortarboard and prep school. Similar for names like Percival.

Lower class names are going to be the cliche'd, trying-to-be-different names like Corbin, Jameson, McKenna, Liam, Elijah, Aiden, Kaydon, Grayson, Mason, etc.


That's, "Jeb!", for your information.


It does reduce bias in the screening stage, which is exactly what its intended purpose is.


But it's not something that you can decide to do as a candidate. Without a picture, you're the oddball that doesn't get past the first screening.


Has this changed as hiring gets more international? When I started seeing CVs with pictures I thought it was really, really weird, but I soon realised it was just the norm in some countries.

I still think CVs with _pie charts_ are pretty weird, tho...


FWIW, I'm with you on pie charts. :)


That is only true when everyone else includes a picture. As others said it is great in the US that nobody includes pictures on their resume.


What's the benefit to employees and employers?


> In the United States it is definitely not normal to include your picture

LinkedIn?


they bother me every time i login because i have no picture set


Ditto. And they ask for an explanation why.


> And they ask for an explanation why.

Really? That's funny. Did they just throw up a text box for you to fill in?


It's a radio box; I've never selected it so I'm unsure if they ask for clarification when you select other


I have, they do.

I occasionally write rude things into it like "stop asking me, you idiots". Not very professional, I suppose. Of either of us.


Recruiters spend 60% of their time looking at your profile picture.


Is there a source for this where I can read more?


In france it's even forbidden if I'm not mistaken


Not only is it not forbidden in France, in tech at least it is expected that you put a picture. Yes it's also allowed not to put one (and illegal to discriminate because it's not here), but from my experience most people do.

(source: graduated there)


I'm pretty sure I was told at school to never include a picture, but that was more than a decade ago. Today I see most resumes having pictures, especially those from Epitech candidates.

I don't like it though, I don't see how a picture is relevant to a resume.


It's absolutely not. Most of my friends put a picture. I'm in tech and I don't but that's a personal choice.


No, it’s not.


There have been many studies that show bias in the a screening process when gender or ethnicity are known. Ideally, the hiring manager should be given anonymized resumes so they can better make objective decisions about the candidates.

https://m.phys.org/news/2019-03-women-percent-hiring-men.htm...


Does that bias go away when meeting the candidate in person?

Perhaps we should do phone only interviews with voice changing tech.


You can't avoid it forever, but it's more critical in the early stages where small signals have a big impact. If you've invested enough time in a candidate to do an interview, you're more (subconsciously) motivated to plow through (subconscious) biases.


Sometimes the biggest hurtle to getting a job is just getting to the interview.


Or via chat.


It's been my experience that this often happens nowadays - either the third party recruiter or HR removes identifying information from the resume before passing it onto the hiring manager. I've seen my resume with this treatment during interviews.


It may be because I’m hiring for very senior roles, but you can bet I’m looking on LinkedIn and github before bringing someone on-site. Doesn’t mean you have to be on there, but for sure I’m looking to see if I know a connection or have a look at your code and commit habits.


The problem is people having a prejudice one way or another due to how the person looks. I know personally, being based in North America, the few times I've seen resumes my initial thought is, "Oh, they must be new to the country since they don't know that isn't acceptable here."


I grew up in Switzerland and I remember that for our very first application right after school, for apprenticeships, we should put the names and jobs of our parents on it...

Out of interest I searched and read a guide and lo and behold, it is no longer recommended for anyone - except for applying for apprenticeships.


I'm seeing a trend where now first (and 2nd, 3rd level) of screening is happening sans resume - based upon Linkedin profiles. And Linkedin profiles are anything but B&W (includes lot of other signals including profile pics).


> But a photograph would make me immediately pass.

Soo, you're fighting discrimination by being discriminatory? That's bonkers to me!


People who place photos on a resume are not a protected class. Perhaps it is a bit unusual to automatically exclude those applicants, but it is _not_ discrimination (as defined by the law).


People who ride their bike to work aren't a protected class, yet I've been informed it's not okay to ask a candidate how their commute was.

I really don't want anything to do with the recruiting and hiring process.


That sounds crazy. How is it not okay to ask about the commute?


Yeah I've never heard this. Frankly, it gives relevant info about how willing the candidate is to endure the commute. Plus, it's polite conversation. Also, bicyclists aren't a protected class.


Not the OP, but I expect it's more CYA. Many employers will reject a candidate that puts their age in their cover letter or resume. Rejecting these isn't about fighting age discrimination, but having the policy means that the candidate can't later claim discrimination, because anyone who shares that detail regardless of age is out.


Year of graduation, or years of experience, would surely indicate approximate age for the majority of candidates?


All hiring is discrimination, unless you hire every candidate (even if done randomly, it is discriminating based on the random process.)

What is going on here is discrimination on a (presumptively)[0] legal basis to avoid risk of discrimination on an illegal basis.

[0] there is some possibility of inadvertent illegal “adverse impact” discrimination here.


As a professional resume writer I'm seeing a lot of clients now asking for more design on their resumes (including many senior clients with solid accomplishments) and it's a disturbing trend. I think part of the blame can go to the handful of companies that have gone viral with highly visualized 'mock' resumes for tech celebrities (Elon Musk and Marissa Mayer - example https://enhancv.com/resume-examples/famous/marissa-mayer/).

These resumes certainly "look good", but they aren't useful. Obviously, it doesn't matter what your resume looks like if you're Elon Musk - you're getting the interview anyway.

With visualized resumes, the user is sacrificing the ability to provide a more robust list of accomplishments, or perhaps to provide additional details and context for the accomplishments they have listed.

If you are junior level and don't have many accomplishments to mention, a visualized resume might get their attention. For senior level candidates or even mid-career folks who have already done a thing or two, these resumes look like an ill-fitting suit.

Don't distract your reader with fancy formatting. Using a simple format allows the reader to focus entirely on what is important (your body of work) without being distracted.


Do you ever recommend that the resume writer puts his/her picture on the resume? It struck me as really odd when Linkedin started to encourage this, as I was told ages ago that a photo on your resume will get it thrown out instantly because it opens up the potential employer to discrimination.


As others have said, it depends on the country. For my US clients I never add a photo, but I will offer to add a LinkedIn URL at the top. The ability for the reader to view your profile (and photo) can help them to understand that this is a real person, and my guess is it's harder for most people to say 'no' to someone they have seen (of course this is assuming several things about each party).


> it opens up the potential employer to discrimination.

This argument never seemed to hold any water for me. Ok, most cases of "discrimination lawsuit" were because people were discriminated negatively, not positively. Wouldn't discarding the resume _because it has a picture_ have the exact result that the person discriminated person complained of? If that is so, it seems NOT accepting the resume would open you to lawsuits, not accepting it. Yet, I don't see a lot of fuss being made about job-seekers claiming discrimination because of CV pictures out there.


