Dear Human Resources: Brains Are Not Paper


Brains on paper. That’s what a resume, or a PDF upload, is. NOT.

If I Only Had A Brain…

Every time I see the “More Than Brains” ad for University of Phoenix I think, wrong.

The commercial draws viewers in with the familiar Wizard of Oz tune – then misses their own point. (Ooh Google tells me I’m not alone thinking it’s one of the worst ads of all time.)

Listen closely: You as Recruiter or Hiring Manager have a brain ONLY if you hire someone who goes to – correction: pays for – this degree. (After singing “a degree is a degree.”)

The implication is that before that diploma adds one line to her resume, the hard working, motivated, talented woman shown in the commercial wasn’t worth hiring? Wrong.

Good Employees are People, Not Paper.

The woman who works multiple jobs while going to school has ambition and commitment.


The man with scars, he has life experience and wisdom often beyond what can be learned from a book.

A degree does not think of ideas. A resume does not roll up its sleeves. That’s people, human resources. A good employee, a person can’t possibly be summed up with a few keywords on a CV.

Don’t Hire A Resume, Hire a Person.

I’ve got a degree, hell am an unfinished thesis shy of a masters.

What I don’t have: a traditional resume padded with a progression of fancy job titles and keywords that impress applicant tracking software.

What I do have: More than 30 years of various life and work experiences – (yes, I started working in my teens) – that have shaped me as a person and as a talented, versatile communications professional.

Almost every job, every profession requires education, training, experience – mine included.

That typed, the “degree + resume = good employee” formula is outdated thinking. Even more dangerous is the idea a computer can scan and filter for the best and brightest, limiting the talent HR even sees.

It’s time to empower Human Resources, recruiters, hiring managers to go past the degree, resume – look more at the person. After all the scarecrow had brains all along.

Beyond the resume: what do you think?

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