Job Search in Canada: Everything is wrong with the resumes.

Here are the 5 reasons why.

1. A resume is an indication of the past, not the future.

I have no emotions when people refer to my past as I care very little about it. Why? It’s simple — I don’t live there anymore. My past speaks for all the things that I’ve done. It says nothing about the things I am destined to do in the future, and if you agree with me, it is the future where the actual potential of the human being lies and this is the part that must be of interest to my employer.

2. A resume is not reflecting the whole picture.

Have you seen the resume that is all over the place? “Oh, wow! This guy is a mess and has no idea what he wants to do with his life.” This would be a very natural response to a resume of a person whose track record spans over several roles and industries.

  • Immigration = Openness to Change, Hunger of a Newcomer, Resilience, and Adaptability
  • Failed startup = Entrepreneurial Spirit

3. A resume is not explaining the gaps.

I had a client who had to put his career on pause and become a stay-at-home dad to take care of his children. I had a client who had to take a 1-year break to take care of her mother who had cancer. What would an HR bureaucrat see on their resumes? Just a gap without any explanation. For him, it is nothing but a red flag and he is not much interested in the backstory. And maybe the backstory is not very relevant to the job in question but it gives important context. It is a reminder that as much as we would want to have life our way, sometimes life has us its way. There are things that happen, things that are outside of our circle of control, things that force us to introduce adjustments to our career pathways.

4. A resume must be ATS optimized.

In continuation to what we have just discussed, you know how a resume should be optimized for ATS, otherwise, the chances of it to be seen by a real human are approaching zero. Statistically, 75% of all submitted resumes are never seen by the HR professional, as they are filtered off using a set of keywords pre-programmed in the system by the said HR professional.

5. A resume does not indicate all the things that make a great hire.

Let’s read through this list and ask ourselves: would I like to hire someone who has these?

  • Sense of humor (tell me it is not important at work)
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Communication skills
  • Presentation
  • Systems Thinking
  • Writing Skills
  • Creativity
  • Desire to learn
  • Resourcefulness
  • Thinking outside of the box
  • Facilitation skills
  • Inspiring people
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Confidence
  • Enthusiasm
  • Energy
  • Patience
  • Disability and Diversity Awareness
  • Integrity
  • Work Ethic
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