“People who put pictures on their resumes” are not a protected class.


Yes, but "black people" is and you can easily extract that form a picture. Outright removing the CV because of the picture, regardless of reason, can be argued that you _actually_ did that because of being a protected class.

Of course, it's probably easier if you can prove that you discard _all_ CV's with pictures anyways. But have some exceptions go through and you might get screwed.

Regardless, if you don't have a clearly stated policy of dismissing CV's with pictures, it just feels like an asshole move, frankly.


Of course, it's probably easier if you can prove that you discard _all_ CV's with pictures anyways

That's exactly why it's done.


Depends on the accepted practices. For example in France it's always welcome (AFAIK).


Europe and Asia generally require photographs, America generally requires no photographs.


It’s more granular than just ‘Europe’. Having a picture would be pretty weird in Ireland, say.


In the UK, too. I've heard lawyers advising a policy of blanket-discarding CVs with attached photos to avoid any possibility of discrimination during screening stages (though I don't know whether this is because of a specific law or just their judgement regarding minimising risk).


That is Problematic on so many grounds. I am surprised the EU hasn't banned that on discrimination grounds.


As a matter of fact the "standard" EU CV (so called Europass) has the photo "field" :

https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/about-europass

(with a recommendation to check whether it is allowed in the specific destination country):

>Add your photo only if required. Check local provisions in the country where you intend to send your CV.


As someone with a visible 'disability', I wish it would.


In Portugal I have not received any without a picture on it. It does not help.


It does not help what? How would you know?


Because I review those resumes for our company and, as others have said here, it adds bias even if you don't want to. That does not help.


> With visualized resumes, the user is sacrificing the ability to provide a more robust list of accomplishments, or perhaps to provide additional details and context for the accomplishments they have listed.

As a mid level developer with 3 years of experience in catalog design / AdobeIndesign, I can fit way more technical content on a PDF than I could on a traditional word doc. I have full control over the font type, kerning, whitespacing, layout, etc. You have to use design to enhance the technical presentation, it should never be the centerpoint. Most design resumes I've seen don't do it right.

I usually use 2 resumes, a ATS friendly parsed one via Google docs and another one pager minimalistic colored PDF.


A "visualized resume" and "my resume is on a PDF" are very different concepts. Most of my clients use my resumes in PDF formats, and I do adjust margins, fonts, headers, etc. to make sure I'm making the best use of the space based on the client's content. I'd hardly call that 'visualized' though.


How do you get feedback about what works?


Having just read through >300 resumes to fill several security consulting roles, my anecdata is that a well laid resume makes with good design does make a good first impression and increases the chance that I will read through it. To me, it exhibits that they have put a bit of effort into communicating their value and shows ability to understand how to communicate information.

That said, still not as much of an impression as a good cover letter written to demonstrate how their strengths match the vacancy.


I don't recommend going down this path, this is everything I did to make my own resume (including feedback portions).

- I hired one of the best technical professional writers to help me write a better google doc resume. This took about one month of iterative question/answer comments. Said person is actually the comment above my original comment

- I went and found the best resume designs online, normally from UI/UX designers working at FAANG companies (bestfolios.com/resume). I studied these extensively and took the best elements from various resumes.

- I also have a lot of experience in outsourcing work. I found a designer with similar skills as mine. We did a 10-15 hour design cycle essentially reinventing the resume, this came out to about 100 design iterations. Font-sizes, font-types, white-spacing, font ratio-sizes, greyscale support, layout, were all considerations done.

- I took resume, over another a month and asked developer friends for blind feedback. I think I asked at least 20 or 30 developers. They dumped dropbox comments on the version-controlled PDF, I took every suggestion to heart and considered whether it made sense. Sometimes I would load my resume with bad typos, errors, and sometimes bad designs intentionally as a control to vet the best reviewers. If they didn't catch those errors, I wouldn't take the feedback as seriously.

- I asked my friend who is a senior instructor at LinkedIn/Lynda.com for feedback. Usually this feedback was more tailored toward content.

- I have a background in HR as well. I know what gets read and what doesn't. That being said, while I did job hunt I also asked for feedback from my recruiter friends. I learned how ATS parsing worked after applying to many jobs, most ATS parsers show you previews of what gets uploaded. Some recruiters use word doc resumes, I got to see how they modified my files and present it to prospective employers. This gave me more benchmarks on what content employers actually like to see. My good friend is a recruiter too so I get insights all the time.

- Potential employers told me what they liked best about the resume. I kept those and amplified it. These were generally svg skill-icons

- Sometimes, I noticed recruiters would struggle to find content, usually this was skills tied for specific projects. I decided to use a key-legend style approach found in geographic maps, people overall liked it.

- I decided to clickmine the resume. I wanted to do actual data analytics in how often my resume's links actually got clicked. I used bit.ly to track how different user groups would click on different parts of resume, this was done in different user testing cycles. I noticed trends in what people clicked who knew me, vs employers who did not.

=====================================

So... to see what feedback works. Just ask your friends, employers, recruiters, etc what improvements you can make. Look at what recruiters are actually doing to your word doc resumes. Is your resume self-explanatory (are employers asking you to explain it)? If it's not ... then it's not doing a good job.

That being said, you should really tailor your resume to each job. I still do via a google doc or quickly one-off mod my PDF. But sometimes you don't have too, especially for one-click apply sites / services.

For the record I never use cover letters unless a company explicitly wants it. I don't recommend anyone going down this path of making your own resume, it takes a lot of time and effort.

I only did it because I didn't like any of the resume designs out there. Having a designer resume as a frontend developer is a complimentary skillset anyhow. Also during an interview, I never talk about the resume design process whatsoever. It speaks for itself.

If your curious this is what it looks like: http://bit.ly/hackernews-resume


Very helpful, thank you!


There's difference between fancy formatting and applying good design. Good design will make your resume more readable and draw focus to the key points the reader would be initially scanning for.

30 seconds is about the time you have to grab someone's attention. If they don't see something that ticks a few boxes in that time, they'll move on to the next resume.

I've had to sort through a lot of resumes over the years and when you have a stack to go through and project deadlines approaching - you need to go through them fairly fast.

Basically, I'm not going to try and read a long description of achievements and skills gained. Not even dot points. I'm looking for where you've worked and for how long to gauge overall experience, how long you stayed in roles and the kinds of companies worked at. Knowing someone worked at a particular company gives a lot of info about their potential exposure to tools and technologies.

So, if your resume can get that across in those first 30 seconds, it will get read in full later once you're down to a handful of potential candidates.

Those info-graphic style resumes are appalling and not what you want to try and parse unless the person's job role will be creating info-graphics.


