For those of you familiar with my “Unconventional (mis)management non-wisdom” series of posts, you know that I devote each installment to some tried-and-true management principle, or pearl of management “wisdom.”

Specifically, I take pains to cast it into doubt, or otherwise debunk it.

For instance, in the past I’ve called into question such “indisputable” management dogma as:

(You can click on each to link to the specific post.)


So why do I go to the trouble? Is it because I have an axe to grind with the corporate world? Or do I just enjoy throwing stones at glass houses (or maybe that should be “corner offices”)?

Actually, far from it.

It’s simply the best way I can think of to demonstrate how very little—if anything—is known about good management, and its practice.

Consider it:

  • Maybe managing is still a relatively new—and therefore unexplored—science…
  • Maybe some core management principle (or principles) have yet to be discovered and/or described…
  • And maybe that’s why for every pearl of management “wisdom” you might come across there’s a successful business person, CEO, or manager who offers a compelling argument for engaging in precisely the opposite behavior


Take the importance of pre-screening job candidates based on their résumé, for example – which is the subject of this week’s post…


“I never read a résumé…”

It perhaps goes without saying that résumés are widely considered to be critically important to landing that dream job (or at least getting your foot in the door).[1] A professional résumé cannot be stressed enough according to consultant Judi Roo, because “well-written résumés produce results.”[2]

That’s not to say that recruiters spend a lot of time reading them, however. According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, the average time your future ex-boss spends looking over this document is around six seconds.[3]

Nevertheless, read them they do.

As The Harvard Business Toolkit explains, résumés are a critical part of the screening process, if for no other reason than to ensure prospective job candidates possesses the necessary qualifications.[4] And once an interview has been scheduled, it is furthermore seen as good practice for those conducting the interview to become familiar with each candidate’s résumé, or CV. According to the website Ask A Manager, any interviewer or hiring agent who doesn’t do this to prepare is just plain “bad.”[5]

So in light of all this, it is interesting to hear Barbara Corcoran’s thoughts on the matter. Corcoran is a successful American businesswoman, investor, speaker, consultant, syndicated columnist, and author. But many of you probably know her better as one of the celebrity judges on ABC’s reality-TV show “Shark Tank.”

And in a recent edition of the “Corner Office” series published by The New York Times, she had this to say:

“I never read a résumé until after the interview because you never know who wrote it, and you can be fooled by it. If you read a résumé, the interview is nothing but a business small-talk session confirming stuff you just read.”[6]


See you next Friday.




[1] “7 Unconventional ways to land your dream job” by David Williams. Forbes (online), July 23, 2104. Retrieved June 22, 2017.

[2]“The Importance of a Well Written Professional Résumé” by Judi Roo. Retrieved June 22, 2017.

[3] “Yes, Your Résumé Needs a Summary” by Jane Heifetz. Harvard Business Review (online), July 28, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2017.

[4] Harvard Business Essentials Manager’s Toolkit, Subject Advisor: Christopher Bartlett. (2004), Harvard Business School Press: Boston, MA, p. 25.

[5] “Interviewers who haven’t even read you résumé” by Alison Greene. Posted February 4, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2017.

[6] “The Power of a Positive Attitude,” by Adam Bryant. The New York Times (Corner Office Series), June 4, 2017, p. B2.