Joel Feenstra was the founder and operator of Feenstra Electric Ltd, a company specializing in agricultural electrical work and automation. At the peak of his busier seasons, Joel employed seven people. After 2 years of successful business, Joel sold his company and now teaches electrical and automation at the University of the Fraser Valley.
What are the 3 things that you want to see on a resume?
1. Experience related to the job. I liked seeing the types of projects that candidates had worked on as I wanted to get a sense of the type of electrical wiring they had done the past.
2. Recent references. I wanted to see that the person had references related to their last job and I liked getting the references with the resume.
3. Hobbies. I always looked at the hobby section to see if the individual was involved in any high-risk hobbies as it made me think that this person may request at a lot of time off or might be more likely to be injured.
What are the top things that cause red flags for you when you review resumes?
1. Short employment. If someone had a series of employment that is only 1 or 2 months, then I would be concerned about hiring them. I am less concerned about employment gaps as long as they are explainable (for example, a large project ended.)
2. No references.
3. High-risk hobbies. My concern was that this person may have been injured previously and this could impact their job performance.
What is your resume pet peeve?
Seeing a list of all previous education that is not relevant to the job. There is no need to mention high school and I really don’t care about any activities that you did during high school.
What advice do you have for job seekers who are working on their resumes?
Keep your resume neat and uncluttered. Check your grammar and do not use weird fonts.
Funniest thing you have seen on a resume.
One applicant wrote that he was “determinated” instead of determined.
What impresses you when you interview a potential job candidate?
For starters, when they show up! I like someone who is confident but does not tell long stories. I want the candidate to get to the point and respect my time!
What causes red flags in an interview?
I get concerned when someone is a hardcore sports fan. In my experience, these employees won’t want to stay later on game days even if there is important work to get done.
Also, people who check their phones during the interview! I can’t have employees who are constantly checking their phones during work time so if they are doing it during an interview, I get worried.
What was the worst interview you conducted?
I interviewed a guy who was completely spacey. He didn’t seem to understand the questions and things didn’t make sense on his resume.
What 3 pieces of advice do you have for people going into interviews?
1. Show up, be on time.
2. Turn off your phone
3. Respect the employer’s time!
Kristin Vandegriend is a Career Coach and Resume Writer at Career Story. With over 10+ years of experience in HR and career development, she has successfully worked with hundreds of clients to find meaningful and sustainable work. Her passion is helping clients identify career paths and creative job search strategies that leverage and market their personal strengths and resilience. Connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.