The Jigsaw Resume: Skills-Based Hiring on Paper

by admin on February 11, 2022 in Ask a Recruiter, Business Trends, Dallas IT Recruiting


As more companies see the benefit of acquiring scarce personnel based on their skills instead of academic credentials, hiring managers and AI resume screeners must alter their focus. Instead of a streamlined and fairly linear career path, recruiters are likely to see a “jigsaw career,” a phrase coined by Khyati Sundaram, CEO of Applied, and recently referenced in the TechRound article by Josephine Melvin, here.

The Jigsaw Career

Says Sundaram, “In 2021, the rise of flexible working and the ‘Great Resignation’ heated up the jobs market and forced employers to rethink how they attract and retain talent. Skills-based hiring grew in popularity, as employers came to realize how they could widen their talent pool and make better hires by hiring for specific skills, rather than focusing on CVs and previous employers.” Rethinking how to acquire new talent begins with seeing resumes in an entirely new light.

Job-Hopping? No, I’m Skill-Building

Sundaram continues, “Skills-based hiring will continue to crack open the jobs market this year – and will lead to a rise in people pursuing ‘jigsaw careers’. A jigsaw career is a career trajectory that might look ‘unconventional’ on paper – you might work at a tech startup, then at a corporate, then in music or the arts – but each of these roles will have equipped you with new skills that a skills-based hiring process values and validates.”

Fortune Favors the Flexible

Sundaram concludes, “Rather than penalizing candidates for working in a range of different roles or taking a career break (as CV screening tends to do), employers who recognize the value in a jigsaw career will use skills-based hiring to employ people because of what they can do – not where they’ve been. Our research at Applied shows that this not only boosts retention but also the diversity of hire.” Also, “The jigsaw career is a new way of thinking about where we work and why, giving workers greater freedom to choose jobs based on their skills and interests – rather than a stultifying cultural pressure to follow a ‘logical’ career trajectory.”

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