Most candidates who have more than ten years of professional experience cannot list all of that experience, not to mention their associated accomplishments, in the concise format of a professional résumé.
The biggest challenge faced by candidates when applying for a position is providing specific experience for which the person reviewing the résumé is looking. Most applicants approach the application process like a guessing game: They see a posting for a position. Based on its title and accompanying general information, they do the best they can to list on their résumé the experience and accomplishments for which they think the hiring manager will be looking. The reason they guess? The posting lacks specifics, which makes it extremely difficult for applicants to provide you with what you really need.
The first step in successful hiring is to build a large pool of viable candidates from which you can draw. The logic being, the larger the candidate pool, the higher the likelihood of finding the ideal candidate.
The problem here is not just that your job posting are vague. The problem is that your postings are vague but your screening of résumés is specific.
If you’re going to screen for specifics, be sure to list the specifics.
If you’re going to look for and interview only candidates with specific information or experience on their résumé, then you need to list what specific information or experience you’re looking for in your job positions.
Vague job postings can work in your favor, because you’ll normally have many more people applying. But you have to be willing to talk with more candidates who may not have on their résumé the specific information for which you’re looking.
Vague job postings can also be a good method for creating an immediate pool of secondary candidates. These are candidates who may not have precisely the experience for which you’re looking, but they’re people you would consider for the position if you were unable to identify the perfect candidate.
That said, if you’re going to be vague in your job descriptions, be willing to talk with a few more candidates who may not have the perfect résumé. This will help immeasurably in identifying a good candidate fit for your position.
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