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A Famous Artist’s Contribution to the Hiring Process

What Leonardo da Vinci creation has had an impact on every professional who has held a job? It’s not a famous masterpiece; it’s the resume.(1) At the age of 30, he wrote a detailed letter with a list of his capabilities and sent it to the Duke of Milan. Resumes have been around for over 500 years and have remained essentially the same this whole time.

Think about the underlying purpose of a resume: to summarize information about a person. The first applicant tracking systems (ATS) were created in the early 1970s to help organize paper job application submissions.(2) Since the internet was not yet widely used at that time, the system basically stored and formatted the data on a network.

Jump forward to the 1990s, the system purpose shifted to help hiring managers better manage their communications and job applications, including those from online job bulletin boards. Now, ATS systems have been expanded to attempt to mimic the selection of a perfect candidate (the Mona Lisa) by a hiring manager. The systems use a combination of keywords and other criteria in this process.

This reliance on keywords has become a focus of frustration and distrust among job candidates. If you don’t have enough keywords or if you have the wrong ones, you are rejected from the system. If your resume isn’t formatted the right way, the system doesn’t read the information correctly and can unfairly reject you.

The current process has led to a pool of resumes filled with fabrications and exaggerations.

85% of employers have caught applicants fibbing on their resumes or applications.(3) Most common lies are related to experience (25%), job duties (21%), employment dates (16%), skills (15%), and salary (10%).

When asked if they knew a person who lied on their resume, 93% of people said yes.(4)

We should move beyond a process that is over 500 years old. Let’s recreate the underlying structure of the hiring and career journey so we can see a candidate for who they are and what they will bring to the team, rather than the keywords and criteria they list in a file.

The question is, what is the solution and can the resume be replaced? Change is hard and while some people will stick with the same processes, it’s time to develop a vision for the future. One option that has become a hot topic recently is the video resume.

While used in conjunction with other supporting documentation, a video resume is an efficient, effective hiring tool. With a video, you can see a person’s passion for a role, their ability to set a tone for leadership, their authenticity, and their palette of qualifications, all in one place.

With video, candidates will have the opportunity to command the spotlight and explain what makes them the best choice. A candidate can take their time to prepare their application video so the hiring team can see who they are professionally, rather than what they may present in those nervous first moments of a formal screening interview. Some people may argue that everyone isn’t comfortable on camera. This is where each applicant turns into their own version of an artist. The candidate can choose how to display their talents, so this video may take on a different role, such as a review of their portfolio, an explanation of recent projects, or a video slideshow showcasing their qualifications.

Let’s embrace a bit of da Vinci’s innovative attitude and take a leap to reimagine the hiring and career journey. Da Vinci was not afraid to experiment with new techniques and even adopted some methods that may have been considered unconventional. Let’s take on this challenge and create a new vision of a future where everyone can thrive.


1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9sum%C3%A9#:~:text=Leonardo%20da%20Vinci%20is%20credited,their%20abilities%20and%20past%20employment

2. https://recruiteze.com/applicant-tracking-system-past-present-future/#:~:text=The%20first%20applicant%20tracking%20systems,format%20on%20a%20physical%20network

3. https://www.inc.com/jt-odonnell/staggering-85-of-job-applicants-lying-on-resumes-.html#:~:text=According%20to%20HireRight’s%202017%20employment,feel%20the%20need%20to%20lie

4. https://resumelab.com/resume/lying