The Death of the One-Page CV or Resume (part 2)
The Death of the One-Page CV or Resume (part 2)
Published ©2015 Dr. Mark D. Lurie and Research Solutions, Inc. (all rights reserved)
An individual asked my help on his direction of where to go after he successfully completed his CFE exam. He is in this 30s and has extensive experience in mortgage fraud and identifying employee negligence in application formation / preparation.
I spent the initial portion of the conference call on him telling me what people were recommending, what colleges and degrees would work and so-on.
After listening, I asked him, “Do you know what you DON’T want to do?”
After a somewhat long pause, he responded, “No, I never really gave it any thought.”
Mistake number 1.
With our past article, we addressed a number of points about CVs and resumes.
I asked did he prepare a CV?
His response was, “I made a resume, and kept it to ONE page.
Mistake number 2.
Before continuing the story about this gentleman and how it ended, let’s recap the majority of the original article before continuing…
Again, let there be NO misunderstanding:
We are specifically addressing the historical change of the “policy” of companies which were initially wanting ONE page resumes and short CVs from potential candidates.
The investment of hiring a new employee is no longer just based on “available candidates, which the market is presently glutted with, but just “scanning” over a one page document is no longer the policy practiced among Fortune 500 companies, nor the general public and private sector companies and Institutions.
Further, in the government sector, especially agencies connected directly or indirectly with Homeland Security, they have a mandatory form that must be completed along with the submission of the candidates’ resume or CV, and this form is massive in size. The questions required exceptional detail and, in some cases, lengthy answers for each one.
It is now normal that Employers want to know “as much information as possible” on the potential candidate as possible. This addresses the following areas which include, but is not limited to:
Vitals of the applicant
Education of the applicant along with focuses (especially with those with Masters and Doctorates, where the emphasis was on or the discipline chosen)
Post graduate experience with various organizations where certifications can be acquired they are highly recognized assets in addition to the normal educational credentials
Employment experience – The name, position and responsibilities, no longer are wanted in “short form” but Employers want the information is desired “in exceptional detail”
The Employer is looking for the capabilities and the diversification of the potential candidate as how well the potential candidate can write and express such information
Special achievements or projects – This is where critical information is gleaned from the potential candidate on specific disciplines that have been mastered and where achievements can prove it, or at least reflect a strong working knowledge
Employers are expected to bring a new hired person into the company, whether it be a new accountant or an Executive Vice President of Operations with the understanding there will be a learning curve that will have to be implemented over a specific amount of time for the new hired employee to (a) understand the company operation, (b) understand the internal requirements of their position, and (c) be able to competently deliver work product and services that meet/exceed the company standards.
In the case of hiring a legal counsel, the CV could be into the dozens if not hundreds of pages in length. Granted, the “initial” guts of the application will have the typical information reflected within it, but in “this” case all trials, cases, and depositions given, that “can” be publically disclosed, will be included in the candidates’ CV. This will clearly reflect the experience level of the potential candidate which can be easily validated.
Obviously the more seasoned the person, the task of having that responsibility of adapting to the company standards and operating requirements would be the main focus – not the potential capabilities.
Employers have a wide selection of “MBA” graduates and so-on, but as far as their historical work background or experience, they want to acquire the ones that have the most experience that is relative to their needs and applications. With this wide selection, a one-page document is a death sentence. The Employer wants ALL details.
Going back to the expert witness example, listing cases can reflect hundreds, even thousands of examples of various types of trials, depositions and testimony, addressing numerous cases which may address the same claims and charges, but the “nature” of the issues are always differed.
It also allows the Employer to examine and validate the skill level of such potential candidates.
The hiring of a new employee is truly an investment of time and revenue. It is no longer treated as just a “replacement” for the company pond of employees.
As an example, the Senior Doctors of University of Connecticut Health Center (UCONN) – John Dempsey Hospital, located in Farmington Connecticut, maintain CVs that far-exceed what a telephone book from one of the Burroughs of New York would be in size. Their experience, background, patents, published works is staggering.
In our own company, our Senior C-Management Analysts and Experts CVs are massive in size and detail. They include, but are not limited to reflection of domestic and international cases; country participation in operations, cases and regulatory operations; disciplines (in detail); detailed position descriptions; allowable client disclosures of services provided and cases dealt with; board activities; trials; expert witness testimony; published works; and so on. I can also say, without question, they are perpetually updated. They have to be.
The CV is definitely not on the same level as a Resume.
The Resume is a “starting” position document, but the CV reflects history, skills and accomplishments that can never fit on one page and is NOT designed to.
It is to inform the reader of the details that are critical to “educate” the reader of the expertise of the person they are contemplating hiring or utilizing.
A person with an MBA means nothing anymore, other than the fact they have proven that they have completed a program that meets the educational standards of a higher degree.
This may sound somewhat blunt, but it is the truth. Many of the MBAs and Doctorate programs can be done on-line, and WITHOUT a written Thesis or Dissertation.
This means the graduate has a “discipline” in their chosen field that is based upon courses taken. This does NOT reflect the same experience of a candidate that “has” produced a Thesis or Dissertation.
