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5 Instances When the Resume Can Still Help in the Hiring Process

May 22, 2014

 “Send me your resume and I will take a look at it.” A phrase that would seem to date back to before paper was first created. One could imagine the Egyptians chiseling their qualifications into stone to see who will be the next chef for the Pharaoh, trying ever so hard not to make a mistake so that he does not have to re-sharpen his chisel!  Resumes seem relatively archaic with the technology that is at our disposal in today’s world. Especially, with the increased use of social media, we have more information at our finger tips about a senior from X University than JFK had for the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Researchers will say that a resume review is one of the worst predictors of future success behind letters of recommendation. If this is the case why would companies continue to collect them and use them in the hiring process? Since I cannot answer that question, I will answer the question of when do they actually matter



Here are 5 examples of when the information

you find on a candidate’s resume are instant red flags: 

1) They provided information about the degree they received from X University and X University has never heard of them.  Let’s be honest, a candidate may get away with this one, but if you do your due diligence and find out they did not attend the mentioned university, please see their resume to the trash.

2) Under the objective statement it reads: I want a job. Companies don’t want people who want jobs anymore; they want people who want careers. Yep, even the local fast food chain is thinking about their next manager when they are hiring their grease boy.

3) Work Experience: N/A.  Nothing? The candidate has nothing? Unless the job does not require a resume, which many do not, the candidate is going to have a hard time selling their skills.

4) The resume has more typos than a 5th graders first book report.  Sure. Typos can happen to n e one – but if a candidate can’t get it write on there resume, it can be a read flag. (see what I did there)

5) If it was illegal, immoral, or just plain stupid, make sure it is not on the resume.  No explanation needed.

That perfectly crafted resume (with 70% embellished information) may not give you all the information to find the perfect candidate, but without a doubt, a poorly crafted one can show hiring managers red flags about candidates before they take the next step in the hiring process.

Don’t rely on a perfectly scripted piece of paper to determine who to hire. Instead, follow industry best practices through the use of objective selection assessments, structured interviews, and defined criteria to help you understand what competencies are necessary for the role and who in your applicant pool has those competencies.


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Steven Jarrett, Ph.D. Steven Jarrett, Ph.D. is a Senior Consultant at PSI. He has extensive experience developing, implementing, and validating legally defensible selection solutions for organizations. Steven has worked in a variety of industries including manufacturing, retail, healthcare and education.