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Please read between the lines———————-

Reading and interpreting  resumes requires skill!

Job vacancies within small business are often filled via Word of Mouth, but sometimes, applicants send their resumes and/or leave them at the front counter.  Regardless of the method you use for recruiting and sourcing staff, its’vitally important that you can interpret and read between the lines in any resume.

The undersell

Often a resume skims the surface by just listing the name of the company that they worked for, and the job title.. and …..very little else.   The logical interpretation could be:-

a) the writer is shy and cant blow their own trumpet or

b) the applicant is unable to expand on their experiences and skills. Either way, it’s up to you to decide if where they worked and the role they performed is worth a second look…

It’s easy to reflect that perhaps this applicant lacks confidence, or even that they are uninterested in actually finding work!

The oversell

This is where the applicant over-states or may even exaggerate their experience and skills, sometimes the resume may be more than 4 pages in length. Again, all open to many interpretations… for example, you may ask yourself – is this person suffering from over-confidence and perhaps arrogance? Are they being truthful? Will they talk as much as they write?

Again, you might consider that this applicant is perhaps “cocky” and may even want more salary than other?  Either way, park these thoughts and make a note to self.

In conclusion, resume writing is an art, a skill, and is often done by those least qualified to do the best job!  Many of us suffer from the syndrome of what to write and what to leave out of a resume. Sadly, it is still one the most utilized ways to source staff… and perhaps the most non-scientific!


It’s recommended that if you have any of  thoughts, questions or concerns about the resumes you read, you should take them seriously and consider your “red flags”  prior to proceeding the recruitment cycle.

The general rule is that as long as the applicant has paid attention to spelling, and general presentation and is honest about work history, the resume is worth a second glance.  Perhaps a follow up phone call to confirm or deny your initial judgement

Ivana Agapioueather recruitment and labour hire image for prospective employers