Our routine, standardized template of a resume nowadays tell us next to nill about someone’s depth of character (or lack thereof), nor much at all with regards to who a person is on the inside.
On scanning the length of a resume, sure, you can discover where someone worked. The “impressive” titles they may have garnered while at that particular workplace. Some of the general items they might have completed, achieved or routinely been working on.
That is about it though.
We have become a society in which we look at titles, outward indicators of status, and items achieved as evidence for as someone deserving of a position (or, of being “good enough” for the role) as opposed to at their depth of character and potential, which is far more telling.
This is why, frequently, we are overseen by mediocre or even miserably awful managers.
It is why, often enough, someone is hired who seems “perfect” for the job, only to result in later down the road, our discovering they are a flop. (Because really, how much can the information we uncover within our limited methods of interviewing really tell us about someone?)
Resumes do not tell us much of anything in terms of true relevance about a person.Instead, they offer a limited laundry list of some things that person has done.
To truly gain an impression of someone, as well as, how well (or not) they might function and flourish in a particular role, one needs to know more depth to that person’s soul and being.
The questions we tend to ask in an interview, as well as what we list on our resumes, does not give us much with regards to that information.
A person has been a manager or CEO of such and such company. So what? Does this tell us if they are honest? Fair-minded and kind-hearted? Will they treat their colleagues with flexibility, openness, and as equal teammates? Or, will they treat their colleagues as less than? Will they be tyrannical? Unreasonable? A micro-manager and dictator type?
Someone who has only ever worked at “lowlier” type jobs, such as data entry, administrative assistant, and the like. We assume they are unlikely up to the task of anything more challenging. Yet, shocking as it may be for many to consider, it is not infrequent that the people who have occupied these roles may be far more intelligent, with more grit, heart, and talent, and with more top-notch character, than many of those who have been dubbed their superiors.
Instead, they, more often than not, haven’t been given the opportunities yet to prove this, because their “resume deems them unqualified.” So they remain relegated to and stuck within roles which keep them boxed in and functioning at far below their potential.
Hierarchies, promotions, and the like, are largely a result of politics, “playing the game”, and who you know. They are far less about true talent, personal potential, and strength of character than we like to hope.
A resume does not tell you whether someone is reliable. Nor does it tell you if they are brave.
A resume tells us nothing about if a person is emotionally mature. Nor does it tell us whether someone has spunk and innovative ideas.
A resume does not tell us someone’s inner values, nor of their innate talents, passions, and personal projects.
All of which are incredibly relevant to the character of a person, and all of which are quite informative as to both the type of worker someone will be, as well as, in what ways they might grow.
We hire people after looking at the statuses they have garnered, the “impressive” names of where they have worked, and the attention-grabbing titles they have attained. These reasons ignore and dismiss whole sweeps of significant information about a person, ones which can hint to us far more of their potential than the narrow, basic trajectory and information of a resume.
A resume is black and white, as well as largely one dimensional.Personal character is a kaleidoscope of nuances, temperaments, behaviors, and relevant information.Resumes reveal little to none of this.
We might better ask potential job applicants questions such as, of what are you most proud in your life to date?
What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
When was a time in which you stood for something you believed in when it was quite difficult emotionally to do so?
What lights your soul on fire?
What areas of personal growth and development most interest you?
Why does this particular position draw you?
In what ways do you feel you would both be challenged, as well as flourish and grow within this position?
What motivates and excites you?
What is an innovative idea you’ve had? (Whether it actualized or not is beside the point).
What is a project you worked on or an idea you brought to actualization within a previous role for which you feel accomplished and satisfied?
What is one of the kindest things you’ve ever done?
What do you believe makes up the facets of a great colleague?
What was a time when it was difficult for you to push forward or muster motivation at work on a particular project or within a certain aspect of your job? How did you get through it?
The list of potential questions can go on. However, we tend to ask narrow, limiting questions during interviews which do not tell us nearly enough relevant information about someone, as other questions might.
Want to avoid hiring that seemingly awesome person, who ends up being a dud behind closed doors down the road? Want to keep from working with people who are pot-stirrers, emotional vampires, drama or gossip queens, those who are unreliable and limp of heart, or who might be dishonest, manipulative, even cruel?
We should start better tailoring and guiding both the information offered on our resumes, as well as the questions we ask during interviews, in such a way that we learn more relevant and telling information about someone’s character, as opposed to their mundane and not very indicative laundry list of job titles.
Our current-day resume format tells us next to nothing of true relevance about a person. In shifting this template and in what ways we consider someone for a position, we would be far more likely to build more productive, emotionally happy, contented, and better functioning workplaces, thus increasing our likelihood toward choosing, more mindfully, the right people for the position the first time around.