HR person reviews friend’s resume; friend gets defensive

HR person reviews friend’s resume; friend gets defensive

HR person reviews friend’s resume; friend gets defensive

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Rozanne "Roze" Worrell

Posted on July 31, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 1 at 8:41 AM

Dear Roze:

I’m in HR, and like you, I deal with more employee and employer issues than I can shake a stick at.  Part of my duties as the HR Director includes reviewing the resumes submitted to our company for all our job openings.  Since my friends know what I do, they often ask me if I would mind reviewing theirs.  For the most part, I don’t mind doing it, but I often think they don’t realize or appreciate all that goes into it.  Recently, I agreed to check out one of my friend’s and was floored to see all the glaring problems with it, including typos and grammar mistakes.  At first, I was hesitant to say anything, but then I thought that’s why she reached out for me.  So, I told her what I found and gave her some suggestions as nicely as possible, but she got extremely defensive.  She let me know she had had people in the industries she’s applying with also look at her resume and these industry “experts” gave her positive feedback.  I’m about to explode even though I know better, but what does she think I am?  I review resumes for a living.  Those other people are “experts” in their respective fields.  Don’t you agree?  I’m thinking she didn’t think I would have much to comment on and was just looking for my seal of approval.

No seal of approval from me

Dear No seal of approval from me:

I truly wish I could not empathize with you, but I have had similar experiences with friends and have no doubt I will continue to have them.  I also agree with you about your expertise.  As an executive in human resources, examining resumes or overseeing their examination is typically a part of your job.  Having said that, I also can understand that individuals who are experts in their particular fields outside of HR know what they want in a job candidate.  In many organizations, however, especially mid-size to large ones, the resumes have to get through HR before others can see them.

Spelling and grammar mistakes are inexcusable, but the style and format can vary.  I cannot help but wonder if your friend’s industry experts actually gave her resume a decent amount of time and attention if they missed those obvious mistakes.

Dear Roze:


It’s been three weeks since I got promoted.  I work at a local distribution center.  I went from working in the warehouse to being assigned to an office job or what we call a desk job.  I was psyched because I not only got out of that godforsaken heat chamber or igloo, depending on the season, but I also got a decent pay increase.  But guess what?? Ironically, I still don’t have my own desk.  I have to hop from desk to desk.  If someone is out, I get their desk, but if everyone is in, I have to sit at our conference room table, which has no computer, of course.  And even worse, there’s still no clear identification of what my job responsibilities are from day to day.  I’m about to blow my brains out.  I can’t stand not having a permanent place in the office that I can call my own and I really don’t like or respect that no one, not even the guy who recommended me for the promotion and who I report to, can tell me what my job is or will be.  What a joke!

Not asking for much

Dear Not asking for much:

In as much as I understand your frustration, I also know from firsthand experience and discussions with others who have had similar experiences, your company’s lack of preparation for your promotion is not unusual.  It does not make it right, but try to take it in stride and look at the positives.  You have a decent job, you received an increase in pay, and you also have an opportunity to shine by taking some initiative.  Show your new boss and others what a smart decision it was to promote you.  Develop some substantive goals and objectives and identify the strategic steps you will take to accomplish them.  Hang in there and go for it!  Best of luck!

© 2012 Rozanne R. Worrell
 

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