Design doesn't have to mean lots of color or weird use of white space though. One can "design" a great resumé in LaTeX.


I sometimes think writing a CV/resume in LaTeX is a bit like writing your "any language you like" interview programs in Haskell. It can be the secret handshake that sends a positive signal to the right observer, but unless you really nail it, it probably just looks a bit weird to most people.


How would you recommend hiring a resume writer to do a review?

I have two resumes, my master long form document which covers everything I've ever done, and my "working" resume, which is what I tend to send out, and might get lightly massaged for positions.


There are probably several resume writers that offer review services, and I am one of them. My profile has details on how to find me.


I don't believe that a nice looking resume tells you nothing.

It shows additionally effort, creativity, and style.

But if your hiring is based solely on what you can input into a computer, crunch the numbers and spit out the top candidates, then you might as well just have your candidates fill out an online form. Maybe even make it multiple choice to avoid any possible individualism.


Hmm, Marissa's resume has "Pale Alto" in it. Is there a reason behind it being Pale, or is that a typo?


Yes, it isn't her real resume.


In many countries, a picture is required. As part of the application process you are required to submit your passport details page as well (if you are applying for an expat job, of course you already have a passport. Only Americans don't.).

A resumé is advertising. A more comprehensive document should follow after the initial culling.


As a current Gen Z applying to jobs, I think this trend is very minor and depends on the industry. Anecdotally, in all the tech career fairs and networking events/resume drops I've been to, 95% of resumes follow the traditional format without a hint of color. The other 5% are people who downloaded a flashy template for the first time and don't know what they're doing. For designers, I think it's reasonable to have a "unique" resume design, but for other non-visual jobs it's just in poor taste.


As a professional resume editor, I recommend a tasteful second color used in appropriate places to make your resume stick out from the crowd. Otherwise, progress bars convey no information as they aren't comparable from candidate to candidate. Two columns and/or packed with fancy graphics steal from valuable space telling your story and can be more easily puked by applicant tracking system. Simpler is better.


I've always used a second colour in my resume, usually a dark blue. It just makes it a bit less monotonous (literally) without being distracting. Being a dark colour it also prints fine as a xerox or as a monochrome print.


As a designer, if I was given a resume that looked what was described in the article I'd Mark them down a point. Knowing your audience and the appropriate time and place is an important part of design.

If they send their resume somewhere that likes that, then good for them.


Yeah knowing the audience is key. But an eye catching resume can also be very valuable.

In this field a design with something like familiar grey/white fixed-width type on a matte black background, ascii table outlines, and “syntax” highlighting, etc, etc, would probably get some more attention (good or bad)


Yep. Article looks like click bait.


I see these in tech interviews all the time. They're not created by the interviewee though, it's some awful template the contracting firm has shoved their resume into. Many of them are in power point.


I’m just glad millenials arent getting flack anymore, and no longer mean “people younger than me”

Peer pressure for the win! Just keep correcting out of touch people


it means we're old though ;_;.


Even this article only cites candidates in creative disciplines


> ...received a résumé for a finance job earlier this year that included an avatar of the applicant sweating.

> “That was to show they hustle like no one else,” says John Lowe, the company’s chief executive. “That is an important attribute that we prize.”

That has to be one of the most ridiculous things I've heard


The whole premise reminds me of the infamous "impossible is nothing" resume submitted to UBS back in 2006. Sadly, the author died. For those unfamiliar, it included:

* Cover letter

* Resume: one and a half pages

* Writing sample: eight pages

* A glamour shot of Vayner

* Seven-minute video that features the following feats by Vayner:

* Interview: gives advice for achieving life goals

* Bench press: 495 pounds (225 kilograms)

* Downhill skiing with jumps

* Tennis serve: 140 miles per hour (225 km/h or 63 m/s)

* Ballroom dancing with a female dancer

* Karate chop: seven bricks broken

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossible_Is_Nothing_(video_r...


That reminds me of the "Possimpible"(?) episode of HIMYM with "Barney Stinson"'s video CV:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GuLcxg5VGuo

Just checked, that is a 2009 episode, thus/possible created in 2008, so the aforementioned CV predated that of the HIMYM TV series

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt1256175/?ref_=fn_al_tt_11


Wow, what an interesting video and backstory. From watching the video, I think it's debatable whether or not he's actually doing some of those things. Especially after reading the New Yorker article in which he comes across as a pathological liar. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/10/23/aleksey-the-gr...


he’d taught tennis to Jerry Seinfeld and Harrison Ford!

Thanks for the link.


This is absolutely hilarious and I've never heard of it. Thanks!


You show you hustle like no one else by showing results, not by copying and pasting clip-art.


Hey, don't blame the applicant. May be they A/B tested the résumé [0], for all we know. They're selling themselves, and résumé is their landing page.

[0] https://web.archive.org/web/20151104203316/https://signalvno...


I’m not sure which trend I dislike more, this one, or the general throwing out of the “two pages or fewer” guideline. I regularly get CVs which are four or five pages long, listing everything the person has ever done back to high school. Learn to tailor your CV people, I don’t care that you worked at Subway for six weeks when you were nineteen. I would however love to hear more than a list of technologies used about the three years you spent working in a similar sector.


"I don’t care that you worked at Subway for six weeks when you were nineteen."

Unfortunately if you don't, you'll get people asking you "what were you doing in 2009??"

Because apparently the thought of giving someone a job who might have once not had one, regardless of their relevant skills, is the worst thing a recruiter can think of.


>giving someone a job who might have once not had one, regardless of their relevant skills, is the worst thing a recruiter can think of.

Is that not right though? If you had a gap you might decide to have another. Regular employees get offers from competitors and use that to get salary upgrades. Gap-enabled employees do not need the offers and can just leave your company whenever they want.


For a high schooler?

I have a 10 month gap between graduating college and my first permanent full time software job. Nobody's ever asked me about it and I don't have trouble getting interviews.

I have a lot of work experience though.


I think an un-focused resume is more a result of the trend we have in most large companies to constantly be accepting resumes even when they aren't really hiring.

And then of course never contacting or following up with those candidates.

So there is obviously little effort put into the review process, so it makes sense that candidates don't make effort to customize their application for each potential company.


I review hundreds of resumes a quarter, I find most resumes are under two pages for people straight out of college. People with 5+ years of experience will often hit two pages, which IMO is fine. I just expect everything to be on point.

The reality is people with these kind of resumes are trying to game the word search systems, which look for specific experience. It’s a sound strategy for automated systems, not so much for humans.

I personally think 2 pages is enough to get you in the door. So I expect 2 pages or less, but don’t penalize too much for large resumes. I just won’t read past the first page.


lol, I talk to people regardless of what they put in their resume. To me, a resume is more a “please call me” than an expectation that what’s in the resume precisely fits. I don’t expect folks to tailor resume to fit each time they apply to some position. Also, I’ve noticed people (including me) are really bad at writing good resume. Why lose someone who might otherwise be stellar because of their poor resume-writing skills?


