Tired of reworking your résumé and redrafting your cover letter?
Good news! Some companies are starting to care less about those things and more about the actual work you’ve done.
For instance, Faithlife, a developer of Bible study software and multilingual electronic publisher, has stopped asking job candidates for résumés and instead asks for real samples of their work.
Bob Pritchett, the company’s cofounder and CEO, says one reason he decided to do away with asking for résumés is that most seemed to look the same to him – especially those of recent graduates. Today he skips right to the”meat”of the application and looks at work samples and the candidate’s online reputation instead.
“More and more in our hiring, we’re trying to allow candidates to get right to showing us evidence of what they can do, or what they’ve done in the past,” Pritchett said.
Another problem with résumés, he says, is that they can be misleading.
Pritchett says that he would often see things like “Proficient in coding language” on an applicant’s résumé, only to learn in the interview that the person took one class in college and hasn’t done any actual projects using the language since.
And he’s also learned that just as someone’s list of “skills”on their résumé doesn’t tell him much about their actual abilities, their “work history” isn’t all that telling, either. “The title of ‘senior software engineer’ at company X may not mean the same thing as ‘senior software engineer’ at company Y,” Pritchett explains. “So it’s hard to [look at that] information and know if this person is going to be able to do what we need done.”
In addition to not asking for résumés, Pritchett doesn’t require that candidates have a college degree.
He thinks loosening this requirement has given his company a competitive advantage because they get access to “a pool of candidates that other companies are foolishly rejecting, maybe even filtering out through some automated HR process.”
He continues: “While education can certainly help people develop and grow, there’s not necessarily a perfect correlation between having a degree or certification and doing great work.”
Really, all he wants to know is that you can do the job well and that you’re engaged.
To figure out the latter, he looks at who you are influencing online, who follows you, who you are following, and who is “favoriting” your work.
“[Looking at an applicant’s online presence] has helped us identify really great intern candidates or new graduates who may not have a particularly interesting résumé or formal work history,” he says. “By looking at what they’ve done online and what they’ve created, we’ve been able to identify great candidates who might otherwise be undistinguished.”
While Faithlife’s hiring method may seem unconventional, Pritchett says it’s working. “It’s helped us build a great team. By being willing to skip some of the obstacles that other companies put in the way, I think we’re able to get to people earlier in their job search.”