If anything is true, it’s that technology has been changing the world in ways people never thought possible just twenty-five years ago. It’s also true that it’s in the digital world where much of this real change lies and will continue to.
The introduction of blockchains has been an incredible innovation to record-keeping and the verification of digital signatures. It also now has a proposed application to people that is eye-opening, and that is the fact that it can actually be used for resumes.
What are blockchains? A blockchain is a block of data that can only be changed by consensus, ensuring that people can’t tamper with it, at least not easily. Interestingly enough, blockchains were created to enhance the security of BitCoin!
Because it can’t be changed by an individual, no one could spend non-existent BitCoin. So, it was quite a surprise to discover that companies are now looking to use this same software and apply it to the resume.
The Hassle of a Traditional Resume
Today resumes are written by individual people, or by resume writing services, who are supposed to create an accurate representation of their, or their client’s, work history, skills, and education. This is largely a document that relies on the honesty of the person who created it and involves the employer having to trust what’s there, for the most part.
This has actually led to instances where managers have discovered that half of the people who submitted a resume to them lied about at least some of the information on it. There are helpful resume tips out there, but this lying on a resume certainly isn’t one of them!
The problem is that verifying everything on a resume would mean hiring a full team of people to do the job and who would verify what they put on their resume? Not to mention that it doesn’t even touch on false information that can be put in a cover letter!
Even if someone had a full HR team to verify every last part of a resume, they would still run into snags, such as getting in touch with a former employer located in another country or going through the hassle of getting a high school transcript.
The Resume of the Future
With offices going paperless and everyone having an e-mail or social account, resumes are likely to be completely digital in the coming years, and that opens them up to blockchains.
Blockchains would allow resumes to have digital signatures attached to the information presented on a resume. This would mean that no one would be able to tamper with the signature without people being able to check to see if it was modified. Furthermore, creating a counterfeit signature would be very difficult to achieve with blockchains.
So, what’s the point of digital signatures on a resume? Simple: before, people had to trust that Mister X went to Harvard. They could check on it, yes, but that eats up a lot of time, and most companies don’t bother. With blockchain resumes, the bullet point mentioning Harvard now has a digital signature, backed up by the university, itself!
And, that’s how a digital resume becomes a verified document without any false information. In a world of blockchain resumes, the exact establishments where a person went to high school and university are digitally verified. Every company they worked for is listed in their work history and all carry a digital signature confirming that the information is true.
This can also be expanded to include verification of skills and hobbies by a third party, if necessary so that a falsified resume becomes a thing of the past.
Won’t People Still Lie?
Will people still be able to tamper with it? Yes, but it will be extremely hard to do so, and already present verification is something that resumes have never had before. Indeed, post-secondary institutes, like MIT, are starting to offer digitally verified diplomas to their students. Companies are beginning to explore the same idea with work history, as well.
The question isn’t so much about people still being able to lie on a resume, as it is about creating a verified resume, which simply wasn’t possible in the past. This is what would be incredibly beneficial to Human Resources departments and recruiters across the world!
Gone would be the days of having to spend time and energy on figuring out if someone’s been honest on their resume. What would follow is HR personnel being able to look at how well people would fit in with the team and other concerns that they might not have the time for today.
In the End
Blockchains are an ingenious idea that might see far spread use in the future, but that’s not a guarantee. Although it’s a great idea, history shows that society, in general, won’t necessarily take advantage of that idea. Only time will tell.