Do consider some positions may get 1000s of applications and render your method impractical.


If you spent some time applying clearly it’s only fair I spend some time talking to you?

I have yet to encounter a case where people applied and they weren’t even remotely a fit. When that happens I may consider changing this strategy.


You probably need to be careful about where you put your job adverts. If your job add is on monster and the other job sites with lower quality inventory your going to get a lot of applicants.

In the UK I used to use monster etal as a way to hit my required quota of job applications - in the UK you have to in theory spend x hours a week and submit n job applications or you may lose your JSA (unemployment pay)


You are already screwed in that case without an internal rec. HR/recruiter resume filtering is extremely crude, maybe look at the prestige of your school, the prestige of your former companies, and some keyword matching.



Hopefully they are using screeners before they look at the resumes.


I will add to that that one of the best programmers I've ever worked with had one of the worst resumes I've ever seen. To the point where I asked my manager "why are we even considering this person?"

I was told to interview him anyway since someone working there vouched for him and he turned out to be a great hire.


The advice that I was always given is that the term “CV” generally refers to your unabridged work history and the term “resume” indicates a 1-page executive summary of that work history. They are not the same document; pay attention to which the potential employers asks for.


Unfortunately, most employers are as aware of this distinction as the average applicant. I would not recommend reading too much into the minutiae of job postings, as they have precision approximating a blunt weapon.


The terms also mean quite different things depending on where you are. For example, roughly speaking, a CV in the UK is like a resume in the US, a (hopefully) concise summary rarely exceeding 2 or maybe 3 pages even for the most experienced and qualified of applicants. Certain positions, such as academic research roles, are exceptions to this definition, and providing a complete and therefore often much longer history more like a US-style CV is typical in those cases.


This point of view confuses me. If you single one three candidates I would rather have the entire profile. Sales experience could be a proxy for leadership / sub store experience shows a basic level of dealing with various people and the unexpected.

If the problem is you don't want to read everything by everyone then just read the first three and make your decision. You don't have to physically scroll if you feel you learned enough.

Try asking for a summary of the important information in the job ad. How many years - ruby. last three jobs, school. It will be easier to filter them that way.


For someone mid career I'd expect a resume to cover the last 10 years of employment, which of you've done lots of contracting might take upwards of three pages to cover.

Is this unreasonable?


Yes. I have 10+ years of employment with so many projects it would take forever to list them. I have a 1 page resume. (I've also given up on .pdf and .doc, and just give it out as plain .txt)

Figure out what experience is useful for the job and write a cover letter. Most of the experience a seasoned employee has probably isn't relevant on the surface level to a hiring manager.

Something like:

"It sounds like from the job description you're looking to do <X>. I've done <Y> which is very similar to <X> in most respects."

</C3PO>


You could adjust the level of detail, maybe covering many clients in a sentence like "developed software systems for Drexler (1956-1957) NASA (1957-1958), Scranton Paper Products (1958-1959)..."


Normally I'd want to include some level of detail about what I worked on at each position, technologies, technical accomplishments, etc


You may want to include it, but most employers won't want to read it. A brief summary should be more than sufficient.


I have more than 10 years experience with a LOT of different projects under my belt. My resume is just barely 1 page - obviously it's only the highlights. I also don't even list my first tech job anymore, it was a summer internship and I didn't do anything of any challenge there.


Yes.


Initially, yes. If you grant the candidate an interview, require a follow-up c.v. with this information.


That guideline doesn't exist everywhere. You may just be seeing CVs from non-UK applicants.


I’ve been getting paid to write code since before I finished high school. All that experience feels relevant when looking for a coding job ... I don’t think it’s gonna fit on 2 pages if I want to tell you anything useful about the positions.


I think the source of this is professional "career adviser" types.

When applying for jobs out of school, I was told:

1. I needed to "tell stories" about myself (doesn't matter if they're true)

2. I needed to boast in my resume about my "accomplishments" using buzzwords

3. I needed to have some kind of catchy elevator pitch describing myself

4. I needed at least one "playful" descriptor (e.g. "semicolon enthusiast" or something like that)

5. Lying on your resume is expected and totally fine

6. I needed to apply for ~10 positions a week

All of these things made me deeply uncomfortable. I don't think self-description is possible. We reveal ourselves through our actions and nothing matters less than "how you view yourself". When people attempt to describe themselves they tend to list things that they want other people to believe about them but have no correspondence in reality.

I disregarded all of this advice and worked really hard on my projects. I didn't do any "coding interview prep" and during my interviews I admitted when I didn't know something and explained what I thought I knew about it. This worked well for me; I didn't have any trouble finding a job.


Or just, people are unemployed and have a lot of time to fiddle about with their resumes


FWIW, that is almost exactly the opposite of what any careers advisor I've ever met would tell a new graduate applying for their first job. Particularly things like lying on the application are big no-nos. That's potential grounds for dismissal if it ever comes out and it will damage your credibility later on if word gets around.


Career advisers at my university never gave advice like that. They mainly highlighted that resumes should be clear, informative, and concise.


The only bit of that advice that is remotely good is #6. The rest is useless at best and counterproductive at worst. What ever happened to traditional resume strategies like STAR and quantifying value? Done college career offices know about these anymore?


> “spin aficionado, dog lover, foodie, outdoor enthusiast.”

I don't know about marketing, but if I received a CV with this I'd most likely throw it straight in the trash. I don't want CVs to be unique, I judge people based on merit. The more basic the CV the better in my opinion. Just the other day I was slightly upset when someone showed me a candidates LinkedIn profile containing quite a non-professional picture because it immediately put me off a bit.


The people who are writing resumes like this are doing it to avoid working at a place like yours. It’s a resume for people who want their company to care about its employees’ interests.


Exactly!

Hiring is a two-way negotiation, and while I'm sure the grandparent doesn't see it that way, assertive declarations like "I don't want CVs to be unique, I judge people based on merit." are a workplace smell that some people don't want in exactly the same way that photos in a CV are.

It makes the boss sound like someone who values conformance and hates diversity. Maybe unfairly, but impressions are everything at this stage of a relationship.

To wit: if you really want to hire good people "based on merit", you need to stop being so judgy about the oddballs.


I don't really follow you. How is hiring based on merit a signal for valuing conformity and intolerance? It sounds like you are the one being judgmental.

Personally, I'd prefer to just be valued based on my skills and work product. The alternatives risk being possibly very bad in my experience: possibly valuing politics, nepotism, etc., which obviously gets toxic and unfair very quickly.


