Inflating your resume with accomplishments that you can’t take credit for is a major red flag.
MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for:What are three things you look for in a resume? is written by Kim Metcalf-Kupres, vice president and CMO at Johnson Controls.
Trust is the most important quality I look for when I recruit new employees. I need to see a clear history of transparency and authenticity. Inflating a resume with projects or accomplishments that you can’t take credit for is a huge turnoff. The basic criteria I look for in a resume are qualifications, experience and potential. Additionally, I assess a candidate’s character by how they represent their career, highlighting their successes and unique experiences with concrete examples.
I also look for “good athletes” with solid advancement potential. Ideally, a candidate should demonstrate potential to advance at least two levels beyond the role they are seeking. Do they demonstrate an ability and willingness to handle stretch assignments and step outside their comfort zone? I look for a history of growing through a natural progression in their career not only individually, but as part of a larger team. We are an operationally driven company, so the environment is very collaborative and highly engaged. Our employees do their best work when they feel they’re part of a team, sharing the same vision of success.
In addition, I look to bring diversity to my team. This means I am looking for people with a wide range of different yet complementary experiences, skillsets and perspectives. As a leader, I strive to create an environment that empowers new hires with clear goals and objectives that are practical and actionable. They must be empowered and encouraged to excel in their pursuit of doing the work. When people are given a challenge, it’s critical to provide the right direction and coaching to ensure they thrive and understand their contribution to the overall success of the company. This kind of experience is not always easily translated into a resume, but if I can see examples I’m much more likely to bring in the candidate for an interview.
Finally, I must confess that I have an uncanny radar for picking up typos and spelling errors. If there’s a mistake, my eye immediately goes there, and it becomes a real distraction for me. It may seem silly or even unfair, but I end up staring at a minor error and everything else on the page disappears! Don’t let a typo ruin your opportunity.
Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: What are three things you look for in a resume?
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