I feel very confident that we are entering a post-resume economy. Most people in the hiring mechanism that I have met either view the resume as having very marginal utility, or think resumes are great and are perplexed as to why they keep having to fire bad workers. I don’t know what will replace the resume, but I do know that the current tactic of doubling-down on recruiters with gigantic databases ripped off from LinkedIn profiles isn’t cutting the mustard.
No, it’s not very equitable, but you have probably already noticed that life isn’t fair. I keep holding out hope that some enterprising individual will recognize the absurdity of the situation and destroy all competitors when he or she realizes there is a huge, untapped market of the women, minorities, and “seasoned” developers that Silicon Valley just won’t touch. Unfortunately, I’m too light on funding to be that person right now
The last 3 people I hired to do work, I never once looked at their resumes. One was a stranger on Freelancer.com, where I was essentially rolling the dice on certain prejudices of mine for a weekend chore of a project I didn’t want to do myself, and the other two were friends. And even that wasn’t perfect, the one friend did a sloppy job (I was quite happily surprised by the Freelancer.com person). Unfortunately, my budget got cut and I had to let them go. Fortunately, they weren’t full-time yet.
In my own career, I’ve gotten very few jobs from my own applications to the positions. The only jobs I’ve gotten where I didn’t already have some kind of acquaintance give a recommendation were setup by recruiters, and I eventually learned to hate those jobs. Perhaps there is something to be said about not being able to fulfill your hiring requirements through recommendations of your current employees being indicative of the quality of the company overall.
Even the one job I liked, that I thought I was going in completely blind on, turned out to have one of my college friends and project mates already working there. He had told my interviewer he knew me and I was the best coder he had ever met. I showed up 2 days later and ran into him in the hall.
So it seems the only way to get a job anymore is to build a network. Go hang out at meetups and conferences, and hang out with people at the bars afterwards (drink ginger ale if you have to). If you look more like Steve Wozniak, change up your wardrobe to look more like Paul Graham. You’d be really surprised how far a suit jacket will take you into the realm of “looks respectable, therefore is respectable”.
Get a reputation for being a helpful, friendly, delightful person, even if you’re just connecting two other people who can help each other and it doesn’t help you directly. Don’t be pushy, don’t hand out business cards unless you are clear they want to get into contact with you. Think of it a bit like dating: the desperate guy reeks.
And just keep an ear open. People love nothing more than talking about themselves and complaining about their problems. In very short order, you will meet someone who complains about a problem you can fix.
The third or tenth such person might actually even be able to pay you, too.
It’s not a great system, I admit. It sucks if you live in a small town. It sucks if you have a horrible facial disfiguration. Some of this stuff can be mitigated by “networking” online through subject-matter-enthusiast message boards . But it works better than submitting your resumes to places.
 but only some, you’re fighting an uphill battle with a bunch of slobs who could do more but won’t put on pants long enough to go get milk .
 I know this to be true because I’m one of them.