"Hiring based on merit" is obviously not. Declaring that you don't like fluffy CV's (which obviously has nothing to do with merit) BECAUSE you "hire based on merit" certainly can be.

I'm not saying people need to hire based on who's got a better photo on their resume. I'm saying that you shouldn't be surprised when people take your rhetoric about that stuff as a signal that you aren't going to be as fair a boss as you might think you are.

And maybe that's unfair. I've certainly never worked for you. But you need to be willing to market to free spirits if you actually want to hire the best people.


I am not the grandparent.

However, I really am a free spirit, having an exceptionally non-traditional path than most, and that is actually a good reason to want to work for someone who values skills and results foremost.


You're still arguing against a strawman. I'm NOT saying that you need to "value" fluffy junk on a CV. I'm saying that IF YOU PUBLICLY DISAPPROVE of that stuff (which we both agree is irrelevant to qualifications, right?) that you're driving away employees you might want, if you really valued skills and results foremost.

Don't be judgy about irrelevant stuff, is my point. Some people don't want to work for judgy conservatives, basically.


1. societies before us have seen the consequences of nepotism and corruption.

2. it is critical to remove subconscious bias in the hiring process.

3. the only effective means to do so as a society is to handicap those who take advantage of subconscious biases.

marketing in itself is less than a zero-sum game; it's players are parasites on the working class. we should all do our part to reduce it's effects.


Those are fine opinions. And if you hire based on them, you're going to annoy and drive away otherwise talented folks who want to talk about their pets, brag about their surfing habits, and stuff emojis into their resume. And that's fine. You guys wouldn't like each other anyway.

"parasites on the working class" indeed.


People don't want to be judged by merit? Isn't that the essence of the value employees provide to a business?


I don’t care about my colleagues’ interests. I treat them decently and with respect when we’re working together, but at the close of business we go our separate ways and pursue our interests any way we see fit.

Likewise, I don’t expect my coworkers to care about my hobbies. Most of them would be horrified to find out.


Yeah. The person writing that resume doesn’t want to work for you, and you’d not hire them. The system works.


You seem to be defending the perpetuation of bias: hiring based on properties of a person that are orthogonal to technical skill. Bias comes in many shapes and sizes. For example, hiring only white people would be a form of bias. Likewise, hiring only those who share the same interests as the hiring manager is a form of bias. Even looking out for the mere presence of an "interests & hobbies" section on the resume can be considered bias.


Especially because hobbies and interests are influenced by culture. Even if "Jeff the HR guy" isn't racist, if he likes applicants with similar hobbies, then chances are it's effectively an ethnicity filter.

Bad things don't always come from malice.


Subconscious bias is the most insidious form thereof. This is why I'm a huge fan of stripping resumes of all but the most pertinent hard facts. Technical skills, projects worked on, publications are all relevant. Hobbies, family status, a photograph are all opportunities for subconscious bias to infiltrate the hiring process.

Often even education is no longer a useful signal. I've found myself looking away from educational information on resumes for all but the most junior of applicants. A candidate with even a couple of years of experience is lightyears removed from the school that has granted their degree. Likewise, a person with a similar number of years on the job but lacking a degree is similarly removed from their humble beginnings. There's no need to flaunt education.


You forget that the resume works both ways, which is what GP was saying. You may want to only look at the facts that say if the candidate can do the job, but the candidate may want to know if, in a larger sense, you're the kind of company they want to work for.

In that sense, he's right: that system works for both sides.


I'm not hiring purely on technical skill. Everyone I hire has to work with everyone else I've hired. There's more to that relationship than technical ability.


Sure, attitude, work ethic, communication skills, and professionalism are required as well.

Technical skills, attitude, work ethic, communication skills, and professionalism are really all you need to work with your colleagues successfully. Hobbies, pet preference, and exercise preference is irrelevant.


If you consider a persons contribution to a company to be purely technical, your argument holds. I take it you might feel that way, I do not.


How does a love of dogs and the outdoors (example above) contribute meaningfully to a tech role?

How about a love of dance or photography?

We go to work to get paid for our skills, not to go camping together or share our love of bird watching.

What if a hobby included volunteering at a church, mosque, local GOP or DNC fundraising HQ, re-enacting War simulations or practicing at a gun range?

I agree with the posters above who think this is, at best, useless and at worst, a potential for discrimination.


Tech roles comes in many forms. For example, I have worked a fair bit with graphics programming and VFX, where extensive knowledge of photography would be very useful.

I can imagine tech jobs where most of the hobbies you've listed could be considered relevant. Dance? Biometric sensor tech. Guns? Video games. And so on...


Perhaps it signals the person has a healthy work life balance.

>We go to work to get paid for our skills, not to go camping together or share our love of bird watching.

Some people prefer to work on teams where they're treated more like humans and less like cogs in a machine.


The trouble with technical skill is that you can't measure it with anything like an ELO rating, and it's not easy to prove that knowing a given bit of technical trivia really helps you be productive, or that a given non-technical skill or trait really doesn't help you be productive.

If you hire chess players based on individual performance and regardless of group dynamics, then an argument could be made (not entirely trivially in all cases but it could be) that looking at anything except their ELO is illegitimate bias (and in fact some famous players from Lasker to Korchnoi said themselves that it's this objectivity which attracted them to chess). With programming, or most professions involving something meaningful as opposed to a measurable but pointless (and usually measurable because it is pointless) activity aka sport, it's much murkier.


Do you feel it is useful for you to go to an office at all?

If you're not going to bother getting to know your colleagues (to make communication more efficient) than what's the added value of going to an office at all?

Am I making wrong assumptions about the use of going to an office?


I work remotely 95% of the time, so no, there isn't any use in going to an office. But the office-vs-remote axis is a red herring IMHO. Communication happens via a variety of mediums, and remote workers aren't reclusive hermits who never speak to anyone unless it's via JIRA ticket.


Avoiding CVs like these is a culmination of multiple factors, having a line that says "I like fishing, tea, and woodworking" can be completely acceptable. Packing it with obnoxious words like "afficionado" is a red flag to me.

I do wonder how putting your interests in the CV makes the company care? Where I work there is plenty of care regardless if you put it on your CV or not.


Woodworking might give you a (tiny) edge if the job is somehow mechanically-oriented, or maybe fishing signals an interest in the outdoors.

However, I’ve been told that it’s most useful as hook so that interviewers have something to remember beyond “dev from good school” or “consultant living in NYC”, which might describe a huge fraction of the candidate pool.


This makes sense.

Another use I've heard mention is that being into team sports could signal that you're trained at communicating and "working" in a team.

Not sure I buy that, but yeah that's what they taught us at school about building a resume.


> Packing it with obnoxious words like "afficionado" is a red flag to me.

