One of the things I feel most strongly about is companies and individuals opening the door to people who may not have the experience on their resume but are looking for a foot in the door. Are you willing to take a risk on someone and see what happens?
As a manager and as an employer, I have engaged with individuals that seem completely uninterested in working for a living, despite their multiple financial and family obligations. I have then come across individuals that are either not eligible to work in the United States or have some type of disability that prohibits them from working. I have also come across individuals who are looking for someone to give them a chance because they know what they are capable of, but unfortunately it is all about who you know, not what you know.
Most of my jobs have been people taking a chance on me. I have come into that interview with huge confidence talking about the things I’ve done, and the things I haven’t done, but nonetheless extremely certain that I can get any task accomplished with precision and efficiency. My previous bosses took a chance on me. They brought me in, gave me an opportunity to make more money that positively impacted my family, and they trusted their instinct that I was the best person for the position.
As a Hiring Manager, if you are going to look at someone’s resume or application, look at the jobs they have done and the skills they have. Then ask yourself how can I apply those skills in our place of employment? Then put down the resume and look at the person in the eyes. Ask them what their professional goals are. Ask them how they see themselves. Ask them how they intend on achieving those goals. Ask them why are they different? Ask them what is their best feature? Get to know the person, not the resume. At the end of the day, the position’s performance and productivity depends on the person, not the resume.
I challenge managers and employers to open the door to those individuals without the perfect resume. Take a shot on someone who just graduated from school. Maybe has the educational knowledge, but not the operational hands on experience. Take a chance on a senior citizen who is extremely responsible, dedicated, and loyal. Take a chance on a non-English speaker and teach them enough English to perform their job. Take a chance on people. Those people that you take a chance on will be eternally grateful to you. They will help you in your time of need, they will volunteer their time, and they will grow as your business grows.
A few people did that for me early in my career, and I have made sure to pay it forward time and time again. Those people today are my colleagues, but more importantly, they are my friends. Go with the gut feeling. Invest in training people. You will not regret it, and they will not let you down.