Death to the resume

I’m increasingly viewing resumes as a pain in the ass. Whereas early in my career, I viewed mine with some sense of pride as I filled up my page(s) with increasingly cool accomplishments and accolades it now feels artificial and far too confined. Certainly, some of this is a result of my personality type (INTP!) that likes to blend work and play but I often feel that the things that should make me most attractive to employers are things I do outside of the 9-5 grind. After all, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time you realize how I rail against organizations that are too myopic, structured and risk averse to do much other than what superiors have strictly ordered. So, do resumes accurately portray a persons skills and accomplishments or do they just give you a window into what past employers allowed an employee to do?

Homeland Security Watch discussed a new way to talk about skills, abilities and accomplishments through this program to adopt ‘badges‘. Since we’re increasingly moving our lives to the digital sphere, it makes sense to come up with ways to display aspects of our lives there.  We can do that pretty easily in the personal sphere (through things like Facebook) but professionally it’s still a bit crude.  You can use things like LinkedIn but your skills and accreditation are still in a resume format.

So, how do these badges work?  Well, you can earn them through a variety of ways, but for simplicity’s sake let’s just say that when you do something (complete a class, accomplish a task, etc.) some accredited body attaches a badge to your digital profile.  Those badges can then follow you across the internet among sites that support this open badge infrastructure.

But the badge is more than a little icon that attaches to you name or avatar.  Embedded in the badge is the following information:

  • who issued the badge
  • the issue date
  • how the badge was earned
  • hyperlinks back to artifacts, documents, or testimonials demonstrating the work that lead to earning the badge.
  • authentication back to the issuer

While there are some serious questions about badge authenticity and the risk of ‘badge farming’ it doesn’t seem much worse than resume padding and diploma mills.

The advantage of something like this is that it allows you to ‘earn’ badges sources that don’t currently offer accreditation and they don’t even need to be associated with your work.  Interesting stuff.

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