I'm not so sure about that. I like using unusual words because it adds a bit of color. The words should still be natural, though, not like you were trying too hard.


This is actually a really good point. The more information you give in general just creates more vectors for unwanted biases.


Also the #1 rule to creating a successful profile on a dating site. Say the absolute minimum and nothing more. Better to remain quiet and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.


I ran a big (for the region) general (as in not niche) dating site and I would say it is more nuanced than that. By far most people complaining that they did not get any interest had minimal profiles. When they wrote more, they got more. When they wrote too much, it went down again. So minimum as in; the minimum to entice, and I would say most people do not know what that is, so they write too little or too much as a result. Probably the same for resumes.


Your last point is probably accurate. I write professionally and have done so for 12+ years at this point.

I guess the tricky part is hitting the balance of writing just enough but not any more.


Huh? With dating, don’t you want to display your personality vibrantly so that you can more effectively filter for those who want to be with someone like you?


Well, maybe.

Sometimes compatibility isn't really based on shared interests or other things that, well, make sense. Sometimes people work out that you can't really rationalize.

It also depends on what type of dating you're interested in - it's way less important for casual dating and hookups. With that you're more likely to filter yourself out than increase the chances of success.

For more serious dating for someone that cares about their partner having shared interests, etc., then yes, being filtered out is a feature and not a bug.


You are making the common mistake of confusing actual dating with using a dating website.

The goal of the dating website is to get a date. You do that by finding someone who seems interesting and who does not have any red flags. Why put out more information than is needed and give more for people to find something wrong with you?


Presumably OP wants a decent relationship rather than just another increment on his scorecard. But point taken if the goal is to maximize the number of yeses.


The goal on a dating site should always be to maximize the number of in-person yeses. You’re not going to figure out if you want a decent relationship by reading a profile. Meet in person for coffee and find out if it’s worth going on an actual date.


No, you want to entice. The more you say, the more content you’re providing that will lead to a dismissal.


Unless... you don’t want to meet people who wouldn’t want to meet you due to knowing more about you


That works at deeper levels of the game. But in level one, it's not always advisable to hold too hard on this move.

Better to assume that most players on Tinder want Criterion, but pick Netflix.


I thought the point of a dating profile was to filter out incompatible matches and avoid wasting everyone's time. Granted I am hardly an expert.


This seems contradictory - if you're auto-rejecting CVs with information like that, you're not judging people on merit. I personally wouldn't include information like this myself and would ignore any such information on resumes but I don't see how this would disqualify someone - there are no resumes with just the information you need to judge the candidate, no one customizes resumes specifically for your personal criteria. Being upset that someone included information that you prefer not to see and throwing the resume out as a result seems even worse than judging people based on their interests - you are using arbitrary personal criteria that have nothing to do with merit to disqualify people.


From being involved with non-anecdotal data sets on the subject I can say its actually the other way around.

With those little tidbits of virtue signaling that you choose to put in the resume usually give the opportunity for the reviewer to see you as more the “just a react dev” and depending on how many people your are competing with - gives you the edge.

Experience speaks for itself, and if you have the creds then sure those things can look like pure cruft, but what if you’re just starting out? You need something to stand out, and like it or not most reviewers are humans too, even worse - are not strictly technical, so if you for example like to run, mention that in your resume, and the HR person is also a runner, well he can recommend you based on “gut feeling” and how “runners are more emotionally stable and reliable” or some such.

And if by a chance their resume ends up reviewed and judged negatively base on non technical prejudice or something, well you’re better of not working there anyway, as it will probably be damaging emotionally in the long run.


Outside of programming, skilled trades, and other more solitary jobs, “merit” isn’t that important. You start to look for things first like, “is this person going to get along with everyone o r be a problem,” and “am I going to enjoy interacting with them?” This is true for both high paying creative jobs and minimum wage work.

These days I’d rather hire someone slightly less qualified that’s easy to work with than someone who looks perfect on paper and is going to cause me all sorts of problems. Especially when you run a business and are responsible for HR issues.

I can’t even remember the last time I really read a CV. What someone’s done in the past is only relevant in certain instances.


It is important in programming and other skilled trade, except if they’re going to work in a vacuum. A good fit for the team will always be a win over time.


I find it off-putting when political candidates submit an unprofessional picture for the Voters Pamphlet. By unprofessional, I mean not wearing a decent shirt, for example.


Hiring based only on merit is a good way to get a company full of assholes.


A workplace where candidates get auto-rejected because their resume is in a different format, or because of a LinkedIn profile picture, is probably not where the person in the article might want to work. For many people, part of whether somewhere is a “good fit” for them depends on whether they can still live their same life after getting the job. If an employer is willing to reject applications just because of profile pictures (not so-called “merit”), actually working there is probably a similar experience.


Everything else aside if you are getting upset over someone's linkedin profile picture it could be a sign that you are at the end of your rope. Consider taking a break.. something like that should be funny or neutral. But not anger.


I got upset over someone showing it to me, not the contents.


Were resumes ever really useful for more than sending very specific signals? I suspect they probably never were. Hiring managers just put them all into buckets "Ivy League, good college, has professional experience," and unless there were obvious red flags, just called everyone on the list that they wanted to hire and let the interview process sort them out.

If you needed more vetting on the inbound, then it's easier to just source candidates another way than to try to read the resume tea leaves.


I factually know that’s not the case as multiple times I’ve sent cvs to positions I’m a perfect fit for and never heard a thing. I’m quite confident reading resumes is old school habit of apatosaurusish generation.


Maybe you just didn't send the right signals?


Give me an A/B to test that and I’m in.


It's pretty simple to set up a scientific test for resume content. You can find examples of reports of studies on names pretty easily. You just set up a template and send out hundreds of resumes with the thing you're testing tweaked. If sending multiple resumes to the same company, also vary the things you're not testing in ways that you think will be insignificant (e.g. use different names like Jack, John, Joe but don't use names that indicate a difference in possibly salient factors like gender or ethnicity).

People do this sort of thing to test hiring biases all the time. Ideally you'd be doing it from a university and have an ethics board and people experienced with experiment design overseeing what you're doing to help ensure you're doing it right.


A resumé is advertising. A resumé is marketing. A few thoughts:

A resumé is not a biography. It' a pitch. When was the last time anyone tried to sell you a product or service with a white sheet of paper and black ink? Exactly.

The six page--or ten page--credentials document is for the interview.

For a recent project management position, Facebook received 10,000 resumés. That's too many for the HR department ro review. FB, like many others, use automated systems to weed through these. Graphic and marketing details, innovations, are lost.

You can try to game the system: post the job requirements in a white font on white so all the keywords are there. But this is an inexact science.

For a small to medium size business, the "new" c.v. has as good or better chance than the traditional c.v.


