Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How To Stop Being Fooled By Fancy Resumes

Job seekers are getting creative with their resumes. They know that many hiring managers only glance at a resume before deciding if the applicant is right for the job or not. In fact, a 2014 SHRM survey found that most hiring managers spend less than five minutes reviewing each resume.

So in order to get noticed it’s becoming common for talent to include eye catching elements like charts or graphs in their resumes. But do those pretty pictures and bright colors actually equate to a better candidate or do fancy resumes just make it easier for hiring managers to get fooled by job seekers?

Here are four expert tips to avoid bad hires with fancy resumes:

1. Check that the person and the resume match up during the interview.

Taking design, illustration, and templates into the equation, job seekers are turning what was previously a straightforward document into something more interactive. But it’s still hugely important to thoroughly peruse a resume that incorporates fancy tactics. Also, sometimes an eye for design, video skills, and a great vocabulary are bonuses — or necessary — for a given position. Take that into account, and assess in the interview process and reference checks whether or not the name on the resume is the name behind all the fancy work.

Ali Mercier,

Ali Mercier, Marketing Content and Hiring Manager, The Leadership Program

2. Double check red flags.

One of the things that we’ve observed is that some job seekers verbatim copy complete sentences from the job description into their resumes. This raises candidate red flags, especially when the rest of their experience and education don’t match up with what’s expected for the role. Hiring managers should look at the candidate’s LinkedIn profile for consistency. We understand that even the smartest candidates aren’t good at writing resumes or selling themselves. We always try our best to read between the lines and give each candidate the benefit of the doubt.

Vadim Bichutskiy

Vadim Bichutskiy, Director of Data Science, Innovizo

3. Leave background checks to the professionals.

We have actually seen professional writers admit to creating quintessential resumes filled with flowery jargon and paid references. The employer of today can hire wonderful and skilled talent that is real, professional, and worthy of employment. But those that hire a candidate after one interview, looking at their resume, and maybe Googling them can be fooled, taken advantage of, and even sued in court. Pay for the best information from a reputable background checking firm, otherwise failure to know your hire can cost you huge sums of money.

Jim Angleton

Jim Angleton, President, AEGIS FinServ Corp

4. Hear the words straight from the horse’s mouth.

Fancy resumes are definitely visually appealing and it shows thought and effort were put into the document, but I find myself being more drawn to LinkedIn profiles. I suggest trying to interview candidates with a printout of the LinkedIn profile in front of them. Let them tell you what they did and how they did it. What they say is so much more important than what they write!

Michele Mavi

Michele Mavi, Director of Internal Recruiting, Atrium Staffing

What are some other things hiring managers can do to avoid being fooled by fancy resumes? Share in the comments below!

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.