When you first get to know someone, it’s common practice to ask certain questions to get a feeling about who they are. In what is almost an exclusively American trait, we often ask (or are asked) almost immediately, “What do you do?” In many other cultures it’s considered rude to inquire about what someone does for a living, if they are married, have children or where they live as if socioeconomic, educational, geographic and personal roulette is being played under the guise of passing “interest.” And it’s considered invasive if not downright “none of your business” to ask all these questions in a single encounter. Somehow, we manage to do this not only in social context but in business as well.
Enter the résumé.
I’ve never been a fan of this short form of communication and I’m even less a fan of it now. What once was considered a professional document for professional purposes only has now crossed a line that has been blurred by corporations insisting that applicants share their personal Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle and Instagram account. What is being asked today is the equivalent of having had to reveal how much money was in your savings account and a complete list of the contents of your safety deposit box in the 1980s. Who ever thought this would be a good idea?
While I understand the need for vetting potential candidates, I believe that it’s also the responsibility of the employer to see how much information in the form of social media is publicly available by virtue of doing their own research instead of demanding that people turn over every single personal morsel about themselves while also listing the numerous societies, charities and sports they are attached to as well as how skilled they are in Photoshop or Microsoft Suite or QuickBooks. Let’s not forget the college education and the stellar positions that were held with the bullet points (all three) reserved for encapsulating what 12 years of hard work look like (or how they translate on paper).
If you want to get to know me, invite me for a cup of coffee. If you want to hire me for your organization, invite me to spend the day and watch how I conduct myself. Ask me my opinion or philosophy about certain issues. Listen to how well I articulate an idea or an argument. Discover if I listen carefully and ask you the right questions in return.
My social media pages are none of your business (unless I decide to share them with you) and the paragraphs about my career history have been carefully dressed to suit your needs, not mine. I am not my résumé. Which is why I never wear one on my sleeve.