If you get an internal rec, you can bypass HR looking at your resume all together at Facebook. I’m sure that’s how 80-90% of the people get hire there.


Not correct. They have a three or four-tiered hiring process and by the second tier, everyone is looking at your resumé.


I'll admit, the headline and the general comments here biased me to waving my fist at the clouds and shouting "hell yeah! These youngsters don't appreciate tradition no more!", BUT, the examples in the article are actually reasonable.

As mentioned elsewhere in the comments here, hiring is a two-way street. Certain industries and professions don't appreciate this creative approach, however young folks entering the workforce are fighting to be seen above the crowds. If your company is particular about specific information and formatting, use an applicant tracking system and/or job board that forces your applicants to apply your way. But if you ask for resumes to an email account, or if colleges are still requesting "resume drops" for firms looking to hire on-campus, then folks are going to try grab attention to move the process forward in any way they can.


End of (work) life stage with 37 years continuous employment in two economies and 7-10 employees under my belt, I do not believe I could cope in this hiring market, at these behaviours.

I do not envy the cohorts surviving in this market/model. I feel we screwed things up, allowing HR to drive to this, and I feel we overplay "selling" in hiring, instead of letting people reach out and find like minds. I realize its a highly competitive market, but I think we've allowed the distortions to overtake the real intent.

I do not believe this is a good model. I do not want to participate or facilitate this model of resume/CV and hiring.


You know what kind of resume stands out? A traditional one with nice formatting, nothing extraneous (if you have a college degree I don't care where you went to high school), and no typos.

Maybe 25% of resumes that I see hit all of these criteria. If you can't pay attention to detail on a one-page resume that you update every year or two and send out to every job that you apply to, then how can I possibly expect that you are going to pay attention to detail in the code that you write?


A lot of errors you see in resumes are as a result of change. This is a document that gets re-compressed into its original length every time you add content to it. It is important to have an error free resume because it gives a good first impression but that's where it ends. Just because a second language English speaker doesn't understand the nuances of the language does not make them a poor coder. Furthermore, who says that making coding mistakes makes for a poor developer anyway? You should work in an environment that is forgiving to mistakes. For example, using unit tests, integration tests and code reviews. What I look for is perseverance, creativity and the ability to get on with other developers.


I hear what you are saying and I think it's only fair to be more lax for foreign applicants although I actually find that they usually have fewer to typos, perhaps because they'll ask someone to proofread their resume. As to mistakes in code, yeah process is important, but so is attention to detail. Unit tests can only take you so far, so it's important that coders read over their code and make sure the logic is sound before merging.


Gen Z is smart. If you can look good, which isn't hard to do when most resumes have no photo, I have no doubt you'll get ahead.

20/20 episode on "lookism": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTfRRmFC4-c

TL;DR of the video: Good looks will get you hired, make you more money, and make people think you're smarter.


The privilege of beauty.

It's a thing I've reckoned with my entire life, though I only really realized what it was in the last 5 years.


We all understand it, but many of us aren't as conscious about its extent. I only became truly cognizant of the privilege of beauty when I lost weight; I don't think people who have been skinny their whole lives can fathom just how different people treat you if you're overweight.


I gave been waiting #HotPrivilege or equivalent to become a trending hashtag since this whole privilege-acknowledging affair got started.


Why do real estate agents, in contradistinction to other professionals, put their picture on their business cards and marketing materials?


Because real estate agents are marketing / sales people. And sales people (unlike other non-sales professions) have figured out that a photo on a business card is a smart thing to do?

I also do this as an EE (Europe area). It just seems very intuitive[0] to me that people would be more likely to remember a face than just a name on a card after whatever brief meeting (especially in a market where this is not a common thing to do). I sure do. I'm horrible with names anyway.

[0]to be totally fair: I have read quite a few business, marketing and sales books. My favorite is probably the classic "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini. Second would be "Predictably irrational" by Dan Ariely.

Main take away: influencing / selling and getting hired have surprisingly little to do with knowledge, education and IQ. It is more (all?) about human social dynamics and "predictably irrational" human psychology. Case in point: Trump. Think about it.


In the hiring process, the candidate has to be a marketing/sales person whose product is himself. Hence, there's nothing wrong with including a picture on your resumé, but many Americans are horrified at the idea because of the threat of discrimination.


Totally agreed.

Isn't this a super open door though? I mean: Tinder? LinkedIN? Instagram? Sales? Marketing?

This isn't exactly a new discovery in the sales and marketing world is it? And since getting a job = sales...


It's not a new discovery for people in marketing and sales, but the average person hasn't been capitalizing on their looks until fairly recently. 10 years ago, I don't remember encountering any resumes with photos. Even at my last job when we were hiring for a new engineer, we didn't get a single resume with a photo.


Theres a reason most good looking people are rich.


This could be done tastefully, but the examples they are showing seem rather extreme and not tasteful at all. I'd probably not even read a resume that had a "By The Numbers" section. It's such a useless metric to try to highlight.


I include a very brief summary (< 1 line) that details most of my professional work history (not always tech related, but illustrates progressive responsibility), so I'm probably one of the people whose resume gets thrown out (per some of the posters) on the regular. I'm OK taking that kind of risk because I'm looking for a manager/team who understands a team member is more than the sum of what's on their targeted 1 page resume. Although I'm sure you're all great managers, I can appreciate being weeded out early.


Next time I have to apply to a job with a resume, I swear, I'm just going to use one formatted in raw markdown and limited to a page in readable font.


I started doing that a bit ago actually. I’ve been successful. One pages document, all text, bullet points, font size/weight and document structure to mark significance levels.

One other plus is that it makes the automatic resume importers work much better.


Totally agree. I do plain ASCII text, specifically to help the robots, and it's easier to break down and paste into stupid application forms where they want your resume, but they also want you to write in all the info from your resume too.


It makes sense that resumes are becoming better designed: we have been told for years now that recruiters only spend seconds looking at a resume, and many people now have the tools to create a well designed resume. The irony here is that employers are declining candidates on the basis of overdesigning their resume, given that they are ostensibly advocating the position that only the content is important.


Judging from the discussions here i get the sense that hiring is primarily an exercise to avoid biases in the US. Which probably means that the bigger problem is that most CVs look the same nowadays, with lots of people checking all the points for a job. Which probably means CVs are not a good way to source candidates , but what else is there out ther?


I've seen some very beautifully designed resumes, some even looking more like work of art than a primarily utilitarian document it essentially is (or supposed to be). I can not deny I liked the beautiful ones, but only to the point - if the content did not match what I needed, I rejected it without a second thought, maybe with a slight sigh of "well, it was a beautiful resume, too bad it's not going anywhere". Moreover, having to go through a pile of literally hundreds, I didn't have much time to admire fine design points too much, and by the time it comes to select candidates which get to the point of in person interview and other considerations, everybody would forget how the resume looked like. So for technical candidate it probably does not matter, even if personally I like aesthetically pleasing ones - just it won't help any on actual technical merits.


