Aline Lerner attempted a meaningful investigation about the power (or not) of resumes recently – an excellent read.
Resumes suck – and here’s the data, she says, concluding “at the end of the day, the resume is a low-signal document.”
That begs the question, what might be a high signal mechanism for understanding an applicant (or indeed, any network participant)?
Turns out, explaining what you do has the biggest correlation with connecting with the right people. As Lerner describes:
in addition to grammatical errors, one of the things that mattered most was how clearly people described their work. I found that engineers were better at making judgments on resumes that included these kinds of descriptions. Given these findings, relying more heavily on a writing sample during the filtering process might be in order. For the writing sample, I am imagining something that isn’t a cover letter — people tend to make those pretty formulaic and don’t talk about anything too personal or interesting. Rather, it should be a concise description of something you worked on recently that you are excited to talk about, as explained to a non-technical audience.
Such an approach is almost definitional in describing working out LOUD – allowing others to understand you and your work, so that they can better participate, help, activate. It works for hiring success, and it works for work success too.
←This Much We Know.→