Tuesday, June 11, 2024

This popular resume advice is ‘a waste of time’, says former head of talent acquisition at Nike

Gili Malinsky

When you’re applying for a job, many career experts will tell you to tailor your resume to the job description. They recommend sifting through its requirements to see what’s most relevant for the role and tweaking your resume accordingly.

Longtime HR executive James Hudson, who’s led talent acquisition at companies like Nike and Levi Strauss & Co., disagrees with this approach. “It’s bad advice to customize your resume” for every role, he says. In fact, as far as a jobseeker is concerned, it’s “a waste of time.”

Here’s why he thinks so.

Descriptions are often ‘managed by the compensation team’

There can be a slight disconnect between what a job description asks for and what a hiring manager might be looking for in any given role. That gap stems from how an organization creates its job descriptions.

Internally and especially in large companies, “job descriptions are typically owned and managed by the compensation team because they’re directly linked to pay bands within the organization,” says Hudson. A pay band is an internal salary range for each role. That means the person writing the job description will not necessarily be the person doing the hiring, and therefore may not know exactly what a hiring manager or recruiter is looking for on the ground.

“The basic qualifications are always going to be exactly right,” says Hudson, such as degree and experience requirements, “but there’s so much more in a job description than the basic qualifications.”

You’ll have a chance to better suss those out during the interview process and if you speak to someone at the company before you apply. But the job description itself might not give a 100% sense of where the emphasis will be on day-to-day job duties.

Read the 2nd reason and the complete CNBC article