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Who Shot the Resume?

Most of us spend considerable time racking our brains trying to find the right words to put on a piece of paper in the hopes of impressing someone enough to hire us. We lay out our experiences and credentials so beautifully that sometimes we don't even believe that the person we’re describing is us. This is the world of resume writing. It has become big business in recent years with some people cashing in on their ability to write visually stunning and compelling resumes that get their clients the job that they’re seeking. Unfortunately for these writers the resume is dying, and we’re here to tell you whose killing it.

Micro-credentials speak louder than words

Employers have long lamented the fact that they have to rummage through thousands of resume’s during the hiring process without finding a suitable candidate for the job. They can tell a person’s experiences and qualifications from their resume, but they still don't actually know for sure what the candidate can do.

These employers have been looking for the right tool to kill this part of the hiring process and they finally found it once they stumbled across the micro-credential. A micro-credential provides employees with recognition for the skills they develop throughout their careers, regardless of where or how they learned them. (Promise, 2019) Some employers are now feeling like they could just have people take skills assessments and earn micro credentials instead of having to read stacks of boring resumes for themselves.

Skills to pay the bills

The move towards skills assessments and away from resume writing is really starting to accelerate now that LinkedIn is offering employees the ability to earn badges verifying certain skills by completing skills assessments.

The service, which was announced a few weeks ago, can also be used by employers to identify potential candidates through verification of the candidates skill set prior to further recruitment. Job-seekers must pass a skills assessment with no less than 70% accuracy in order to get a skill verified. (Ryan, 2019) Skills that can be verified range from stocking shelves to using specific software. (Staley, 2018) Potential candidates have a 30% higher chance of getting an interview if they have verified a skill on LinkedIn. (Cheng, 2019)

The resume is dying

There are other companies who are also joining the transition from the resume to verified skill sets through micro-credentials and skills assessments. One of these companies, Indeed, claims to be the biggest jobs site in the world. (Staley, 2018) Users of their service can also earn badges verifying particular skills by completing short 15-20 question multiple choice tests. (Cheng, 2019)

Employers can also include assessments in their job postings in order to identify candidates with the right tools. Another one of those companies is Unilever, who has done away with accepting resumes from entry level employees altogether and instead sends them to a test site for assessment of entry level skills. (Staley, 2018) The size and influence of these companies is likely to sway others to follow suit and do away with their resume processes as well and replace them with assessments of a potential employees attributes.

Decreasing discrimination

It has been argued that the use of these skills assessments will decrease the bias in the hiring process. The argument being that since candidacy will be based on skills and not on an evaluator who picks a candidate, human-biases will not play a part in the selection process. Those on the other side of the argument indicate that an assessment tool is just as biased as its developers.

As a result, the bar of success for these tests will not only rest on how well they match skills sets with open positions, but how fairly this process is carried out. (Staley, 2018) And the fairer that the process seems, the more likely it will be that mass adoption takes place.

Final farewell

The death of the resume has begun and gamification is killing it. The skills assessment and the micro credential fall under the overall blanket of gamification, where the main components consist of receiving badges for accomplishing various tasks and a leaderboard where those badges can be made public. (Kentu, 2019) Those who are proficient at taking short multiple choice exams will probably have an easier time getting recognized by potential employers than those who are better at actually demonstrating their abilities.

The possibility of combining gamification with blockchain technology in the employment process is also on the horizon; allowing employers to find a candidate, verify their skills, and offer them a contract all without a middleman such as a college, university, or trade school. (Vander Ark, 2017) But for now, job seekers should write the most beautiful resume they have ever written out of appreciation and respect for an old player in the job-hunt game who wont be with us much longer.


Cheng, M. (2019). LinkedIn skills tests will assess users-but will they predict performance,


Kentu, B. (2019). Black 2 School, Djed Institute of Learning

Promise, D. (2019). Micro credentials. Macro rewards, Digital Promise

Ryan, R. (2019). LinkedIn just added a new way to showcase your skills, Forbes

Staley, O. (2018). Applying for jobs on Indeed? You may need to take a test, Quartz

Vander Ark, T. (2017). How blockchain will transform credentialing (and education),

Getting Smart

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