> The school ultimately felt the bitmoji résumé was inappropriate.

> “We’re not a lot of crotchety old people who don’t understand how bitmojis work,” says Ms. Posthuma, who is 41. “It looked very juvenile.”

Seems juvenile to overlook the substance of a resume just because the person also shows their personality. It's unfortunate more people don't care about the actual skills needed for the job and instead make hiring decisions on the weirdest possible criteria. My favorite, very common, example: throwing out a resume because it has a typo for positions where typos don't really matter (most positions).

An approach where you stand out seems to make a lot of sense, nevertheless. You can be an "average" candidate and literally never get the job because they're only hiring one person for the position. An approach that turns some off but gets the attention of a few makes sense in many scenarios.


It's hard to imagine the justification for "inappropriate" is for a bitmoji of someone waving hi.

I can understand not caring for it or it not contributing to the resume but it seems strange to see something like that so negatively.

The whole job application system seems like a meta game where the most absurd things get focused on.


Another example: how people dress.

It's bizarre that for most employers in the U.S., if you don't dress professionally enough in your interview you won't get a job. Even in jobs where you have a uniform and can't choose your own clothing if you were chosen for the position!

This can cut both ways for folks who gather on Hacker News I think, where for some positions the way to signal you're the type of person who just cares about results is to INTENTIONALLY dress less professionally, weirdly enough. Dressing professionally shouldn't be seen as a negative, either.

And don't get me started on the "firm handshake" people...


Agreed. And many commenters in here are saying that they'd throw out such a resume... Pretty alarming that so many would not just use such inconsequential measures for candidate selection, but be proud of themselves for it.


These might be the most misunderstood, dogmatically constructed documents that exist. In reality, a bit of common sense and a basic understanding of how recruitment processes tend to work will go a long way. Hopefully for those new to the job market who don't yet have that understanding, a careers advisor or similar mentor will help them to acquire it quickly.

If you're applying somewhere big and you haven't established any prior connection then chances are you're going to be screened by some sort of automated system as a first step, so you need to provide sufficient information in sufficiently recognisable terms to clear that hurdle. Sometimes this is little better than a tedious keyword-matching exercise, but it's a necessary first step if you're not in a position to reach a real person at your potential employer from the start.

In any case, the first human being to read your CV/resume and make a real decision on progressing your application or not is probably going to be spending seconds, not minutes, reviewing it. Chances are they'll be looking for your general area(s) of competence and approximate level of experience to see if you fit the required profile, and any obvious red flags that would disqualify you immediately. Anything else is a potentially damaging distraction at this stage.

Subsequent human beings to read your CV/resume will hopefully be involved in the in-person recruiting process, i.e., phone screens, on-site interviews, etc. These people are probably going to spend a bit longer reading now you're on a short(er) list, but they're probably looking for the opposite: what particular qualities or specific accomplishments make you stand out from the crowd as a better candidate?

It follows from the above that an effective CV/resume should probably include just enough filler and buzzwords to get past an automated filter, just enough overview material to show you're the right sort of candidate, and then a few carefully selected highlights to intrigue the people making the real decisions in the later stages and provide interesting interview topics. Anything else, particularly a complete life history including the LOGO program you wrote at age 10 to draw a circle, is wasting everyone's time and just gives more opportunities to get rejected.

If you can't fit that on a single page at any stage in your career then improving your CV/resume writing skills will probably improve your chances of landing that next job (barring certain fields like academia, where expectations are often quite different to most recruitment processes).


Obviously CV design depends on the position you apply for. If it's design, marketing or something like that, then I'd say cool design is a big plus. For a technical position it's just distracting and off-topic.


I think there is some relation to caring about how things look and being a good coder.

I like a well designed resume and I like beautifully written and formatted code.

I've actually considered asking candidates to send me a screenshot of their IDE.

Obviously not at the top of the list of most important data points, but a data point nonetheless.


Young Mr. Bueno has a bright future ahead of him designing WeWork SEC filings.


Swipe left to hire - now there is an enterprise HR app with viral potential


Having worked in big enterprises and government, it would probably be more effective to do something like that or even random selection for some jobs.


Random selection is great for hiring people that are lucky.


Doesn't that already exist? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switch_(app)


https://www.jumpstart.me; basically tinder but for jobs.


In the examples the article presents, it looks like the pendulum has swung from “dry” to “overdone” (c.f. 80s era web”). That being said, it’s a net positive that richer media are now emerging as options. It’s like research papers: from plain text to hyperref urls to full on promotional webpages (I’m looking at you Google AI).

Some might say that constraints force a pithy communication, but I’ll take a tasteful GIF over a static diagram or dense prose any day.


Outside of the US, many countries have photos on the resume.

I could recall the first time I saw one about a decade ago.

Not sure what I would do if I saw an info graphic on a resume.


Some of the examples shown were obviously bad, but others I (as a non-recruiter) thought were pretty tasteful and honestly would be pretty good at getting the candidate hired.

e.g. Valentino Bogliacino Bueno's highlights on his resume: recruiters are going to skim through his resume and he's catering to that behavior by putting the highlights of his resume prominently up front and center


What you know, what you’ve recently done. That’s literally all I want to know when a resume comes to me. I could care less about the design.


My resume is a single page. Black and white text. It does have my name and contact details. But that’s all. I did take the time to use proper formatting though. Paragraph and heading spacing for example rather than just a bunch of returns.


I am surprised, I thought having a photo on your resume is an absolute no-go in the US.


This is where linkedin confuses me. No photo considerably lowers the attention you het. On the other hand the photo should be professionally shot with you wearing business attire. Professional socities sometimes offer free head shoots.


Creativity that solves a problem can be a good signal. Creativity for creativity’s sake is a mixed bag, and depends a lot on the role.


How would I describe myself? Three words. Hard-working, Alpha male, Jackhammer, Merciless, Insatiable.


Content is always king... Design follows


We're talking about advertising. Getting noticed is king and the content is essentially irrelevant. There is a reason why Apple buries the tech specs for the iPhone deep in the website where most people will never find it. Most people hiring care about your resume's "tech specs" about as much, but flash gets you noticed.

Resumes have seen a trend towards more and more design because early adopters of excess design had resumes that stood out, leading to greater success in their job search. However, as more and more people do the same, the effects quickly diminish.


It’s fun to restart the process though. We’re currently in a race to the top for “artful resumes as a means of being noticed”, which means if you submit a “pure content, straight to the point” resume, it will actually be noticed more


And it's a fad that will live and die quickly.




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