Are resume red flags deal breakers?

The people who don’t meet all the requirements of an available job may be the best candidates, says Natasha Bowman in a viral post on LinkedIn. “In my experience as an HR leader and as a hiring manager, it’s those that typically don’t get a ‘shot’ who tend to kick butt in the workplace,” wrote Bowman. Hundreds of other LinkedIn members weighed in with their own opinions and experiences about hiring processes.


  • I couldn’t agree more! So many talented people are overlooked because they don’t meet the “status quo” requirements that were implemented by someone(s) at some point years ago. Many technical required skills can be learned. However, perseverance, dedication and initiative are innate.
  • Hiring is much like professional sports drafts. Its not hard to identify the top end prospects thru research, etc. Its how do you find those “late round picks” that end up out performing other 1st round talents. Every prospect has a story. Its seeing how that story can translate to success. I hired a 23 year old kid awhile back and didn’t have any experience in my industry but his skills in his previous jobs translated. I found out about what made him tick and hired him. He has been in the industry since and thriving.
  • You’ve made a valuable point from an ethical perspective, because this diversity is lacking in many of our for-profit institutions.
  • From a shareholder perspective, this issue gets more complicated. I was taught in my finance class that corporations and other for-profit entities such as private universities have an obligation to act in the best interest of their shareholders, within legal and certain ethical bounds. From this perspective, HR professionals have to ask whether hiring a candidate with criminal history can be justified given the downside risk to the corporation?
  • Perhaps we should encourage candidates to share their life stories instead of focusing solely on professional experience as it is the case with interviews. The problem with only going over the professional experiences is that there is an accepted way to deliver those experiences and there is a stigma from deviating from that. As such, we really can’t get to know an interviewee very much from just a few conversations.
  • Kudos to taking chances on people! When you do a lot of hiring, you are bound to find some diamonds in the rough. Are there any people you hired who looked good but didn’t work out – and is there anything you learned from these experiences?
  • Some of the best team members I have had working for me were self-taught and highly passionate people.
    No formal degree, no corporate experience, and no high connections – just raw drive and a desire to excel in their area of interest.
    I took a chance on them because I could tell by their persistence and enthusiasm that they were willing to do whatever it would take to be successful in their role.
    I’m glad I gave them a chance and I have learned so much from these talented individuals.
  • Enthusiasm. Commitment. Passion. Things you can’t train but rather these qualities can be hard to find and I always bring them to the table. Not to mention a track record of previous success and great references. No one is perfect and we can all strive to do our best each day. The job search can be a stressful process. You need to remain confident despite the rejection as hard as it can be. At the end of the day, don’t hire the candidates that have done the same role in the same type department for years. Do not be fearful to add a new flavor to the mix with someone that brings a new set of skills. You will be presently surprised how sweet it can be for everyone to enjoy the experience!
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