What a Resume Doesn’t Say

Posted by | September 05, 2013 | Uncategorized | One Comment

Personality goes a long wayVolano recently hired two software developers whom you’ll read about later this week. We are also hiring our first office admin person.  The process of finding and screening good candidates has been educational and cause for some reflection.  Finding people whose skills line up with the prerequisites of the job is one thing but identifying the intangibles is quite another.  You’re not only trying to find a good employee, you want to find one that will take the position and re-define the role, raise the expectation level and help elevate the culture and production around them.  No role is immune from these opportunities but a bad hiring decision can have the opposite effect on morale, production and culture.

I got to thinking of a few professional attributes that are harder to represent or quantify on a resume but have equal if not greater importance.

  • Agility.  Our clients do not all code in the same language and proficiencies.  Good developers are not simply masters of a skillset but students of technology.  How comfortable is a person with unfamiliar software languages and how capable are they of finding answers.
  • Affability.  I don’t care how good you are at any one thing, or many things.  If people don’t care for you, neither do I.  Great ideas and initiatives are left unrealized when buy-in was not sought or received by peers and direct reports.
  • Accountability.  Much time could be saved if the first page of a resume simply said “I say what I’m going to do and do what I say.”

Candidates that possess these skills empower employers to utilize them in multiple roles and capacities.  Subsequently, these types of employees make themselves hard to get rid of when budgets tighten up.  For employers, the key to unearthing these qualities in an interview is by asking for specific examples that demonstrate these attributes and by  checking references.  Good candidates have people who love to sing their praises.  Candidates should avoid clichés and platitudes.  Assume that every job candidate competing for that role will say they are a hard worker, fast learner and love working with people.  Specifics sell.  Chances are, you’ve got a lot of stories that exemplify these traits.

One Comment

  • Rob Larkin says:

    This is why a well crafted cover letter is so important. Employers see dozens of resumes with the same bullet points day after day. While a well structured and written resume is certainly a good thing to present with, your cover letter is your one opportunity to convey the essence of yourself to the folks who will be reviewing your resume.

    I recommend being very natural in your cover letter, as well as professional of course. If you convey yourself properly, the potential employer will really get a feel for who you are and what makes you tick. If you have the necessary experience and skill but don’t hear back, there’s a chance that they didn’t feel your personality would be a fit for their environment. This is a convenient way for them to filter out candidates, but also good for you; would you want to work at for a company where you don’t feel you can be yourself?

    In the end, the process is challenging for both employers and job seekers. Understand the difficulties employers face and do your best to address them in your cover letter and resume. If you meet the requirements for the position and have addressed all of their potential desires and concerns in your initial correspondence, odds are you’ll be at or near the top of the list for interviews.