Editor’s Note: Survey Results at Bottom of Release
More than one-third (35 percent) of those surveyed said that resumes are less important to the job search process than they were 5 years ago.
In addition, 77 percent said networking was the most important part of the job search process, followed by interviewing (16 percent) and social/online presence (4 percent). Dead last? Resumes at 3 percent.
“Candidates who rise above the rest in this very competitive job environment, are those who understand that landing a job takes a balanced approach,” said Peter Keseric, Managing Consultant - Financial Services and Real Estate, Korn Ferry Futurestep. “Resumes are not going away– they’re still an important part of the overall job search process. However, nothing gets a candidate ahead like networking. And networking today is a contact sport.”
Although all (100 percent) respondents reported that they read candidates’ resumes during the hiring process, 51 percent of executives surveyed said they spend less than five minutes reading a candidate’s resume and 13 percent spend less than two minutes.
While a resume’s concision is critical, the survey findings also indicate that candidates should take great care in preparing and proofing their resumes. Ten percent of those surveyed said they would disregard a candidate if they found a typo or bad grammar in the candidate’s resume, even if the candidate had appropriate qualifications, and 46 percent said they would keep the candidate in the pool, but with reservations.
In terms of work history, direct experience is king. The most important information on a resume, according to the survey, is that the candidate has experience that is relevant to the position (83 percent). Only 15 percent cited the quality of the candidate’s previous employers, with 2 percent citing education (university they attended, GPA or types/levels of degrees). None of the respondents said the candidate’s job title mattered most.
Despite the surge of a gig economy, longevity still matters. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said short tenure or ‘job hopping’ matters to some or a great extent.
As for the cover letter, nearly half of respondents (49 percent) said it is less important than it was 5 years ago.
“Several elements go into the making of a successful job search,” said Keseric. “Candidates who know how to communicate and create compelling resumes will have an advantage. But at the end of the day, direct experience and fit helps puts them over the top.”
About the survey
Korn Ferry fielded the survey in April 2017 and it garnered 1,815 responses. Percentages are rounded to the nearest decimal. Totals may not equal 100 percent.
What is the most important part of the job search process?
|Social/online presence||4 percent|
Compared to 5 years ago, how important are resumes to the job search process?
|Significantly less important||7 percent|
|Somewhat less important||28 percent|
|The same||34 percent|
|Somewhat more important||9 percent|
|Significantly more important||21 percent|
How long do you spend with a resume prior to interviewing a candidate?
|Less than 2 minutes||13 percent|
|Less than 5 minutes||38 percent|
|Less than 15 minutes||30 percent|
|More than 15 minutes||20 percent|
|I don’t look at resumes prior to interviews||0 percent|
How far in advance of interviewing a candidate do you review their resume?
|As they are walking into my office / dialing in for the interview||2 percent|
|During the interview||1 percent|
|A half-hour before the interview||18 percent|
|The day of the interview||15 percent|
|I review all resumes in advance and then decide|
|Who I want to interview||64 percent|
How much of a candidate’s resume do you read?
|All of it||58 percent|
|Just the executive summary||11 percent|
|I scan for key words I’m looking for||31 percent|
What’s the most important element you look for on a resume?
|The quality of the companies the person has worked for||15 percent|
|Their titles||0 percent|
|Specific experience in the areas I need to hire||83 percent|
|Education (school and types/levels of degrees)||2 percent|
How much does short job tenure or “job hopping” matter when you are assessing whether a candidate is fit for a role?
|It matters to a great extent||25 percent|
|It matters to some extent||62 percent|
|It doesn’t matter||13 percent|
What would you do if you saw a typo or bad grammar on a resume?
|Disregard the candidate even if his or her qualifications met the role||10 percent|
|Keep the candidate in the pool, with reservations||46 percent|
|Overlook the mistake if the person is qualified||44 percent|
How many years of past experience should a candidate put on his/her resume? (assuming they have a long work history)
|5 years or less||1 percent|
|10 years or less||16 percent|
|15 years or less||24 percent|
|20 years or less||18 percent|
|Depends on the quality of the work history||41 percent|
How do you view resumes prior to interviewing candidates?
|On my laptop||44 percent|
|A printed copy||54 percent|
|On my mobile phone||2 percent|
|I don’t review resumes prior to interviews||0 percent|
Compared to 5 years ago, how important is attaching a cover letter to a resume?
|Significantly less important||26 percent|
|Somewhat less important||23 percent|
|The same||21 percent|
|Somewhat more important||8 percent|
|Significantly more important||21 percent|
How much more likely are you to review a “creative” resume (e.g. resume in a box, resume poster) vs. a traditional resume?
|Much more likely||15 percent|
|Somewhat more likely||29 percent|
|Wouldn’t make a difference||39 percent|
|Somewhat less likely||13 percent|
|Much less likely||4 percent|
About Korn Ferry
Korn Ferry is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. We help leaders, organizations and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. Our nearly 7,000 colleagues deliver services through our Executive Search, Hay Group and Futurestep divisions. Visit kornferry.com for more information.
More information on Futurestep can be found at www.kornferry.com/futurestep