The Thesis or Dissertation reflects a great amount, especially the research and ability to write, express research and points of view, concepts and eventually a conclusion that is challenged and (if they graduated), upheld.
This, in many cases, would be the only experience that they may have in the work environment, whereas the present MBAs and Doctorate programs can be taken from home without the requirements of such written works being submitted.
In no way are we are saying this is wrong and in no way are condemning those who get their advanced degrees this way; however the is a “glut” of MBAs with very specific (narrow) disciplines. The need just isn’t there by Employers.
Experience is something the employer wants to know as much about, since it reflects the diversification of the potential candidate.
It reflects the skill abilities; the ability to work in group environments satisfactorily (at a minimum); it reflects leadership roles; decision-making capabilities; but most of all it is the “foundation of credibility of performance” that is the target of the Employer.
Performing background checks, acquiring validation of employment and other information is a standard practice and when it is a government agency position that requires a security clearance that will provide a “Stage-1” validation of general credibility and trustworthiness. Period. Nothing more.
It DOES NOT establish any foundation of credibility of performance and work performed.
It is not expected that a 25 year old “Fresh-Out-of-School” Fraud Examiner would have the established credibility and experience that someone in their 50s may have, unless of course the older Fraud Examiner may have just coasted through decades of work. That happens, and that will be reflected by a lack of “history, performance and experience” that can be validated.
Yes, I have brought up the TABOO of age.
Age discrimination, NO.
I have NOT brought up age as prescribed as one of the grounds of discrimination which the Federal Guidelines so clearly identify.
There is NOT A SINGLE EMPLOYER who immediately realizes that they ARE considering AGE when hiring a new employee in the professional realm.
That is fact.
NO… It is not.
It IS done every time an interview is performed; every-time that HR does a background check; every time a CV is examined for “EXPERIENCE”.
Experience IS AGE. Let there be NO ILLUSION.
When you see a CV that lists accomplishments, published works, books, patents, writings, lectures, accomplishments listed in a time line, expert witness testimony on listed cases which can be utterly extensive, you are looking at EXPERIENCE that can only be acquired though a serious amount of time.
Time is AGE.
When I think of age discrimination, I know exactly what it means, to the letter of the law.
However if I have twenty CVs to examine, and I am looking at the Experience Level of the candidate. It does not require an “expert” to determine the age of the person. It is a matter of pure logistics and a simple matrix used to calculate the “AGE OF EXPERIENCE”.
We are NOT interested in the AGE OF THE PERSON.
This is NOT discrimination.
This is a matter of reality how applicants are culled.
Companies, regardless of their size, when hiring for a professional position are going to make the decision on education and experience, and NOT in that order.
This is NOT discrimination.
There is no Federal or State law that exists that says that an employer must hire a non-experienced degreed or non-degreed person over an experienced person with or without a degree. It is all based upon the “best qualifications”, and best qualifications specifically addresses experience.
Going back to core component of this article, the one page Resume or CV is truly dead.
There is no culling anymore based upon the number of applicants that respond to an ad or position opening without the understanding that if you cannot provide DETAIL, you will be automatically rejected.
There seems to be some built-in fear of crossing the line of the ONE PAGE document or CV. An electric fence that doesn’t exist.
First, a CV is NEVER one page. It is comprised of the following “minimum sections:
The vitals of the person
The educational background
The post-educational certifications, degrees or titles
Continuing education and the topics covered, IN DETAIL, including the frequency
A list of disciplines and IN DETAIL
A complete, and thorough listing of ALL employment history, including duties, accomplishments and contributions
Cases, papers, publications, books written, patents acquired, disclosed IN DETAIL
If the candidate is to be an “Expert Witness” the names, details and information (nature/description) of all cases (which can be legally disclosed), including their role as an “Expert Witness”, IN DETAIL will be included
Special focuses and disciplines
Information on the Thesis or Dissertation produced (and published) if there was one
Books, articles, lectures and other written works that were produced and published
What the candidates’ specific disciplines are and what his or her objectives are as well
As you can clearly see, the information on the CV can and WILL expand exponentially based upon “EXPERIENCE”.
We, whether we be general employees to C-Management will have a constantly changing and expanding CV IF we are growing in our work position.
In simple terms, a CV that never changes mean “Stagnation”. This is a warning sign to employers NOT to hire.
When you see a CV that, or a Resume that has a perpetual and consistent growth pattern, especially at the contributory level of works, publications and accomplishments, that tells you that the potential candidate is constantly learning and using that knowledge in their work through the contributory process. They are NOT idle. They are active in their position (whatever it may be). This is a critical piece of information to acquire.
There is NO possible way that anyone can honestly assess ANY potential candidate for a position with a ONE page document.
No, Interviewing is NOT the answer. It is a step in the “Process” of screening candidates which precludes critical information that can be acquired at the beginning. Interviews do not allow for such detail, especially the TIME to allocate to such detail and challenging it.
