Tuesday, August 21, 2007

IQ: A Bad Resume Idea

Being a front line manager in a tech company, I spend a lot of time in the hiring process. There were times during the first web boom that I spent half of my time reviewing resumes, phone screening or interviewing, and providing feedback on candidates.

Of course, given the number of resumes that have crossed my desk, I have seen my fair share of bad ideas. I just reviewed a resume last week that had one of the more rare mistakes.

The person in question put their IQ on their resume.

This is always a mistake. There is no winning in this situation.

First, there is no way that a hiring manager can verify this tidbit of information. Your resume should stick to things that can be reasonably verified or demonstrated. So it is a useless piece of data.

But it gets worse. If you claim to have a high IQ, you may look like you are bragging or come off as an elitist. Is that the impression you want people to take from your resume? The best case scenario is that you will set unreasonably high expectations for yourself. Imagine every slip in your interview being greeting in the mind of the interviewer with, "You didn't do so well there, did you Einstein?"

And if you do not have a high IQ (and I had a resume that listed an IQ of 105) who cares? What message are you trying to send? That you do not have enough experience to fill a letter sized page of paper? That you do not understand the IQ scale?

So keep your IQ to yourself.

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