Student Success Blog For Educators


March 27, 2017

Why Work Samples are King

Sourcing the best talent has traditionally come down to finding the most polished resume, whether from online resources like LinkedIn or recruiting sites, or direct from interested candidates. The unfortunate truth is that resumes, and the stock cover letters that accompany them are not hitting the mark in securing the next great hire, especially when it comes to college students and recent graduates.

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The Faulty Resume Logic

No matter the industry, resumes are a kind of currency in the recruiting world. If you have piles of potential candidates’ one-to-two-page written profile, you may feel as though your recruiting challenges are soon to be overcome. The next great hire is in that pile somewhere – you just have to sort wade through the stack to find them. The problem is that despite their widespread use and that growing stack on your desk or in your inbox, resumes don’t do the trick in sourcing high-quality talent.

Resumes are, at best, a truncated description of past events, self-reported by the potential hire. Instead of providing insight into the individual’s character, personality, and capability to get the job done in line with the organization’s driving mission, recruiters are left with a data dump of what the candidate thinks they have accomplished. A high GPA, an impressive alma mater, and a course list all look nice on paper, but these details fail to tell the whole story of who the potential hire is or can be for a company.

Making the Move Toward Work Samples

Instead of recruiting and ultimately hiring based on the flawed concept of a resume, recruiters can focus on evaluating the proven accomplishments of candidates based on work samples. With the help of digital portfolios, students and recent graduates display their previous projects online, giving hiring managers a way to quickly source candidates who have what it takes to contribute to the company in a meaningful way. Work samples included in a portfolio can showcase how creative a potential hire is, what skills they are able to put to use in real life cases, and most importantly, what they feel is quality work. These insights are a far better indicator of what a candidate will be able to do on the job and how that aligns with the needs of the organization.

Resumes are simply a historical telling of an individual’s work and education history, leaving out the pertinent details that truly indicate whether success – or failure – is imminent on the job. Transitioning to work samples with the help of digital portfolios is a smarter way to recruiter, and in the long run, this strategy leads to less turnover because of better fit hires from the start.

Photo Courtesy of: unsplash.com

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