casual business guy

Five recruiting rules you should break

Carmine Palazzo|

Ok, so maybe you don’t want to necessarily break these rules, but you might want to consider taking a more balanced approach when considering the merits of a resume.

Whether you are recruiting for that high-level executive, or looking to fill an entry-level position, your purpose remains the same: to find the candidate who is best suited for the role. I’ve always found it to be a little curious that organizations large and small would pass over a resume with nary a glance simply because their candidate has committed some perceived resume faux pas.

1.  A good resume does not have to be contained to 1 or 2 pages. Keep in mind who it is that you are looking for. If you are looking for that high-level executive who brings over a decade of experience as a senior manager within a large multi-national corporation, ask yourself: “Do these two pages sufficiently illustrate what it is that this person brings to the table?” Probably not.

2.  Don’t sweat the small stuff. We all know that a resume should be thoroughly proof-read and spell checked, and even the smallest error (when you have only a few moments to make a good impression) can be devastating. But it is important to remember that language is always evolving, and sometimes much quicker then we realize. Case in point, my word processor keeps telling me that my iPhone is, in fact, not a real word. Don’t be held captive to the red squiggles; you may be missing out on that candidate who is ahead of the curve.

3.  Gaps in employment history will cost you the interview. Any significant gap in employment should certainly raise some flags, but again, use that balanced approach. If the candidate looks strong, but has a six-month gap from two years ago, it might be worth looking a little further before you take a pass. There are positive reasons that people take time off: maternity leave, education, etc. Also, let us not forget the economic melt-down from a few years back where hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost in Canada alone.

4.  Resumes must include an Objective statement. Really? I’m pretty certain that that was covered at some point during the Cover Letter. Besides, these statements are usually so heavily laden with buzz words that any intended meaning is lost.

5.  Resumes need to follow a standard format. This one always gave me a chuckle. The greatest hurdle for any job seeker is to have their resume stand out from the crowd. What better way to make this happen then to have your resume look the same as all the rest? Allow for creativity and individuality (within the spectrum of balance of course). Whatever you do, do not pass on a resume simply because it is composed using an 11-point Calibri font as opposed to a 12-point Times New Roman font. Ask yourself if the resume is professional considering the specific job you are recruiting for. I’m not suggesting that you remove all measures of quality from your screening process, but rather, take that balanced approach. You just might find that next superstar, even if the font was a point smaller then you would have liked.

____________ Carmine Palazzo is a Technical Recruiter with Procom Consultants Group, a leading IT Staffing Services provider. If you are looking to take the next step in your career, contact Carmine at or follow him on twitter @CarminePalazzo



Category: Hiring Advice, Recruitment Challenges,