For job seekers, resumes have always presented an array of frustrating options, from whether or not to use an objective statement or include employment dates, to deciding if disclosing your college graduation year opens you up to quiet displays of age discrimination. But something else seems to be going on with resumes. They’re still around. And they shouldn’t be, right? Digital technologies have upended the music industry and turned publishing on its head, but somehow the resume – that cockroach of the job application process – is still around. Why?

From Snapchat to Instagram, everything is visual now. We don’t need words to communicate who we are. Job seekers in creative industries should be able to apply for positions based on their portfolios alone, right? Wouldn’t a video of us making our favorite sandwich convey more about our cultural fit for a company than a couple pages of highly vetted language that embellishes our professional achievements. And, yes, embellishes is the right word there. Job seekers are told time and time again the importance of selling themselves. So they do. They don’t lie, but they did manage that intern, right? I mean, they gave them things to do and told them when to come to work. That’s managing, isn’t it? Maybe job seekers should simply wear cameras for the same reason we want police offers to wear them. They’re accurate. Videos don’t lie.

I don’t know. It just feels that given our digitally driven lives, there are better ways to represent our professional successes and career goals than consulting the thesaurus a dozen times for words other than “manage,” “coordinated,” and “improved.” After all, it’s really hard to embellish a ham sandwich without anyone noticing. And maybe that’s a good thing.

Resume for Jim Johnson

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