Revealing Resumes

We run a systematic hiring process for sales positions.  We have refined the process over the past 14 years and have it optimized (even though when we started we were writing newspaper employment ads!).  As part of any hiring process, you have to receive resumes of respondents to the ad.  This is where things are changing.

A new trend I am seeing is resumes with copy and paste information from job descriptions, websites, etc.  What I mean is candidates do not take the time to write about their skills and experience in their current or previous roles.  They simply use web/marketing copy that they paste into their resume.  I have also seen many resumes with the job description information pasted into their experience.

For example:

“You will call on mid-market companies to sell our cloud-based service.”

That is someone’s experience for their current job.  Amazing.  What is worse is that this position is selling marketing services.

I like to remind hiring managers that this is the best the candidate has to offer.  The interview process should reveal the best of what they have to offer, from writing to phone discussions to follow-up.  If their best in this phase isn’t good enough for the role, do not expect improvement if you add them to your sales team.

Overused Adjective

I am spending an inordinate amount of time reviewing resumes and one particular word keeps appearing throughout many of the resumes.  The word is…

proven

Perhaps the most insipid phrase is this – “proven track record.”

Every time I see this phrase I immediately want the candidate to prove it.  In most instances, the quoted achievement would be difficult to prove to an outsider.  That fact makes this throw-away phrase easy to included.  My personal take is to have the candidates simply state their record in numbers.

The Value Of An Updated Resume

I am stuck in an ongoing cycle of sourcing.  Just when I am about to be worn down, I come across a resume that lists the candidate’s technical skills.  The first thing listed:

-MS Windows 98

Seriously…Win98?  My guess (hope) is that the candidate simply has overlooked that part of his resume for years.  That is about the only explanation because I certainly hope he isn’t touting his technical proficiency with an operating system from 13-14 years ago.

Of Scary Fonts

Just reviewed a resume written entirely in Comic Sans font.  Scary.

Resume Writing

I am filtering through many resumes right now and having a wonderful time examining some of the unique stylings of candidates.  Some flavor:

-One candidate listed his core competencies…TWENTY FOUR of them

-Another stated this, “Subject Matter Expert in dilemma analysis.”

-Another misspelled his name – his name

Never ceases to amaze me when sourcing.

Most Overused Word

My vote for the most overused word in resumes:

Dynamic

It has become cliché in my eyes.

Bad Wording

The opening line of a candidate’s experience as he listed on his resume:

Hired by company to penetrate virgin markets…

Honestly, this is a candidate for a high-level sales position.  He doesn’t have enough sense to change that sentence?

Higher Education

Honestly read this under the "Education” section of a resume:

Completed Kindergarten on through 12th grade

I think that is rather funny.  I guess the old axiom that the longest journey starts with the first step is true.  Education starts with successfully completing kindergarten.

Sourcing Stories

I have been swamped with sourcing activities over the past couple weeks as we work on multiple projects.  I am definitely seeing an upclick in hiring activities which is normally preceded by increases in our assessment work.  We have seen a tremendous increase in assessments so I take that as a good sign.

So a quick sourcing story for you – I’m on the phone with a gentleman and we are deep into the phone interview.  He interrupts me to say he needs to step away as his 5 year-old son has gone to the bathroom and the candidate needs to go “wipe his butt.”  He proceeds to set the phone on the counter and I hear the entire conversation regarding the success of the young boy’s bowel movement.

The candidate returns to the phone and proceeds to describe to me the enormity of his son’s…bowel movement.  Unbelievable.  It was all I had not to laugh on the phone.

Spelling Does NOT Matter

Here is a new title from a sales employment ad:

Accont Exceutive

Honestly, if I could spike my coffee right now I would.  Whatever price this medical company paid for the ad has been wasted before a single click.