Who likes writing a resume? The average resume takes about 2-3 hours to craft and is digitized by most HR software in a fraction of that time. All your hard work and beautiful layout techniques reduced in a heartbeat to keywords and percentages.

Have enough keywords on your resume to look like a competent engineer? You enter the pool. No? You’re shunted to the “Thanks, but No Thanks” email autoresponder.

Does anyone else think this is bullshit? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t waste 2-3 hours of my day to work on a document that can so easily be gamed to produce the results I want. I get it – companies big and small need a way to quickly – and efficiently – identify the most qualified candidates to sift through a horrifying volume of email.

Except… the most qualified in what, exactly? As someone who understands the concept of relevancy and keyword density – I can structure a resume to get a 50%-75% interview rate (with or without the screening software). What’s worse, I’ve worked for three separate companies where the people screening and writing the job listing had no clue what skills to look for.

It’s baffling. The cost of staffing someone new to replace an existing worker is 130% of that person’s salary. So, wouldn’t you want a set of educated human eyes doing the screening and listing?

And, wouldn’t you want something completely different than a document so easily fudged? Personally, when I hire my first employee, they’re either going to be someone I know and have worked with – or, they’re going to submit an activity (not a resume) that indicates they have the passion and skills I’m looking for.

So, instead of writing another resume, why not create a cool project with the skills your future employer is looking for? Why not make a personalized YouTube video and a website and a blog – and give the receptionist a business card with your link. Don’t send them a piece of paper that’s easily sent to the shredder or recycle bin (or worse: an email easily deleted). Send them something big and bulky and clunky – awkward in size and shape. Something with such amazing quality or detail that they get a tinge of guilt before getting rid of it.

If a business doesn’t appreciate your insane level of commitment applying for the job, what makes you think they’d appreciate your insane level of commitment on the job?

(Header photo: Burning of the Paper by Jason Michael)