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On an Ash Wednesday

25%? More Likely 100!

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, March 01, 1995.

A shocking revelation this week. Evidently, twenty-five percent of you lie on your resumes while looking for work. Mostly, his takes the form of BA’s never obtained, but I personally don’t think the percentage is correct. It’s likely much higher. I ran a business for five years that required employees to have a certain amount of mathematical ability - this in case the computer failed. In famously overqualified Boulder, we received applications from supposed math and business majors for a job that would never pay over six dollars an hour. Yet the math test I gave them flummoxed many supposedly superior applicants. Nailed them, in fact. Unless first year algebra normally stutters people who take college math, these people were frauds, pure and simple.

Resumes are a concept I have never believed in, especially for a small business. Unless you have the time to verify each applicant’s letter of rec and employment history, you’re wasting time even looking at them.

Case in point. I’ve hired lots of bartenders. It’s a transient occupation. Popular bartenders get to be popular by giving away lots of free drinks, bad both from financial and legal culpability viewpoint. Applicants often have long work histories from out of state venues, themselves subject to closure and migrating managers themselves at new jobs. Did it matter? No. They could either mix drinks or not. They were either crooks or not, and you’d never know for sure without spotters, anyway.

The whole routine of applicants and personnel managers is foolish. There are books on how to give an interview and books on how to take them, and when two newly enlightened people meet, it can be nauseating, since they’ve read the correct responses. In truth, first impression are often accurate, and I rarely remember revising an opinion on an individual, although it happens.

In truth....