I have reviewed more than 100,000 resumes throughout my 22-year career as an executive recruiter with Korn Ferry and Heidrick & Struggles, two of the top executive search firms in the world.  Over the years, I have placed top talent at companies such as Uber, Google, Apple, Tesla, Netflix, Amazon, JP Morgan, Disney, and many others. Why am I telling you this? Because I know a thing or two about resumes… 

Did you know that, on average, recruiters spend just 7 seconds reviewing each resume, yet the industry still stresses the importance of having a well-organized and targeted resume? As a seasoned recruiter when I see a strong resume I typically like to jump on a call, zoom, or schedule an in-person meeting with the candidate. Why? Because my live interaction with an individual helps me formulate a multi-dimensional view of their personal experience, skills, interests, passions, and so much more than the traditional resume doesn’t provide.

Leonardo da Vinci's Handwritten Resume

Fun fact: the very first resume was drafted by none other than Leonardo da Vinci all the way back in 1482. With all that has changed in the world since then, how is it that 540 years later we still haven't figured out a better way to showcase a person’s skills and personality?

Yes, I know, LinkedIn is currently the standard and widely accepted “digital resume,” but how is this any different from or better than da Vinci’s original version, other than being displayed digitally? It’s still black and white and only focuses on the past, without telling me who you really are. 

Well, I am here to tell you that the black and white resume, as we know it, is dead! 

So, what’s next? We at Fearless+ have been developing a revolutionary digital platform to solve this… but more on that in a little bit.   

I think we all recognize that today’s youth is digitally native:

  • They use TikTok and Instagram to create their online persona, and maybe even influence others.
  • They use YouTube and Google to learn how to do pretty much anything. 
  • They use Twitter to spar with friends and foes and share their perspectives with the world.
  • They don’t use Facebook because, well, their parents are there.
  • They use Netflix and Hulu to watch any kind of programming on demand.
  • They use the Robinhood app to invest in the market.
  • They don’t get their driver’s license when they’re eligible because there’s Uber and Lyft.
  • And they don’t use LinkedIn because it’s too boring, too corporate, and too one-dimensional for them. 

According to recent surveys, approximately 65% of college admissions officers view social media as “fair game” when evaluating potential enrollees, and nearly 90% of employers consider an applicant’s social media activity and profiles during the hiring process. Why are employers and college admissions officers looking beyond the candidate’s resume for evaluation? What is the traditional resume not telling them? 

While traditional resumes supply relevant data points about a person’s education, skills, and past experience, they do not convey the “intangibles” that really matter and directly impact a person’s performance in their future role – qualities like emotional intelligence (EQ), rationality, adaptability, empathy, passion, work ethic, self-awareness, integrity, and the list goes on and on. With 93% of managers agreeing that an employee’s soft skills matter just as much or more than hard skills, it’s crucial that these intangibles are represented for a holistic view of each candidate. 

Given the significant gap in what the typical resume provides (or doesn’t provide!), employers and college admissions officers are left to seek out additional information about their candidates on various social media platforms as part of their evaluation process. In this search, they’re looking for content that demonstrates a candidate’s personality and soft skills, while also searching for any “red flags” that may pop up. In fact, 79% of HR professionals have denied offering a candidate a job due to inappropriate content found on social media. 

As a veteran in the executive search industry, I constantly think about how I can make the hiring process more beneficial for both parties. How can I help candidates better represent themselves in a well-rounded and multi-dimensional manner? How can I help clients become even more efficient in their hiring processes? And the biggest question I constantly ask myself is how can I empower the next generation to do things differently than we’ve done in the past?

My biggest advice to each and every person asking me for help with a resume is to “own your narrative before someone else tells your story differently.”

So, I am on a mission! I want to challenge the status quo for the next generation by reimagining the outdated black and white resume!

  • Imagine a multi-dimensional portfolio that showcases both personal and professional experiences and accomplishments.
  • Imagine robust visuals like TikTok style videos and photos offering new exposure to a person’s personality, passions, and interests.
  • Imagine a verified and validated profile on the blockchain — providing one safe and secure source of truth.
  • Imagine a centralized hub to create, own, and communicate your narrative to your network and the world.  

This is exactly why I’m excited to introduce Fearless CONNECT

CONNECT Profile

We’ve combined the necessary features of a traditional resume with the customization and individuality offered by social media to provide a premier destination for the next generation to build their own multi-dimensional digital profiles that showcases their unique personalities, accomplishments, and aspirations. Having a Fearless CONNECT profile will help young people differentiate themselves as strong candidates in any college, internship, or job application process by providing a well-rounded and authentic view of themselves, told in their own voice.

I hope you’ll join me in telling every young person you know to take ownership of their narrative and to create a digital profile on Fearless CONNECT starting Monday, June 13. Building a Fearless profile is free, and simple, and the short time investment now will serve them through every step of their career for years to come. 

Here’s to not seeing any more black and white resumes in my inbox… and to helping Gen Zers fearlessly secure the future they desire!