Finding the Right Executive to Match Your Business Needs Part 4 – How to Screen a Resume
Matching Criteria to an Executive’s Background: The Resume. While the ways in which executives document their backgrounds are evolving, and some now include digital or even multimedia packages, LinkedIn profiles, bios, curriculum vitae, or websites, the most common document is still the resume.
And while this career summary format is as universal as it is ubiquitous, it remains the biggest challenge in matching what the company needs to hundreds of candidates who are available for review. The harsh reality is this: No matter how well packaged, how meticulously quantified, and how well it unearths a candidate’s true strengths, a resume is still only a starting point.
That’s because hiring is a future-looking endeavor, and a resume is a backward-looking document. Resumes are static and focus on experience and titles rather than necessary skill sets. Provided you are starting the hiring process with the right blueprint for what you need, the resumé can only ever reveal half of the story—the past. Getting a good picture of the future will take more than looking at a resumé.
With that strong caution in mind, here are some tips for initial resume screening, whether you are sifting through a stack of ten or a pile of 100.
A Resumé Is an Untold Story
Don’t use this as a full-job checklist; instead, use it as an initial filter.
Executives are always challenged regarding how to convey their entire career’s worth of accomplishments and experiences while still keeping it down to two to three pages (which is still the recommended length of a resumé).
Rather than using the resumé to go down your full checklist of requirements, try to review it at the fifty-thousand-foot level. What experience is among the most important (e.g., specific industries, company size, background, etc.)? If you need a part time VP of operations with supply chain experience in a $100 million publicly-traded company, you certainly can sift through anyone who has never worked in a company larger than $50 million, has only worked in software companies, or has worked most of his or her career in finance as a CPA or in an audit function. Could one of these individuals conceivably be a great fit anyway, despite an obvious mismatch? Possibly, but there are most likely better fits.
Come back tomorrow to read part 5. You can find part 3 here.