Going Backwards

Was talking with my mom last night and explaining how I thought it was backward that at a mobile conference that I should have to give people a physical business card. Of all the places to expand the use of digital technologies to share and connect, we’d dismiss that for paper that will be discarded as soon as the information is implemented into a database, CRM, or Google. Suffice to say, I’m presented yet another case of going backwards, resume submissions.Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the pain that HR departments go through trying to get a personnel system that at least works well enough to manage a deluge of information. That being said, I think it is an utter shame that these systems, and the processes that keep them online, resort to what should be antiquated matters of information management.

I already busted a grub about the changes that I’ve made to my business card, but what about the other aspects of personal information management like resumes? You’d think that with services such as LinkedIn that it would be smarter or simpler for recruiters and HR departments to simply request your information through these services, and then their systems correctly parse that data. That is the point of a LinkedIn connection isn’t it?

But no, we can’t even do something simple like present someone a URL with a microformat-encoded resume that their system could recognize. They’d rather either have you fill out 9 pages of a very horribly designed web application and/or submit your information (that’s already accessible mind you) as a Word document. To me, that comes off as going backwards in this information (management) age.

So I sit here, looking for a script that would enable me to change my HTML5 formatted resume into something that an antiquated system can use (this despite creating the print-ready version of that page which can be saved as a PDF or text doc given the right printer driver). And I’m taking the time and looking for this because recruiters are designed simply to process information, not to transform it. I wonder what their industry would look like if they were trained on simpler matters such as document conversion and the appropriate use of content within their headhunter applications.

Mom snickered at me last night and said that I am just too far ahead of where others are. That I need to simply humble myself and balance the ability to live in the future with the need to address the now that others exist in. It would be so much better (in my opinion) if others just moved the bar forward as well, so that we’d not have to have projects later on which try to meet the potential of technology since we did not step into it earlier.

But, I’m choosing her humbler route. Yes, it is taking steps backward, but I might also gain an audience for doing in the present what seems futuristic.

5 thoughts on “Going Backwards

  1. You know, speaking of business cards, I had the ability to essentially swap contact information on my Palm II in 1998. Remember that? Two Palm devices could connect via infrared and swap contact info.

    Twelve years later, off the top of my head, I can’t think of how I’d do that on my iPhone—even to another iPhone.

  2. With an iPhone, either send your contact to another via SMS (works well enough) or use an app like Bump. It is not as all as simple as it needs to be, and in a lot respects, going backward from what we did with our Palms.

  3. Was able to use a web-based utility from CoolUtils in order to make the conversion work; but really, things like these documents should not need to be redone in anything except the most basic of machine-readable formats.

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