APU Business Original

The Great Resignation and Resumes in Today’s Job Market

By Dr. Kandis Y. Wyatt, PMP
Faculty Member, Transportation and Logistics

The Great Resignation is a new term created to explain the millions of Americans who are quitting their jobs in pursuit of their passions. These employees are leaving their jobs for a multitude of reasons, expressing sentiments such as:

  • “I hate my boss.”
  • “They don’t respect me.”
  • “They are trying to push me out.”
  • “My employer perceives me as old.”
  • “I don’t feel attached to the company.”

Why are so many people resigning their jobs? Many companies have failed to retain their key employees because employers have not used retention tactics. They have not focused on providing their employees with the tools for success in today’s workplace:

  • Training – offering resources to ensure employees have ongoing professional training
  • Flexibility – providing remote work or hybrid work environments as well as flexible start and end times
  • Appreciation – recognizing individuals for both little and big accomplishments
  • Company culture – developing an equitable, inclusive environment that recognizes everyone’s contributions
  • Salary – offering wages and benefits that are competitive in the industry
  • Promotion potential – providing upward mobility
  • Work-life balance – enabling workers to have time off to address personal issues

Every industry has been affected by the Great Resignation. As a result, companies are resorting to offering hiring bonuses and other incentives, as well as using faster application processes and processing more resumes to fill their workforce gaps.

Related link: The Great Resignation: Transforming the Lives of US Workers

Resumes Only Tell One Part of a Job Candidate’s Story

A resume is commonly a two-page document that highlights your past achievements as they pertain to a potential job opportunity. This resume summarizes your professional life, is tailored to the job ad and starts a conversation between you and the potential employer.

However, a resume only highlights your professional achievements, and it cannot show your future potential. It is only one part of your professional story because it does not help human resources or a hiring manager understand if you will be a good fit for the company culture.

Ultimately, a job is more than just performing job duties. It’s interacting with people, showing creativity, working to meet project deadlines, building relationships and ensuring company success.

The Essential Elements of a Resume

A professional resume typically has several elements, such as:

  • Contact information
  • Positions (paid and volunteer) listed in chronological order
  • Education
  • Certifications
  • Awards/accolades
  • Position-specific information (as defined in the job description)

While there is no one format for a resume, a resume can be overlooked by a potential employer if it omits vital details, is poorly formatted or repeats information several times. For an employer, these mistakes create a poor first impression and show that a potential candidate is careless.

Ideally, a resume should read like a story with an engaging beginning, middle and end for each key point in the resume. Resumes that lack descriptive adjectives, adverbs and key accomplishments are often discarded by potential employers.

In addition, quantifiable results matter on a resume. Verifiable and quantifiable results highlight your ability to help a company achieve its business goals, especially if you are a mid-career and late-career employee.

Related link: Determining Your 2022 Career Goals: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

Some Employers Have Biases That Affect How They Perceive Your Resume

On occasion, submitting a resume to an employer can result in implicit bias. For example, a potential employer may negatively judge you because of a bias related to your gender, age, geographic location, education or job experience. If this experience happens to you, then you should report it to the company’s Human Resources department and/or Equal Employment Officer.

Related link: Why Organizations Benefit from a Chief Diversity Officer

Resumes and Applicant Tracking Systems

Many companies use applicant tracking systems to review resumes and scan for key phrases in the resume that match the job position. If the candidate’s resume works well, the candidate may be invited to proceed to the next stage of the application process.

Video Resumes

Some companies are now requesting a video resume. A video resume asks you to verbally summarize items commonly included in a resume (such as your background, education, and experience) and also answer target questions related to the position. However, this hiring tactic can have challenges as well, especially if the video is recorded on a platform that is incompatible with the potential employer’s software.

The Great Resignation May Create Further Improvements in the Hiring Process

The Great Resignation has changed the way companies hire individuals and hopefully for the better. In the future, companies will need to employ greater flexibility to get the best talent, and this practice may mean placing less weight on a resume and more on a candidate’s future potential.

If you are a University alum or current student applying for a position, be sure to contact the University’s Career Services department. Career Services provides several complimentary services, including resume reviews and mock interviews.

Dr. Kandis Y. Wyatt, PMP, is an award-winning author, presenter, and professor with nearly 30 years of experience in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). She is the creator of the Professor S.T.E.A.M. Children’s Book Series, which brings tomorrow’s concepts to future leaders today. A global speaker, STE(A)M advocate, and STE(A)M communicator, she holds a B.S. in Meteorology and an M.S. in Meteorology and Water Resources from Iowa State University, as well as a D.P.A. in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University. She is a faculty member in Transportation and Logistics for the Wallace E. Boston School of Business and specializes in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in transportation, education, and technology.

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