Share this Page URL

Chapter 21. Separating the Wheat from th... > The Resumé: Don't Be Misled - Pg. 274

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff 274 The applicant writes his or her resumé as a promotional piece telling you why he or she should be hired. It is not necessarily an objective recap of qualifications. Your job is to find among those glowing words, what the applicant has really done in his past jobs and schooling. Tips on Rapid Screening Team Builder Show some flexibility in your "knockout factors." Unless a specific degree is needed for legal or professional reasons, a person who lacks the degree but has extensive experience in a field may be better qualified than a person with a degree and less experience. You may receive hundreds of resumés in response to an ad. It can take hours and hours of your time to read them and make your preliminary judgments. You can save time and uncover hidden problems in the resumé by following these guidelines: · Establish some "knockout factors." These are job requirements that are absolutely essential to performing the job. They include necessary educational qualifications and/or licenses; for ex- ample, a degree in electronics, certification as a plumber, or a pilot's license. · Select key aspects of the job and screen for them. When you have many applicants for a position, you can narrow the field by looking for experience in those key aspects. · Look for gaps in dates. Some people who have had short duration jobs omit them from their resumés. Here's what they do: 1. Indicate just the years rather than month and year. (For example, 1996­1999 for one job and 1993­1996 for the previous job.) It may mean only a short period of unemployment between jobs, but it may also mean that a job held for several months between the listed jobs is not listed. 2. Listing the number of years worked instead of the dates. This may also be a cover-up for gaps in work history. It could also be a means of emphasizing older jobs when the more recent work experience is not relevant to the job being sought. For example, say the job sought is in market analysis. The applicant was a market analyst 10 years ago, but has been working in a different type position since. By placing the marketing experience first in the resumé and not specifying dates, the impression is that the marketing job was most recent. 3. Giving more space on the resumé to past positions. This may be due to the applicant using an old resumé and updating it instead of creating a new one--which could be a sign of laziness. Or it may just mean that the more recent jobs were of lesser pertinence than previous ones. 4. Overemphasis on education for experienced applicants. If a person is out of school five or more years, the resumé should primarily cover work experience. What was done in high school or college is secondary to what has been accomplished on the job. For such ap- plicants, information about education should be limited to degrees and specialized pro- grams completed. These are not necessarily knockout factors. They simply suggest further exploration in the interview.