I have been to a lot of churches and if there is one thing I cannot bear it is a “holier than thou” preacher who apparently does not struggle with the same humanness I do. Often, I feel the same way around some businessmen. I even can catch myself acting that way. So hiring from the shiny side of the apple is epidemic as that is what candidates offer.
But we have been trained to present the “resume me”. Which raises two issues.
1. Why do I feel pressure to present that “perfect me” to others?
2. What is wrong with being human?
Do Perfect Resumes Yield Perfect Workers? Are We Hiring From the Shina Side?
We personally require job applicants to be perfect. Woe to the one
who dares to put “unemployed for six months” on their resume as that would mean
instant non-consideration for any position.
Václav Havel spent the better part of 12 years in prison. How did that look on his resume
when he applied to be president of the Czech Republic? Clearly, we know that resumes
and web sites are not the whole story. But why do we demand them to be
perfect in the first place?
How far wrong has the situation gotten when a candidate cannot say that they did a bad
job with a contract in 2015! So we have a problem. See more How Employment Candidates Write Resumes – For Owners & Hiring Managers.
We Need People of Charactor and not the Shiny Side
What we need are people of character who we can trust. And we need people who have
the ability to get out of the box in a world market that is changing at faster and faster rates.
Those people who can take risks and therefore make us money are highly unlikely to have
perfect resumes. But by forcing them to lie on their resumes, we are hurting their
character. If it helped them to lie on their resume, will it not be good to lie again in some
tight spot when they are working for you? Out of the box people have a tendency to cross
lines, so we should not be pushing them in that direction. Some boring people will never
lie or exaggerate badly, but out of the box people might do so without a second thought if
there is even the slightest encouragement. The whole shiny apple thing makes it seem
But we want people to be perfect with a clock-like precision in their presentation to us.
Even a detail-oriented accountant will have stories of fuzzy resolutions told to friends in
secret. Should we not all cheer if this accountant comes clean? But if she worked for a big
accounting firm, she might have to present herself as bigger than life to us—and it would
all be a lie to make us feel safe.
We need to ask ourselves if we would feel better if they admitted it when they had some
black spots or gaps in their knowledge. Perhaps we do not want to know. But we need to
know. And we need to be mature enough to understand what it means when people are
not perfect or on a pedestal.
What Can We Do to Avoid Appearance Perfection?
So we need to start by understanding that people who list “unemployed 6 months” on
their resume are perhaps better than the people who were unemployed and will not admit
it. When my people background check candidates, you would be surprised at how many
have resumes that are perfect in appearance only. Of course, it is our fault, for we asked
them to have perfect resumes.
Showing the Other Side of the Apple is Uncomfortable
At minimum, we need to start being more honest with clients, and at job interviews. We
need to tell the truth. The right businesses will know that we are gold—because we are
comfortable in our own skin. With that, we will be building long-term healthy
relationships with our boss and with our clients. I love living that way. And customers
and bosses have always loved my honesty more than they loved my occasional efforts to
It is a fearful thing to admit our weakness. We should reward people who do so because
only the brave and strong can tell us the truth when it looks bad on them. So we start by
hiring people who are willing to admit weakness in the job interview and then rewarding
them whenever they do that in the business. Then we will be starting to build a business
built on the truth. And the truth is—that no one in the business is perfect or ever will be.
Yes, we need to show more than the shiny side of the apple. And we need to buy those
apples that do not look the best because they may be the best for us. When eating fruit,
have you noticed that the perfect appearing apples have lost taste? People reach for the
good-looking produce but a price has been paid to make it look good. I love living in
China where many vegetables look funny but still have real taste.
So in our business we need to be aware of this systemic problem—a problem that we bring
We can take another look at people who do not appear to be perfect.
We can take chances ourselves by showing the “other side of the apple” ourselves in hiring,
Have a look at Recruitment Agency in China – 7 Ideas for Choosing.