This 33-page report is the product of a global survey to focused on clearing up confusion and inconsistencies about what recruiters, human resource professionals, and other hiring authorities are looking for when it comes to resume writing and related job search documents.
The secondary goal was to gather data on the adoption of new trends used by job seekers and resume writers, such as use of QR codes, video resumes, 1-page executive resumes, charts and graphs, and optimizing cover letters for smart phone review.
Career Directors International (CDI) and its members, resume writers and career coaches from around the globe, have long been frustrated with the many rumors and folklore that get started when it comes to hiring trends.
For instance, something said by one recruiter to one job seeker suddenly becomes an absolute fact to be used forever more. These ‘facts’ take on a life of their own and nobody knows where they started or why. In some cases, they make no logical sense to professionals, let alone to confused job seekers getting advice from all sides.
This year, CDI decided enough was enough with these long-held beliefs and potential fallacies. With the 2012 Global Hiring Trends Survey, CDI sought to bring hard data into the discussion by surveying decision makers from around the world, who included hiring authorities such as business owners, recruiters, sourcers, and HR professionals.
Beyond just looking at the basics, CDI used the survey as a platform to help shed light on the extent of adoption of some of the newer trends and tools in resume writing that have emerged from the popularity of online identity and social reputation tools ranging from social networking sites to online video resumes, and use of QR codes.
The survey, while concise with just 25 total questions, covers significant ground and provides both hard data in the form of charts and graphs, and in many cases, interpretations provided from representatives of CDI’s Certification Committee, the body of industry professionals behind the survey’s launch.
In some cases the survey results were to be expected. For instance, Microsoft Word still reigns supreme as a preferred submission format for resumes, capturing 49% of the votes, while PDF was selected by 23%, and the rest surveyed had no preference.
But, there were also several crucial game-changers in the survey findings, such as preferred length of resumes in the questions regarding executive and non-executive resumes.
The long-held belief about the one page resume seems to no longer hold sway according to the responding hiring authorities. Just six (6%) of respondents selected a one-page executive resume when asked about preferred length, and only 21% felt the one-page approach was required for all other non-executive job seekers.
It is also clear that adoption of some newer strategies like video resumes or QR codes on resumes is slow to take hold. However, the reality is that there is an audience for them, no matter how limited. It remains simply a matter of putting the right set of strategies in front of the hiring authority who is going to be excited to see that cutting-edge innovation at work by a candidate.
While the data from the survey is incredibly valuable, what still remains clear is that as long as there are different people in the world, there will also be very different tastes in terms of strategies that are embraced by some and not at all by others.
CDI President, Laura DeCarlo, said, “While tastes and preferences vary, and the length of the résumé and its content seems to have loosened, the most important caution to both the findings of this survey is to approach the strategy of job search on a case-by-case basis based on the unique targets of the job seeker. Specifically, both job seekers and career/resume professionals should be careful of falling into the trap of how something ‘must always’ be done.”
CDI wants to continue the conversation on the topics presented in this survey. The goal is to spark a lively discussion amongst representatives of career services, recruiting, and hiring. It will be interesting to see where this takes the conversation next.
To engage in what is sure to be a lively discourse, join CDI on Twitter at #cdisurvey12.
A high resolution PDF of the Global Hiring Trends Survey can be downloaded here.
Job seekers are invited to visit CDI’s Job Seeker section of the website for free advice from the resume writers and career coaches within the association’s membership.
CDI also welcomes to membership those resume writers, career coaches, and other career service providers who want to stay abreast of the industry and its dynamic and ongoing change.
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