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HOUSTON — When I entered the executive search industry nearly 20 years ago I steadfastly believed that it was not my job to coach a candidate on the quality of their resume, or how to manage their references.   Their ability to submit a stellar resume, I reasoned, was part of the test to determine their effectiveness in meeting client needs.

iStock_000021226550SmallIn later years, as I reflected on how more than a few clients would invariably reject the best candidates because they did not present well, or tell the relevant aspects of their career effectively, I realized that my hard-core, arms-length approach regarding the resume was not doing my clients any big favors.

I came to realize that there was no consistent or bonafide connection between the quality of a candidate’s leadership and quantifiable accomplishments, and the quality of the resume.

So, at JGSA we have changed.  If we see a resume that fails to emphasize a candidate’s strengths that relate specifically to the needs of a client, we are going to tell them what is wrong and how it should be fixed in order to advance in the search. 

What I have come to learn is that many candidates are remarkably uninformed, or misinformed, about what constitutes a good and relevant resume.  It would surprise almost everyone, excluding executive recruiters and outplacement consultants, just how many golden nuggets regarding appropriate information and relevant accomplishments are left off the resume, which happens to be a candidate’s first interview in a search.  For a high percentage of executive candidates, that off-point resume is also the last interview in a search.  If we can help a truly accomplished and qualified candidate put their best foot forward then we intend to do just that.