Re: Re. resumes and credentials

Subject: Re: Re. resumes and credentials
From: Kent Drummond <Kent_Drummond -at- CCMAIL -dot- BMC -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 1995 07:36:02 CST

Processing a large number of resumes can now be automated. There is
software (I saw a human resources pc demo last year) that will scan
resumes and place the information in a standard format for review by
the appropriate managers. You may have to specify a resume format in
the ad. Another test you can use is to only select the resumes that
were sent with a cover letter. Evaluate the letter and the resume to assess
the quality of the writing and the credentials. Admittedly, these ideas
only address the quickly part of the problem, not the reliability. The best test
I've found is to talk with references and ask questions about themselves to
determine if they are hedging the qualifications.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re. resumes and credentials
Author: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA at unixlink
Date: 9/18/95 5:54 PM

The need for a proof of skills represents a timely
discussion. _Canadian Business_ (Sept. 1995 issue)
calls this "creeping credentialism", and they make
the same point we've already made here: academic
credentials are meaningless if they aren't
accompanied by skill, and skill doesn't require

The problem then becomes simple <sarcastic grin>:
to evaluate people based on their skills. But as
we've already noted in two related threads, there's
a nasty catch-22 here: if you get 300 applicants,
how do you weed them down to a manageable number
without using some screening factor? You could test
each applicant somehow, but that means an enormous
task (300 tests) that most employers can't
undertake or some form of certification (e.g.,
something like a SAT test)... which brings us full
circle. Moreover, testing may be grounds for a
lawsuit if an applicant can prove that the test was

Thus, I pose the following problem: How can we
determine someone's competence quickly and
reliably without resorting to "creeping
credentialism?" To head off one likely response,
let me qualify this: portfolios and personal
references are probably not the solution because
you still have to deal with dozens or hundreds of
portfolios and references. The solution must be
both fair (based on applicant's skill rather than
credentials) and effective at separating the wheat
from the chaff! Reward for solving this problem?
The gratitude of employers and applicants
everywhere! <grin>

FYI, one interesting (but impractical) approach
that I've seen was a job ad that took the form of
riddle or problem to be solved. I don't remember
the details, but the bottom line was that you
would have had a tough time figuring out how to
apply for the job if you weren't qualified for the
position. I'm calling this approach impractical
because I've no idea how to write such an
advertisement for most situations. Perhaps write
the ad in engineer-speak so that only skilled
techwhirlers accomplished in engineer-to-english
translation need apply? <grin>

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one
of our reports, it don't represent FERIC's

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