Astute candidates create a resume to present their skills and achievements in the best possible light. However, in some situations, there is temptation to bend the truth a little to get the job. They say that we are perfect twice in our lives: first when we are born, second on our resume! These embellishments can leave facilities with physicists or dosimetrists who can't do the job they were hired for or worse still, one whose mistakes put patient care in jeopardy.

Identifying "red flags" will help you ensure that you can identify candidates with a depth of experience and expertise. Here are a few pointers:

  • Before sorting through your pile of resumes, have a checklist of essential skills, qualifications or attributes that are the "benchmark" for finding the right person. These include education, general and specific job experience, as well as skill and performance requirements.
  • Look for unexplained time periods that might indicate unemployment or a job the applicant doesn't want you to know about. Date-stretching to cover gaps is not uncommon. Check previous employers to detect this.
  • Although employee mobility has increased, as a general rule, more time in once place shows loyalty. You don't want to be hiring again in six months. Past loyalty is often an indicator of future loyalty to you. However, I always recommend giving candidates the benefit of the doubt. Simply explore the reasons for frequent job changes. Even the best employees can sometimes have a short period in a specific role due to unforeseen, personal or uncontrollable circumstances.
  • Watch out for a resume filled with vague responsibilities and claims. Enhancing job titles is common practice. Check for inconsistencies between title, responsibilities and salary. Look for very specific details of achievements and outcomes. Ш At the same time, don't be "dazzled" by an achievement-based style of resume. Go behind it to consider actual roles and responsibilities. Flag achievements and require the candidate to elaborate in the interview.
  • Salary is a common area for embellishment. This can be hard to detect, especially when you can't reference it.
  • Check with a present employer. If you are suspicious, aim to uncover half-truths in interviews by asking probing questions.
  • Check employment references. Always! Anyone can get three people so say something good about them. Flag specific items to check with referees.

In today's market place, when you might only have one or two physicist candidates for each position, you could be tempted to overlook “red flags”. Some physicists have been highly mobile - both domestically and internationally. There is no substitute for thorough checks on every critical aspect of a resume. I understand that it is difficult to evaluate what you do not know. A search professional that understands the industry can ensure that you do not hire the wrong person. This was recently the case at two facilities:


Case Study 1: One hospital extended an offer to a candidate that had listed XYZ Hospital as their last employer when in fact this candidate had been employed at two facilities since XYZ Hospital. The physicist had left both facilities not eligible for rehire. Case Study 2: The other hospital had extended an offer to a candidate that stated that they had been “consulting” for the last few years, when they were actually employed at three facilities. This candidate was also not eligible for rehire at these facilities. Case Study 3: I have been emailed a resume by certain physicist multiple times over the years. The resume employment dates and facilities have changed. Some positions are not listed anymore. Furthermore this individual wrote that they were employed by a specific Hospital for over two years, when in fact this physicist was employed by a consulting physicist, covering that facility for less than two months! What is more interesting is that this individual continues to get offers of employment.   “ I must admit, you have a very impressive resume! ”


Add comment

Security code