5 Things to Look for When Reading a Resume

We live in a day and age when many candidates have access to professional resume writers. I have referred business to an extremely talented one here in Louisville. She is talented with high integrity. Unfortunately many candidates blend a mixture of fact with fiction when writing their resume. And then when handed off to a professional resume writer the proverbial sows ear becomes a gorgeous silk purse!

When reading a resume pay close attention to these 5 things and you are less likely to get fooled.

1) Don’t make too big a deal over titles like “President” or “Director of Sales.” The company they lead as president may only have existed in their mom’s basement. Probe for information. Don’t assume a big title is a big role.

2) Watch for jumps in title. Pay close attention when a candidate has several years in inside sales or customer service but then changes companies and gets a much bigger title. It is possible that they stepped down to a much smaller company and now work for a family friend or fraternity brother. Drill down on big jumps in title to insure that big jumps in role correspond to big jumps in authority. You know what happens when you assume, right?

3) In sales and operational leadership roles look for lots of numbers to reflect their impact on revenue, gross profit, or increases in market share. Never hire in sales person or manager without lots of numbers on the resume.

4) In a manager role look for progression of roles. The ideal candidate has a resume that shows he or she learns, masters new roles, and is promoted as recognition by their employer for having done so. A natural progression may be from warehouse worker to forklift driver to assistant warehouse manager to warehouse manager. If all achieved with the same company it’s even better.

5) Don’t let design and order fool you. Yes, a resume should be easy to read but discipline yourself to look for content. Better a weak resume and an awesome candidate than a poor candidate hidden because of the $250 they had to spend on a professional resume.

Remember resume reading and evaluation is only one small but important part of the selection process. Always double check facts! Look for the lipstick that someone may have professionally placed on the pig. He may look good but you don’t want to kiss him. Yes, I am a skeptic. My focus has always been on facts over form. Unfortunately, from time to time my clients may reject a solid candidate because their resume doesn’t meet their appearance standards! The right way to read a resume is with a healthy skepticism knowing that what you see may not be what you get.