Looking beyond the resume: You can’t always spell talent with CV

Looking beyond the resume: You can’t always spell talent with CV

Jeff Gipson | February 21, 2022

Looking beyond the resume is vital to finding and keeping the talent vital to the existence and expansion of your business. Especially now, employers who want to remain competitive, who want to grow in the middle of what some call a “talent shortage,” need to turn their gaze to resources and avenues that will dramatically deepen their potential talent pool.

I don’t necessarily believe in the aforementioned talent shortage. I believe that, for the insurance industry especially, it is a matter of our current needs meeting traditional sources of top-performing talent and coming up short. Our workforce is aging and retiring faster than we can effectively replace those positions internally. Insurance entities must look beyond stringent CV requirements if they want to find people who will drive their business forward.

People are more than lists.

Listing out your accomplishments, awards, accolades and professional conquests sounds great—unless you are a kid just getting out of school looking for an opportunity—just one single open window to prove yourself and you can’t find a business to give you a chance. 

Are your experience requirements realistic? We definitely want to take relevant and specialized insurance industry experience into account and place it high on our priorities list, but placing unreasonable experience requirements on candidates who have proven their capabilities in a shorter amount of time should not be cast aside callously. 

Millennials and Gen Z outpace many of their predecessors in adaptability, curiosity and their desire for mentorship. Taking on a talented, driven and technically inexperienced candidate offers you as an employer the opportunity to teach and mold that professional into a leader defined by their experiences within your organization. Looking beyond the resume will help you produce loyal and agile assets to your business and its culture.

Let candidates show you who they are beyond the resume.

We need to start letting candidates show us what they are capable of accomplishing when given the chance. Resumes can be falsified, faked, embellished and stretched to meet the demands of the job description. What’s nearly impossible to fake is drive.

By overlooking candidates based solely on their CV, you are denying your organization all the potential energy, passion and productivity effective training and guidance might produce from such a hire. I think the biggest mistake we often make in business is assuming our expertise is infallible, that we’ve seen everything that’s going to be seen or that we can tell if a person is the right fit on paper. 

People are complex creatures and making assumptions about their motivations or capabilities before actually giving them the consideration they’re due is a potentially disastrous oversight. It’s like looking at a thousand saplings and not seeing the future forest right in front of you. Looking to the future often means seeing beyond the present, just like seeing the professional always means looking beyond the resume. 

For our view on the other side of the resume, examining how candidates should look beyond a job description when considering a career shift, be sure to read our next blog.


The James Allen Companies is dedicated to providing the insurance industry with effective talent from every reliable source—especially those most often overlooked. To find your next great hire, start a conversation.

About the Author

Jeff Gipson
Jeff Gipson Sr. is a veteran of the staffing industry, with more than 30 years of experience. He got his start working for an international staffing organization where he focused on information technology placements across the country. In July 1992, Jeff continued his staffing career with a St. Louis based information technology staffing company. There, he was strategically involved in launching the organization’s first branch office — and subsequently three additional branch offices over the next several years. In July 2000 Jeff made another move — this time to launch his own staffing company, continuing his IT focus. In 2003 the organization was reinvented. Relying on his earlier sales career in the insurance industry, the company changed course and began building the firm around the insurance industry. The company continues to put all their energy in the insurance sector filling positions of all titles across the country. Jeff and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1980. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
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