Friday, November 15, 2013

When Hiring, If You Fish With the Wrong Bait you’ll surely catch the Wrong Fish

Okay, I admit it, I pick on security resumes all the time.  That’s because I’m trying to help technology professionals understand how non-technical people react when they put their eyes on a technical resume that to the reader seems as it if was written in a foreign language.

Today, I’ve found a great example of a job description that says virtually nothing.  This is part of the core content in a Security Leadership job description I ran across.

I’ve often suggested that most security resumes are nothing more than a job description turned inside out.  Here’s a perfect example of what I’m referring to.

The Security Leadership Job Description


·        Clear understanding of the English Language (Written and Spoken)
·         Excellent Information Management Skills (retrieving, organizing, reporting on information)
·         Effective Project Management Skills
·         Leadership and Management Skills – Mentoring, Rewarding Achievement, Managing Performance
·         Excellent Written and Oral Communication Skills
·         Judgment & Problem Solving Skills, Critical Thinking

Who in the United States would read this job description and Not think that they had the ability to clearly write and speak in English?

How about a statement like this:  Present findings of enterprise risk assessments to line of business owners and occasionally to the Board of Directors.

Everybody thinks they have effective project management skills.

How about a statement like this:  Demonstrate the ability to effectively manage multiple projects across multiple teams in a matrix management environment.

Do people who don’t communicate well always know that they don’t communicate well?  How about telling the candidate how they’ll be measured during the interview process.

How about a statement like this:  During our interview process, be prepared to stand in front of a small group to deliver a presentation you’ve created that tells us about your strengths.

Many people think they’re effective leaders. In reality, most people are not leaders.  Leaders and Managers are not the same.

How about a statement like this: Be prepared to demonstrate examples of and outcomes arrived at based on your leadership style.

If a technology skilled person is going to manage other people, they should be gifted to manage other people. 

How about a statement like this: You’ll manage people in this role.  While we’re interviewing you, we’ll want to know how you’ve grown and developed staff in the past.  We’ll want you to show us that managing people is a passion for you and not just something you can do.

Yes, I just sat here at my desk and made up all of these examples.  What I’m getting at is that a job description should not simply be a list of bullets any more than a resume should simply be a list of bullets.

A job description should be a living, breathing picture of the experience a job candidate should bring to the table in order to succeed in the open position.

A job description should always tell a job candidate what’s in it for them if they were to sign up with your company.  Go look at a few of your company’s job descriptions.  Put yourself in the shoes of a candidate who is standing outside your company’s front door.

Do your company’s job descriptions do anything to get a candidate excited about what’s in it for them to consider joining your organization?'s Security Recruiter Blog