What Resumes Don’t Tell You

All of us depend on resumes to land better-paying jobs. It’s amazed me how resume searches have become central to the job market. There is a danger to them though. A person can look outstanding on paper but be a horrible match for a company. I’ve seen this happen more than once. As a society, we have become dependent on resumes to help us find the best employees possible. But have we ever considered what the resumes don’t tell us?

I’ll give you a prime example. A resume can not inform you of how a person deals with difficult decisions. It can’t give you a lens into their demeanor. It can list the qualities that a person has and their credentials. It can’t show what that person learned along the way. When you meet with potential candidates, you get to form a first impression. There are people who are wizards at making fantastic first impressions but may not be a good fit for the job at hand. I’ve watched multiple companies hire a person that put on a wonderful façade but when expected to do the job didn’t last long. Why? Because they made the potential employer believe what they wanted them to believe. Jobs have become so reliant on technology that people are not called back because they don’t impress.

Resumes are not going to tell you about what a person believes. No, I’m not referring to religion. Are they a person who believes in working hard or hardly working? Are they a person who expects handouts or someone who believes that knowledge is the key to power? Do they believe in treating others with kindness and a team effort or are they vain and arrogant? Do they exhibit the kind of behavior that you want your company to be represented with? Do they get to work on time? Do they steal time or supplies? What type of ethics or morals do they possess if any? I’ve seen people who dressed in Goth clothing be perfect for jobs in the corporate world. The point I’m making is that a piece of paper should not be judged based on paper. Impressions can be misleading. Some of the most qualified people I know don’t look like the typical employee. They are free-spirited, unique, and unafraid to speak their mind and lead positions with integrity. You wouldn’t know it to look at them. If you go off the old school mentality, all you would see is the tattoos and piercings. In today’s world, those things shouldn’t matter.

Resumes are guides that give you a very general introduction. A person can utilize a resume to make them sound wonderful or someone who won’t be given the time of day. It’s been my experience over the years that resumes are only glanced over for seconds and not given much thought. The thoughts that are learned though, are reflected only through interviews and the hiring process. It truly is dependent on multiple factors if someone is the right fit for you or not. Resumes have to be updated weekly. We all acquire and lose skills. Resumes can only reflect a tiny fraction of our knowledge.

Can a resume tell you if a person truly loves what they have been doing? No. It can tell you how long a person has been in that line of work though. Can it tell you if a person will be willing to stay with a company? No. It can tell you how long a person has worked for various companies. I will never forget interviewing with a man who said what bothered him was how many companies I had worked for. Keep in mind that I worked at a temporary agency for several years and worked until each of my contracts ran out. This was during a time that jobs had been cut and finding employment was extremely difficult. Resumes only tell you a few portions of a person’s story. You have no inclination of what a person has been through or what led them to reach out for a potential job.

It’s important to keep submitting those resumes only because it is the main entryway to various positions in life. But I love how the video resumes are gaining traction. It lets the employer see the type of individual that is applying. No. I’m not saying label potential employees. But personality and charisma are part of the puzzle. When you do a video resume, not only do you have the ability to vocalize why you are applying for the job, but what you bring to it. You bring awareness through your personality. Some are doing podcast resumes as well. No matter what you choose to present, resumes should never be the deciding factor in any job. A person may be perfect on paper but failing at the opportunity presented before them. Sometimes we all take jobs just to pay the bills. Sometimes we are blest to find jobs we love while other times we go through the motions. Don’t settle. Figure out what you want to do and where you might fit in best. Make the connections in those worlds. Let it be known where you want to be during a certain timeframe in your life and don’t stick to just one thing. This world is constantly evolving. Resumes can’t keep up with the demands of people. Your life isn’t just words on paper. It’s about who you touch along the way. Who inspires you to do more? If you don’t hear back from companies about your resume, it might behoove you to follow up. Remember, what’s on your resume doesn’t define you. You are defined by your actions and how you treat others.

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