Hiring Decision-Makers Tend to Disdain Web-Based Resume Builders


Over the next several days, we’re serializing an article providing an overview of Web-based resume builders, as well as thoughts on the value of Web-based resume builders compared to engaging a professional resume writer or preparing your own resume unaided: The opinions that really count, those of hiring decision-makers, tend to be negative about these new resume products (granted, I talked to a very small sampling of them). “First pass review is of a printed, paper resume — in black and white,” says James Bupp, a contract electronics design and project leader. While pretty on the screen, these multimedia resumes don’t print well and take up a lot of page space. In other words, such a resume is a negative.” Cheryl Roshak, president of recruiting firm Cheryl Roshak Associates, New York City, viewed samples from ConnectCV and VisualCV, concluding that these were “cookie-cutter resumes that not only wouldn’t pass or get read, they contain information that is not needed today.” She also looked at the sample Brazen Careerist social resume, which she said “had way too much information and was confusing.” Roshak asserts that “an employer does not need all this information, and it shows a lack of independence, confidence and ability on the candidate’s part to write his or her own resume with the tools that are available today.” “I’m not a fan,” agrees Debby Afraimi, senior recruiting consultant at Collective, a media and technology solutions provider. “The purpose of a resume is to introduce’ yourself to a potential employer,” she continues. “It should be concise, yet detailed enough to demonstrate career progression, skill set, and education. In my opinion, multimedia resumes are like bringing in all of your friends to introduce you. There’s too much noise that ends up watering down the information that I’m actually interested in seeing.” “A resume is a very personal statement by the candidate that represents the candidate’s abilities to think, write, design, and position and brand himself,” Roshak says. “Going to an outside source, such as a resume writing service, is always obvious, and so are these emerging sites. These services tell you nothing at all about the candidate. They are just bells and whistles and are mostly made-up nonsense. … No one has the time to peruse such complicated overloaded interactive resumes that say nothing.” Dean Da Costa, blogger and staffing professional at Wirestone, Redmond, WA, points out that many of these new twists on resumes cannot easily be entered into the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that many employers use. Hiring decision-makers also aren’t necessarily inclined to click on links to resumes hosted at these sites. “If a person sends me a link to a resume with no other info,” Da Costa says, “I do not click on it — could be spam or a virus. If they provide background info that shows they actually are applying, then I will click on the link. If you are going to provide link to a resume you better at least send a cover letter or have some information explaining to me why I should click on the link.”