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Reading Between the Lines

How to judge people by their resumes

Ruedi Sandmeier

A resume is often the first introduction to a potential employee?s education, work experience, and career objectives. Basic information, to be sure, but can you learn a great deal about a person from this? A surprising amount, actually. Enough for you to decide on next steps, and there is an efficient way to do so.

You should first scan the resume for keywords you would expect successful candidates to have. For instance, if I want to hire somebody for a clinical or regulatory position, I look for ?NDA approval? or ?IND submissions? as keywords. If I am looking for a scientist to run my high-throughput screening lab, I look for those words. If the keyword is not there, I move on to another resume. Resume-reading machines can help with this first step but I don?t use them, because resume writing is not standardized and the machines tend to miss relevant...

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