What a resume’ won’t tell you

I’ve been disappointed more than once. Resumes that looked good failed to guarantee a successful new hire. I have hired a couple of people whose resumes included very high-end work for some exclusive clients. Within two weeks of working in my shop I could see they were not going to work out. Back when I managed a medium-sized office, I experienced the same – people who, on paper, were eminently qualified possessing years of education and experience. But in real life, in the setting I had for them, they were either immediate or ultimate failures.

Here are 6 things a resume won’t tell you.

  1. A resume’ won’t tell you if someone can turn out work that meets your standards. You are responsible to produce something – widgets, dinners, contracts, a house, something. That “something” you are responsible to produce must meet some standard. The first question to be answered on the job is whethter that person who looks so good on a resume can actually turn out the work.
  2. A resume’ won’t tell you if someone can turn out work that meets your standards in a timely manner. Maybe that new hire can do work that passes muster, but can they complete it in time to meet deadlines, under the time you’ve alloted so that profit margins are maintained? Whether your area of responsibility is a shop, a service business, and office, or retail, you face the time vs income matrix. You have to produce enough work in a fixed period of time to satisfy overhead demands and produce a profit. If that new hire is too slow or too unproductive, you, yes you, suffer. That new hire will get his or her salary or wages, you won’t.
  3. A resume won’t tell you if he has personal issues that will compromise his work. You won’t know from that piece of paper whether he has health problems, substance abuse issues, or the deepest secret of all – family or relationship issues that will cloud their thinking, complicate their motives, and compromise their attention.
  4. A resume won’t tell you if the person has personality issues that will frustrate the smooth flow of work in your workplace. I remember one applicant had a great resume and he interviewed well even if he came across a little pushy. When I checked with others about him I found out he would stir up an entire workforce in matter of hours, so toxic was his personality. Other than a record of many job changes, a resume’ won’t tell you that.
  5. A resume’ won’t tell you if the person can actually make you money.Unless you are in charge of a rehabilitation unit and are checking resume’s for new patients, you have to hire people who will make you money. After all that is the reason you are in business right? To make money?
  6. A resume’ won’t tell you if the person is a problem solver or a problem maker. I tell everyone who applies for work, I can make all the problems I need by myself, I do not need to hire people to make them for me.

Collect resume’s, but do not let them cloud your own judgment. Look deeper. Ask pointed and particular questions. See my next posting for suggested questions.

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