Never Fall in Love with a Resume!
After completing my basic research, I began placing scores of phone calls to potential candidates. After about 2 weeks, I uncovered someone I really liked for the position! Naturally, I was quite excited to present the resume to my boss, who would then “undoubtedly” present the candidate to the client.
Actually the resume couldn’t have been better. The person’s experience was perfect, the seniority level was perfect, the salary expectations were in line, and the prospective candidate lived 40 minutes from our client’s offices.
I was completely jazzed …It looked like I was going to make my first “placement,”! And, earn the small bonus that was associated with being on the team that “closed the deal”.
After reading the resume very carefully my boss looked over the reading glasses that were perched at the tip of his nose and asked me five questions:
- Is the person smart? And if so, why did I think so … specifically?
- Is his thinking innovative?
- Are his ideas relevant to the stated goals of the position as well as the long-range vision of the client?
- Does he have the skills to grow beyond the immediate position at hand?
- Does his professional style resonate with the management style of the client?
These were five tough questions… and he knew that I didn’t have the answers!
Due to my inexperience, I had fallen in love with the resume and it clouded my judgment when it came to determining the factors that were really important to the interview and candidate evaluation process.
Ultimately this candidate did not get presented to the client. As my boss had suspected, this person had the right resume for the position…but he was the wrong person for the client firm.
Over the next week or so, I surfaced a candidate with a “somewhat bland” background “on paper” but who had an amazing capacity to think conceptually, as well as an ability to bring a level of wisdom and innovation to the client. She not only got presented to our client, but she got the job!
Eventually, this gifted person became the COO of the company, which as it turns out went public! Over the years she gave me quite a few assignments and I was able to help grow her team.
Thanks to my former boss challenging me that day, I always remind myself never to fall in love with a resume.
Today, my colleagues and I frequently spend time coaching hiring managers who have challenges “getting past the resume.” As one manager who we deal with recently confessed; “When I like the way a person looks on paper, I tend make up my mind about them before they even walk into my office … Half the time I just see the interview as a mere formality!”
This is the kind of serious unforced error that gets a manager’s nose bloody and leads to a poor reputation with his/her senior management team. I have seen many promotions lost because of a manager’s hiring mistakes.
If you send me a request, I will send you our new e-booklet: The CMO’s Guide to Hiring Marketing Stars.
To receive the booklet, mail to: Dennis@TroyanosGroup.com
Include “The CMO Guide” in the subject line please.