An Excellent Case for Getting Rid of the Need for Traditional Resumés in the Recruiting Process

The latest animated episode of “The Science of Us” by New York Magazine, makes an excellent case for tossing out the need for traditional resumés and cover letters within the recruiting process, citing various studies showing that this manner of job application doesn’t provide enough information and can even lead to discriminatory practices, whether intentional or not.

The problem is that the résumé-and-cover-letter bundle — call it “the packet” from here on — is an inefficient, time-wasting way for employers to sort through a first wave of applicants. It doesn’t provide nearly as much useful information about potential employees as we’ve been led to believe, meaning that firms that overly rely on it are likely missing out on talented applicants whose materials get overlooked. What’s worse is that it’s discriminatory — it exacerbates many of the biases that fuel a winner-take-all job market at the expense of minorities and people without fancy connections.