Going Beyond the Resume

For many jobs today, because unemployment is still high, employers are being inundated with resumes when they advertise for a job opening. As a result, employers are becoming very particular about the qualifications they will accept for a job. In other words, they want the perfect job candidate, the person whose credentials seamlessly match the job requirements.

Businesses are looking for the perfect resume – too perfect, in fact. They think the best person for the job is the applicant with the 3.9 grade point average from some elite school. But they are finding that a high GPA doesn’t always translate into stellar job performance.

In looking for the perfect resume, businesses are unintentionally weeding out the more freewheeling types, the people who may not have had the best grades, but aren’t afraid to take chances.

Companies need to change their mindset, to take a harder look at people who have “jagged resumes,” ones that show successes and failures, because the failures might be evidence of risk taking, of people trying to transcend themselves. Steve Jobs was one such person – he never finished college.

On the face of it, it may look unnecessarily risky to consider such candidates, but if done properly, businesses can find good people. To be effective, companies first have to determine what kind of character traits they are looking for, the ones that are indicators of future success. For example, Teach for America looks for perseverance. Linear Technology looks for the kind of people who like to tinker, and have been doing it since they were children. Resilience, efficiency, curiosity, and self-reliance might be other traits that are important. Often, it’s not what you see on the resume, but the person’s character that makes the difference.

Also companies should determine what shortcomings are acceptable. For example, work histories that show that the person jumped around a lot may not really matter all that much. A little eccentricity or mediocre grades also may not be a problem, whereas ethical flaws, or lack of motivation may be dealbreakers.

Because of the turbulent economy, more people than ever have these jagged resumes, For some people, that might mean instant disqualification, but for others who are willing to look harder and more perceptively, they may be real opportunities.

When your company needs temporary, temporary-to-hire or direct-hire workers in the Anchorage area, send a message to the Opti Staffing Group. We would love to discuss how we can help your company with its contingent staffing needs.

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