Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hiring managers should go "lite" on resume keyword scanning

Toni Bowers has an important story for IT managers today at Tech Republic, advising them not to overuse keyword scanning when evaluating resumes. The link is here.

Clients that use staffing companies to fill their project development and management needs (and that seems to be most companies these days) may be even more inclined to look at resumes very superficially, since the manpower companies are supposed to have already done some of the screening.

On the other hand, I know from emails that I get, that many headhunters overuse keyword searches, as I get emails of Powerbuilder gigs when my Powerbuilder, in the grand scheme of things (compared to older mainframe skills) is very weak.

Another problem is that companies tend to want people with a lot of experience in very specific skills, but not in tangentially related skills. If they want Powerbuilder, they generally need a Powerbuilder heavy, because they have technical problems they don’t know how to solve. (I have a friend who moved to Denver in the recession in 2002, was good at both java and Powerbuilder, and “wanted” java, but “got” Powerbuilder.) Think what happens in your home. If you have a problem, you need a contractor with very specific experience in solving that problem. The same tends to be true if you need to have a computer or laptop fixed.

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