Yes, of course. Hopefully, the statistics are very clear about this if a manager is reading a resume, when I read resumes when I was doing recruiting, the statistics are that it takes six seconds or less to decide on that resume. Why?
Because most resumes are spam. Most resumes don’t reflect the experience that a manager is looking for when trying to hire someone. Most resumes, almost all resumes do not in any way shape, or form fit the requirements as specified for the position. Why wouldn’t we make quick decisions?
Do you think a manager is supposed to call you up and say, “Hey, I see you’re a Purdue chicken plucker? Tell me about your experience with Java.” I had that complaint one time. That’s exactly what the person complained about. They forwarded a resume for a Java developer position and they were a Purdue chicken plucker. The word Java did not appear on their resume and they were angry. So, for me, reviewing resumes, I see no reason to not make a decision quickly if the person hasn’t taken the time to invest in making the fit apparent.
People skim resumes. I say “skim” because no one is sitting there reading every word. We’re looking for particular things.
The next thing is at an interview, this becomes more complicated because we’re dealing with the emotion of appearance. So it can be in the voice, for example, if you’re doing a phone interview. It can be the actual appearance if we do an in-person interview because bias comes through. So I don’t deny bias.
I recognize that a lot of people act in biased ways when they evaluate and assess. They see a long name that has lots of vowels and they think the person has an accent. They don’t like accents because they don’t think the user will be able to understand. They don’t like the general appearance and, like a parent with a young child, the young child reflects upon the parent, they act as though the appearance of the individual is going to hurt them. They aren’t right. As a matter of fact, they’re completely wrong but this is the behavior and often people make decisions.
Then, from there, they look to confirm it in the course of their questioning. It is very hard to change the first impression. I want to repeat that. It’s very hard to change the first impression. And it’s possible to do it. But, yes, hiring managers make quick decisions throughout the process.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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