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Thursday, July 26, 2007
Include Me – Please!

Eagle Scout – 1973

Mensa Member

Science Club President – Smithville High School

Marathon Runner

Elder – Christ Episcopal Church

What do all these items have in common? They are all irrelevant to the ability of the job seeker to do the job. What else do they have in common? They are all items that might result in the exclusion of the candidate from consideration for an interview! Time and again, I see these type facts included on executive resumes and I always have a “DOH!” moment.

Job seekers writing their own resumes routinely include information in their resumes that has no bearing on their ability to do the job and could actually result in their being excluded from consideration. The gatekeeper in a hiring situation is facing a “stack” (albeit electronically) of resumes often topping 600 for a single online job posting. The first task at hand is to eliminate as many as possible. Most job seekers write their resumes with an eye toward inclusion when that is actually not the gatekeepers primary task.

You might say, “Well, Eagle Scout is a big accomplishment!” Yes it is – for a seventeen year old but it has no bearing on how a 40+ executive will perform as CEO. “But being a Mensa member is pretty exclusive!” you say? Also true, but Mensa has a popular reputation as being a group of individualists rather than team players (I’m not saying that reputation is accurate). “Science Club President shows ability to lead!” Really? Or was it a high school popularity contest? “Marathon runner shows you are in good health!” It also shows you will not be available a good many weekends of the year if travel or overtime is needed. “Elder shows gravitas and high ethics.” Goodness, how I wish that was still true in our society but sometimes elders of churches have proven to be the most twisted and criminal individuals in our midst; elder does not hold that pedestal place any longer.

Do you see where I am going with this? Job seekers use all sorts of arguments to justify the information they include on the resume but often the information included will just result in the EXCLUSION of the resume from consideration! We always try to look at information from the readers’ points of view and eliminate any exclusionary or “red flag” information from the resume. Sometimes that means we have to do some education of our clients about what is important and what is not. Clients sometimes have a hard time letting go of things because they are so emotionally attached.

You stay seated firmly in your job seeker’s chair and let us sit in the chair of the reader or hiring manager. We know what is important, what needs to be brought forth, and what needs to be left out to make sure you are NOT excluded from consideration from the very beginning!


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