I am very confused. I am senior technical manager and member of our company interview panel. We are total 5 people in interview panel.

I have been noticing since long time that 2 people from team are rejecting candidates or don't allow to call them for interview based on candidate's resumes design and format even if candidate has required skills. They believe that resume is only first impression of any candidate and if resume is not strongly designed or written then we can not expect much more from candidates.

I disagree with above as I have noticed in last company that many candidates whose resume was like not shining but they were performed very well in interview and sounds in technical as well.

I am confused for 2 things :

  1. How to deal with other interviewers who are with me in same panel and believe that resume is everything for next interview round.

  2. Should I get agree with them? As per my experience we are loosing some good candidates to call for interview only because they have not prepared resume well enough.

    Note : Job is about coding and programmer.

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    It depends, at least somewhat, on what sort of job we're talking about. If it's anything in writing, communications, or design, I'd pay more attention to the appearance of the resume than if the job was for coding, management, engineering, etc. Sep 4 '17 at 12:48
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    @ErnestFriedman-Hill - Thank for reminding :) .I added note to question. Sep 4 '17 at 12:50
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    When you say "design and format", do you mean "unreadable mess" or just "black on white generic cv template"?
    – Erik
    Sep 4 '17 at 13:52
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    "As per my experience we are losing some good candidates..." Presumably you are on the panel so you can contribute your opinion to the process. State your opinion respectfully and be prepared to back down if necessary (e.g. all other panelists say "no interview" for a candidate).
    – Brandin
    Sep 4 '17 at 15:30
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    Quite frankly, it is not clear what your goal here is. It is a case of your opinion vs theirs, and nothing tells us one is more right than the other. Just like you prefer certain candidates based on your past experiences, they presumably prefer other candidates based on theirs. How do you deal with disagreement on other decisions, for example, whether the interview candidate should be invited to a 2nd round?
    – Masked Man
    Sep 4 '17 at 18:01

Mainly speaking, if you get a CV/resume directly from the candidate, then the style and formatting of the document is a good indicator of the candidate's level of technical care and work ethic.

However, we quite often see resumes/CVs come in via agencies or websites that completely trashes any care that the candidate has put into their documents, leaving us to concentrate on the facts rather than the formatting.

Back in the day, when people had to trawl through a mountain of submitted resume/CVs, bad/confusing formatting/layout/content was a quick (sub 10 second) trip to the waste-basket.

To my mind, it pays to make your resume/CV look good and give the reader the most relevant information as early as possible.

Your answer here is largely dependent on how many candidates you have for each role. If there's not many, then it makes sense to target facts/hard skills rather than typing/layout skills.

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    What level of "style and formatting" are you expecting? My CV looks like the default template of whatever editor I used to write it, because I'm not interested in making it look good, just as readable as I can make it. Would I get minus points from you?
    – Erik
    Sep 4 '17 at 13:41
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    Bad formatting for me would be a confusing wall of text with no vertical spacing, no headings and no bullet-points. Not leading with your name and contact details is a pretty bad sign for me too.
    – user44108
    Sep 4 '17 at 13:43
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    Okay, I think it'd help to put that in specifically. Some (many) people assume "style and formatting" requires it to look exceptional and unique, not just properly laid out and readable :)
    – Erik
    Sep 4 '17 at 13:51

Filtering on superficial points like formatting, design, etc is an unavoidable consequence of having to go through many CVs. But it's not a desirable strategy. If you do have the time, you should focus on qualifications. But it all depends on the volume of CVs you and your panel has to handle.

Some options to cope with this:

  1. If you are indeed getting a lot of CVs, discuss if they would be more willing to give consideration to badly formatted CVs if you were to filter them for the others, cutting down on volume for them.
  2. If not discuss if you could get a limited number of vetos, where if they don't have any qualified objections you can invite the candidate anyway.

Raise your concern (that you are loosing potentiall good candidates on trivialities and prevent needed jobs from being filled) with these coworkers. But remain understanding and open for their position and see if you can find a compromise. If this continues to be a problem (no hires, no intent to "work through the CVs") you could see if they can be removed from the panel.

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