Traditionally, job interviews have followed a show-and-tell format. Applicants tell about their skills and show interviewers their resumes. A more competitive job market is changing that interview dynamic. Today, job interviewers are demanding more show and less tell.

“Resumes are dead. Interviews are largely ineffectual. LinkedIn is good. Portfolios are useful,” writes Michael Schrage, a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business in his HBR.org blog. “But projects are the real future of hiring.”Job Interview

As pointed out on Inc.com’s The Build Network, rather than taking job applicants at their word, today’s employers are asking potential employees to demonstrate their skills and abilities, not merely hand over a resume. Project “tryouts” are becoming the norm. Job applicants are being asked to earn a job offer by joining a project team and performing some serious hands-on work for the company.

Before they even extend a job offer, corporations want to know whether job applicants can deliver what they promise. Working on a real-time company project allows employers to observe whether applicants can deliver value independently while gauging their fit with current staff  and company culture.

While some consider the practice “exploitive” and there’s been some understandable push-back from job applicants who chafe at being asked to give away top-quality work, the reality is that employers are in the driver’s seat right now and will remain in the driver’s seat until unemployment figures stabilize.

But the movement has merit even for potential employees as it gives them the opportunity to see whether they feel comfortable with the corporate culture and the people they would be working with and under. And a nicely accomplished project that earns your new employer’s praise is a great way to start a new job.

Even you are applying for a job with no project requirement, using Zoondy to build a project library that you can attach to your resume or hand to interviewers is more likely to get you an interview and a job than a couple of sheets of paper stapled together. Proof always speaks louder than promises.