If we had a dollar for every job hunt tip we receive from HR pros, we would all be able to stop looking for better paying jobs and retire. The sheer volume of: “do this” and “don’t do that” is monumental. I mean, how many times do we need to hear proof your profile. Yeah, we get it! But some people are terrible at proof reading, it should not mean you are unqualified for a job (unless you are applying to be a proof reader, but whatever.) The part that frustrates me beyond belief, the vast majority of these tips are focused on what I think is the wrong stuff.
Just last week, I saw a post last week about how to overcome gaps in your resume. And another was an infographic telling you to keep your personality out of things, like with hobby-based email addresses. But, here’s the thing, who cares? Who cares if you took a break to backpack Europe? Or wanted to try your hand at running a cupcake shop? So, you like Hello Kitty or Batman? A lot. So what? But, today it matters to some people, but it really shouldn’t matter at all.
What recruiters and hiring managers should be focusing on is what you actually did at work. The proof, your proof, is what matters. And that proof is the work you are doing every day at your current job and the work you did at your past jobs. What you did and do, your experience and how you impacted the company in your role is what matters.
This is precisely why I think anonymity in the job search is going to be critical as we move forward to change the way hiring is done. People are discriminated against for a variety of reasons in the job search. Sometimes it is the wrong kind of email address, or college GPA, or the college itself, or lack thereof. It could be your name or your gender, and as the president recently noted, how long you’ve been out of work. All of these things are focused on the wrong stuff and so many companies are missing out on talent by simply screening based on profile.
If we are going to change the way hiring is done in the future, we need to get those who hire focused on the right things and less focused on the wrong things. Anonymity empowers job seekers to put the focus where it belongs, on their work. It will also force hiring entities to re-think their screening processes to ignore the things that just don’t matter. It is time we start treating everyone more equally in the job process and anonymity levels the playing field.