The ability to truly examine an “expanded” document that reflects DETAIL allows the Interview Process to be more effective since the interviewer can hone in on a specific issue or accomplishment to expand upon.
It also allows the pre-validation of facts and information supplied BEFORE spending more time, effort and resources with the next steps of hiring. The economic gain and savings of having access to more information on the potential candidate allows a “reduction” of time and expense in acquiring such information through interviewing (or as some view it, interrogation).
Yes, in our opinion the one-page resume and CV is quite dead. We can say that, not just as “our” opinion, but the opinions and practices of the majority of Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, public and private sector businesses and institutions.
It is a realty.
Now, going back to our gentleman, when I asked, again, what he DIDN’T want to do, he gave some initial thought and said he didn’t want to be stuck in a cubical number crunching.
He was recommended to get a CPA certification and get an MBA in Accounting.
For him, this would be placing him in a pit in the ground; dosing him with gasoline and dropping a flare into the pit.
As the conversation progressed, I spent a good, solid hour discussing the various facets of fraud assessment as well as threat assessment, and gave examples after examples of the various fields and needs. Then I spent time talking about the government sector needs. It was truly overwhelming to him; however it opened a line of thinking.
What struck his interest?
But most important it started to form a premise of what types of education, classes or programs would apply and NOT apply.
An MBA in Homeland Security does not assure a job there.
An MBA in Criminal Justice doesn’t assure a job in the CIA or NSA.
Does it give you an edge? Possibly; however it can also be a detriment as well depending upon the discipline / focus claimed.
The REAL issue is this man’s past. What could he tell me about mortgage fraud and auditing of applications for errors…
Was it truly number crunching? NO.
Was in 100% accounting? Absolutely not!
Does he want to number crunch? A definite NO.
His immediate supervisor told him to get his MBA in accounting, go for his CPA exam and stay in accounting.
This man cannot go any higher in his company.
There is no room for growth or advancement.
Yes, the pay may be good, and raises and bonuses are definitely coming in regularly, but…
This is NOT where he wants to end up.
He is bored.
He is beginning to resent his job.
More important, he is motivated to do MORE, learn MORE and APPLY new things that he learns.
The final discussion was for him to tell me what he had done for the years of work he had performed.
He responded that he needed to keep it to one page.
I said, “No. tell me as much as you can.”
I was impressed.
He gave examples of successful events and cases.
I was impressed.
He discussed specific methodologies and strategies he developed as well as how he applied them in the company and with his subordinate staffing.
It kept my interest in him.
Now I said, “An employer “doesn’t care” about the typical boilerplate filler that is ALWAYS found in the one-page resume.
There is NO one page CV.
A resume is truly for use by entry level people and high-school students who have no work experience.
A CV is for those who are now REQUIRED to tell everything they can about their past and present experiences and accomplishments.
Now some of you out there still believe that the employer will only spend a few seconds looking over a “resume” or “CV”. This is now a myth.
In the professional realm, employers are demanding detail, detail of work experience and accomplishments.
They want to know as much as they can because that person which will be hired is an ASSET.
They are going to expend a lot of resources, revenue and time on that new employee AND they will want that employee to yield results.
A one page resume is the worst document in the world to use and it is a fact in the professional realm that employers are burned out dealing with them.
They see the same thing. Written the same way. Again, and again, and again.
Now, with a fully detailed CV, they can read what is relevant to them or not.
They can see HOW the style of communication and writing is performed by the candidate.
They can see more into the potential of the person and if the person really has a background in what is needed or not.
In the case of this gentleman, what he was able to supply would have been 15-20 pages of exceptional detail in what he truly was experienced in. Very important detail.
The type of detail that employers WANT to read.
Now he is working on his CV BEFORE he considers what his direction will be and in what facet of fraud assessment.
The door is wide open to him AND he also realizes that he has experience under his belt that is NEEDED in the overall private sector as well as the government sector.
This is BEFORE he proceeds getting another degree or credential.
It is a matter of being able to move out employment which is souring his and his abilities and realizing that he ALREADY has skills and experience that can be applied NOW in a totally different venue.
The rest is a matter of what he WANTS to pursue, not what he HAS to.
Yes, there are mandatory classes and programs that should be taken, but the direction and the method of how to get there is not ONE-WAY.
The CV is designed as a history of one’s background, experience and accomplishments.
It also goes into methodology and policies of the individual.
The ONE PAGE? Actually it does exist in a CV – It contains the boilerplate of name, address, telephone number, education and other ancillary points that ALL FIT on one page.
However, the REAL value of the CV is the other number of pages where the candidate can truly expand on their skills and history.
This is what employers want to see and read.
They need an ASSET with experience.
They need to actually perform a cursory interview without seeing the person initially.
The CV is the first start.
For this man, he said he really had a problem with his confidence after doing the ONE PAGE resume.
Once he left that behind and wrote the TRUTH about what he did, what his accomplishments were and so-on, his confidence level rose ten-fold.
As always, a pleasure,
Dr. Mark D. Lurie, CTA, CFE, CHRE, CFS
CEO, Threat and Fraud Assessment
Research Solutions, Inc.