Why the resumé is broken


“In many cases, the resumé is the key component used by recruiters to get an initial impression of the candidates they will be meeting or who have sent in an application. The problem is that resumés have very low informative value.”

Vincent Niesner

Psychometrics expert – AssessFirst

80% of resumés are “fixed”.

Every study conducted worldwide reaches more or less the same conclusions –  on average, four out of five candidates admit to stretching the truth, to a greater or lesser extent, when they write their resumé.

  • 34% of candidates surveyed admit to lying about their training and/or experience.
  • 64% of candidates exaggerate the extent of their past achievements.
  • 27% don’t think twice about giving fake references.

Resumé-based recruiting therefore means drawing on a set of information that is more or less 80% incorrect.

This means it has a very tenuous connection with subsequent professional success.

In addition, numerous studies have pointed to the very low correlation between the information in a person’s resumé and how successful they are subsequently; this applies to a broad range of professions, roles and sectors. In other words, just because a person has attended a certain school or has worked in a certain sector, this is no guarantee they will be successful in your company. Indeed, this link is so tenuous that relying on it more or less means reducing your recruitment decisions to the toss of a coin. This is why resumé-based recruitment doesn’t work, or at least not any more.

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