Why more than 80% of CVs are only fit for the bin

Do you know this scenario? You’re looking for a candidate for a position that needs to be filled urgently and finally a number of CVs arrive on your desk. You invite a few of the canditates and conduct interviews. Now you get to hear lots of good stuff: years of experience in project management, successful communication and leadership skills, an expert in process optimization, successful in introducing new technologies… You employ the newly discovered star in the hope that now finally things will move forward.

After a few weeks you find out that nothing is moving at all. When you dig deeper, you discover that your new manager has either not understood the requirements or does not dare to reveal that he is no match for you. And then the crucial question arises once again: why in God’s name has he/she not made a difference so far? After all, he/she is an expert, according to the job interview? For many it is a bitter truth or insight, that whether someone is suitable for a position can be observed but it cannot be “discussed” – “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, so to speak.

The best description the candidate gives at the interview about how he mastered the last project of introducing a new technology is never as good as the practical proof. That is why it is so important in Management Coaching to start with those aspects of behavior that can actually be observed and the results for which can be clearly seen and measured.

Contrary to this, unfortunately more often than not companies seem to practice so called “labelling”. Statements such as “He is always so slow!” or “Why does he always just talk instead of actually doing something?” and the like only result in someone being labelled –and more often than not it’s not a positive label they’re getting. And this is supposed to motivate.

Jens Moeller’s Tips for successfully assessing professionals in interviews:

  • Try to only ever criticize the behavior and not the person itself, when assessing employees or managers.
  • Only assess behavior that you can actually observe or from which you can clearly infer results.
  • Try to move from there back to the original CV: talk to your potential new member of staff about what experiences listed on his CV he has actually been able to implement so far and where there might still be room for improvement. Ask him/her how you might be able to support them.

This way, the CV will most certainly not be rubbish. Good luck!

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Jens Moeller