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It is better
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John Sumser

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John Gall


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(March 30, 2004) - If you haven't looked closely, now is the time to engage your technical people in a conversation about RSS (see yesterday).  This simple specification is going to change the way that you work. While current efforts focus on the needs of publishers trying to reach an audience, the RSS tool is far more meaningful. (See related news story)

An obvious example is what we're going to call ReSSume.

Imagine a Microsoft Word Template for a Resume, organized into the obvious categories (for XML/RSS purposes): Contact Info, Objective, Experience, Skills, Education, Other Credentials. Coupled with a checklist of application possibilities (Job Boards, Companies, Professional Categories) and a focused news aggregator for job opportunities, this tool (ReSSume) creates a desktop based career management environment.

With three panes of material: Credentials, Distribution and Jobs, candidates will be able to evaluate opportunities from an array of sources in a single desktop app while managing, in real time, the contents of their online resume. There will certainly be competition in the arena of organization and usability. At the same time, vendors and recruiters will be able to smoothly transition into the business of routing opportunities to the right candidates.

The technologies exist today to build this version of AIRS Techniques meets the job boards. It's easy to imagine an aggressive transition program, launched by one of the major job boards, that enabled a user to download a configured desktop ReSSume upon completion of the standard form. With a solid focus on Acorn (an RSS derivative), Yahoo's HotJobs is probably in the best position to launch first. But, just like job boards, this technology is easy and repeatable.

It's as likely that one of the ATS providers will seize this opportunity to build live networks on behalf of their customers. The tension between ATS providers and JobBoards (over revenues, of course) is growing as the gradualism of the recovery begins to look like a permanent fixture. With deeper ties into the customer's organization, ATS providers are well positioned to increase their share of the pie with this idea.

Of course, some versions of the tool will try to dig deeper into the categorization problem with detailed options for describing aspects of a career and education (to make search and matching more effective). Other variations will customize by brand, profession and region (much like today's job board market).

Before you write the idea of ReSSume off as science fiction, remember that less than a decade ago, companies were organized around the idea of processing paper resumes. The idea that resumes would become electronic seemed like science fiction then. All we're talking about is adding structure.

John Sumser

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