The hiring process in the corporate setting can be tough. Interviews and resumes pile up and you rely on your gut as much as feedback from colleagues or HR. Now, as a business owner, it’s ONLY about relying on your gut. You not only have the sole hiring decision but you also are going to be the sole recipient of the success or failure as influenced by your new employee.
How do you know who to hire? Will their past successes translate into future success at your business? Should you trust the interview more than the resume?
The truth is resumes are sales copy for a service (an individual’s time and talent). Like all sales copy, there is a certain amount of spin that you should expect. That doesn’t make them useless documents, but it does mean that you should approach them with a grain of salt.
Watch for these warning signs on a resume:
- Time differences between jobs. If there is a long time between jobs, it could mean a number of things and may be appropriate to ask about in the interview. It could simply be a matter of the person choosing to stay home to raise their children, but it could instead be a matter of “unemployability” for some reason. Perhaps they lacked the marketable skills necessary. If it happened quite a while ago then it’s not an issue. If their last job was a long time ago, you may want to ask them about it.
- Many jobs in a short time. This could indicate a restlessness issue: They simply become dissatisfied with the job after a short time and move on. This person may cost you a lot of money if you employ them because you’ll train them and it seems likely that they will move on after a short time.
- Major changes in industry and career track. It’s one thing to switch industries but stay within the same career track. Or, to stay in the same industry and switch career track. However, if they made an industry AND career track change, you may want to ask them about it. A salesperson, for example, may do well as a salesperson in the automotive industry then as a salesperson in the dental equipment industry. However, if they start out as an automotive salesperson and end up as a dentist, that could be a red flag that they are “looking for their purpose in life.”
- Career “stability.” Contrary to popular belief, someone who has had only one job is not necessarily someone with career stability. It’s quite possible that they are career stagnant. Unless their resume shows a series of promotions or increases in responsibility and rewards, having the same job for many years (especially in this day and age) could be a warning sign.
- Resume Padding. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are making up occupations (although it could mean that); it could be a matter of overstating exactly what they did on a particular job. If something seems spectacular and you think you’re staring at the resume of the next business guru, ask them about details during the interview. Find out just how integral they were to exponential growth and profitability in their department.Resumes should not be used as the sole deciding factor of someone’s employability. They should be used first to decide who needs to be called for an interview and second as a springboard in the interview for in-depth questioning. You can view resume templates online to help you create one that works for you.