Resume Reconnaissance: What That Piece of Paper Is Trying to Tell You


HR professionals and hiring managers are often inundated and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of resumes they receive when searching for the perfect candidate to fill an important position within their company. After sifting through a pile of CVs to find the perfect blend of skills and background experience, assessing countless renditions of Professional Objectives and attempting to discern what intangibles a person might bring to the table, it can often be difficult to distinguish one professional from the next.

In our experience vetting thousands of candidates for C-level positions at top companies all over the world, we have found certain elements that are consistent across rewarding resumes, as well as clear red flags. Here are the resume components that spell success:

  1. A clear picture of the candidate. Does the resume you’re reading provide an articulate assessment of the candidate’s career trajectory? Does it demonstrate consistency, both in the candidate’s previous positions as well as their actions, i.e. being promoted within a company? A CV should convey a sense of compatibility and an adherence to a set of professional goals, even if the individual has followed an unconventional career path. 

  2. Facts over fluff. Can the candidate provide demonstrable numbers? “Brought in $3 milliion in new business” makes a much bigger impression than “People person with networking skills.”

  3. Endurance. While today’s job market is more transitory than before, it’s still crucial to look for longevity in a person’s professional past. If each of their previous positions lasted less than a year, it’s an indication that they have a tendency to leave before learning new skills or adding value for the employer. Loyalty still counts.

  4. Matchmaking. Does the candidate have the skills and expertise you’ve asked for in the job description or do you get the sense that they are sending resumes blindly? Just like in love, it helps to match profiles before meeting up in person.

  5. The value of outside experience. To really get a read on a potential employee, look for additional educational opportunities, volunteer work and other activities that further reveal and solidify their personality. 

A well-prepared resume should serve as an invitation to meet the candidate, however, it’s only the first step in the process. If you can pick up on nuances within those neatly formatted lines, you’ll have more success in setting up in-person interviews with candidates who will be a fortunate fit for your company and its culture and help you build your brand, further your efforts and meet your goals for the future. 

The recruitment specialists at 20/20 Foresight Executive Search have the advantage of also having worked in the fields we represent. These industry professionals inherently understand your company’s objectives and your hiring needs, allowing us to seek out candidates who have the background and skill set to succeed. In addition, our comprehensive vetting process, including in-depth aptitude and personality tests, builds a relationship and opens a continuous line of dialogue with qualified candidates, ensuring we only share with you the people who will not only have the most relevant expertise but will also be the most compatible fit for your team.

Find out how we can help you build your company to be its best by filling out the form at right or calling 708.246.2100.