Putting a value on a resume…

Anyone involved in recruitment, hiring of staff and employment matters generally, understands the work that goes into sourcing, shortlisting and recruiting candidates for a particular position. Drafting job specifications, preparing job ads, reviewing applications, screening candidates, setting up interview times/dates, checking references and for a recruiter, briefing the candidate for his first meeting with a potential employer.

All this is a time-consuming but essential process and more so when often dealing with different time zones, geographical and technological barriers (including bad internet or mobile connections), sometimes different native languages and so on.

However, once you have arrived at that stage you are already past the most difficult part of the recruitment process, the review of applications. Sifting through the good, bad and very bad resumes that are submitted is a tedious and frustrating process. Add to this the resumes that have no relevance to the advertised jobs or the profile mentioned on the advertisement and you are set up for a day of torment – or as we recruiters call it, Monday!

It is of course in some ways unfortunate that in the era of political correctness and anti-discrimination, many of the requirements of an employer cannot be mentioned in a job advert.  Generic adverts have thus become the norm, even if the person screening applications knows full-well that all kinds of candidates may not be considered for various reasons (marital status, number of dependents, nationality, age, current location, past employer reputation etc) – some logical and reasonable, some not so…

Age and ageism is always an interesting topic. Ageism exists throughout society so no surprise it is commonplace in hospitality. Not considering a candidate simply because they are at an age where society considers they should be on the golf course and not part of the work force is harsh on those who choose to continue to work and still may have much to contribute. Those applications that do not indicate the candidate age (either specifically or indicatively) are routinely overlooked. That said, there are many countries where age limits for eligibility of a work permit are set at quite a young age, notably in Asia and the Middle East where we have many clients.

Nowadays even restrictions of nationality additionally apply in some countries, again the Middle East comes to mind…

So, how do you put a value on a resume? where do you start to favour one over another? What are the positives to look for amongst everything else?

Much of the process for many employers begins and ends with risk aversion. Minimising pitfalls and problems when considering potential candidates is often the overriding motivation, rather than finding the best candidate.

Let’s start with the employment record. Employers generally don’t like ‘job hoppers’ – those that have a new job every 6 to 12 months. Candidates may pledge that they have changed or were the victim of unique circumstances, but not many good employers will take a chance with a candidate that has a history of regularly changing jobs.

Continuity/solid track record gets 10 points.

Past employers. The quality of past employers is another resume value that makes a recruiter look twice. Reputable employers on a resume are always a draw-card. “If they were good enough for ‘so & so’ then they will be great for us” is the rather simplistic, but regularly heard, mantra. “We only consider candidates that have worked for x or y” is another…

10 points for good, solid, reputable, quality employers

Level of education. For many employers the level of education is vital (particularly in some cultures and countries) but increasingly, academic qualifications alone don’t make the cut.  These need to be supported by solid practical work experience, in particular in the culinary fields, where an Executive Chef not only has to cook well but also be able to lead, manage and communicate at all levels, sometime with a large team. We still see many Chefs that are formidable cooks but have a hard time managing a kitchen, because their focus is on creating beautiful plates rather than harmonious, productive and efficient workplaces.

5 points for a good education, and an additional 5 point when supported by practical experience.

Demonstrated leadership & management experience. Today’s Hospitality Manager needs to be a savvy business person with exceptional leadership qualities. Managing physical and human resource assets has become a big part of many management roles and takes time to learn.

We see many people in a rush to get to the top, thinking they can take shortcuts by frequently changing employers and whilst the days of growing through the ranks from dishwasher to GM with one company have largely gone, they still need to take time to grow with a professional company who will invest in them and their development. They quickly learn of the chasm between the good and not so good employers.

10 points for demonstrated experience with a reputable company.

Low scoring points on resumes are all rather obvious and have been covered previously (see our articles Dear Applicant and Do you have a Rubbish Resume for further discussion) but include:- ‘stretching the truth’ to blatantly lying, when referring to dates of employment, education, levels of achievement, and personal background/information – here a special mention to those people who ‘forgot’ that they had children when submitting a resume for a position only suitable for someone single (or traveling single) such as in a remote resort. Potential candidates at all levels need to understand that background checking and referencing is probably easier than ever before due to the internet, so lies, inaccuracies and mistruth have a high likelihood of being discovered.

To all I say, settle down and get your resume in order, take career decisions with a long-term view and let the truth prevail. Do this and your career will look after itself!

About the author

rsz_karl_faux_ccKarl Faux is a veteran Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm.
For more information about Karl and Elite Search visit http://www.elitesearch.com.au and The Elite Hotelier http://www.elitehotelier.net

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