Stop Overanalyzing Resumes!

Do you work with a hiring manager who is guilty of overanalyzing resumes? If you’ve been in recruiting for more than a minute, you know the manager I’m talking about. This is the person who has never misspelled anything, never left a word out of a sentence and is remarkably able to pick out the slightest change in font or font size. What is imperceptible to the rest of the world is glaringly obvious to this person.

I get it, there is great value in knowing that the person you’re hiring to do code review is also proofing their own resume. It is important to pay close attention to detail, especially when you’re putting your resume out there for public scrutiny. I completely understand. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect and neither are our candidates. Top notch candidates are generally working at least 40 hours a week and, hopefully, have a few other things going on in their lives that demand their attention.

So, when a recruiter calls them up and says, “Hey, I noticed your profile and I’ve got this great opportunity for you with this amazing company”, don’t be surprised if they only give their resume a quick scan before sending it over. Once that resume is in the hands of the recruiter, he or she is so thrilled that they found this amazing person from this great company with 80% of the desired skills in a VERY tight market. I promise, that recruiter is only going to do a quick scan on the resume too.

It is not until the resume for this amazing candidate lands in Mr. or Ms. Perfect’s hands that the whole process comes to a screeching halt. As that manager picks through font size and the spelling error the joy dissipates from the room and they alienate the recruiter who has just worked hours to provide them with that one, albeit imperfect, resume.

The resume does not make the candidate. Experience and their ability to contribute to your organization makes the candidate. Take that imperfect resume, pick up the phone and talk to the person on the other end. Learn about their experience, the challenges they’re looking for, the problems they’re itching to solve and their ability to make a difference in your organization.

If the conversation goes well, I understand if you don’t hire this person as your in-house resume writer. Hire them as your information security systems analyst or your CISO and tell them that they need to be accountable for proofreading and pulling in a second pair of eyes on their next RFP or Executive Board presentation. Just please, please, please stop overanalyzing resumes. Gather what you can from a two page document covering a strong career and get to know the talent behind the paper. You just might be surprised if you do!