Everybody places way too much emphasis on the resume. Everybody! Job seekers think that it is the ultimate ticket to a new job when it is really only a tool to get a foot in the door. On the receiving end, overly picky hiring managers have been known to disqualify candidates for perceived errors and overlook the fact that it is not a complete job history. How do these two opposing viewpoints get together other than just plain luck? First of all Job seekers need to think in terms of what they would want to see in a resume and ask themselves, “Would I hire me if this were the only thing I knew about me?” Those who screen, select and interview candidates need to be more forgiving with the formatting and content of a document that may only be the first resume written by a job seeker after years in one job… unless of course they are hiring resume writers. I am told that the resume is dead… that isn’t true but most of them smell that way. The process is so flawed that it is remarkable that anything ever gets done, but ultimately people make decisions and the resume is still the key to a new job. The personal choice to hire or be hired needs to find a common ground for a dialog and arrive at an agreed conclusion. Three articles from the archives discuss various aspects of resumes and are presented for information and comment.
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The Resume Black Hole – A black hole is a region in space from which nothing can escape. The Theory of Relativity predicts that this phenomenon exists when an extremely compact mass deforms the spacetime continuum so that its gravitational pull absorbs all the light that hits the horizon. It is “black” because it reflects nothing and appears to be a “hole” because nothing can be seen in its vastness… The analogous resume black hole is a derogatory term applied, sometimes quite deservedly, to an inefficient hiring organization. It – more –
Stretch Your Resume, Not the Truth – Answering the age old question about tailoring a resume to the job sounds good in theory until you try to do it. Obviously, hiring managers are looking for the right person for the job based on a variety of criteria and these change from company to company. Rather than be faced with an infinite number of varieties of job-matching resumes, most people will resort to the one-size-fits-all version. – more –
The New Resume Song: A Bridge Over Troubled Waters – Those of us who have been in recruiting longer than a few minutes may not have to squeeze our brains too hard to juice out the memories of a time when a gap in a resume was an anomaly. It could usually be interpreted to mean that there was a possible flaw in a candidate’s ability or character. Only once in my career did I get an explanation from a candidate that involved lessons learned from time spent in jail, but we treated all gaps as if we were uncovering the true story of Lizzie Borden. – more –