A tech exec explains why he doesn't care about your alma mater and your past jobs

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 - Resume



Indeed exec Doug Gray
(pictured) says résumés aren’t everything.

Doug Gray

It’s not a great idea to hire someone based on their résumé
alone, especially in the tech world.

At least that’s what Doug Gray, the senior vice president of
engineering at Indeed,
thinks. 

He tells Business Insider that a tech candidate’s actual skills
and abilities are what’s important, not their alma mater or the
companies they’ve previously worked for.

“It’s understandable, and it’s a mistake that I often have to
council myself not to make,” Gray says. “This has to do with the
fact that we look at résumés as a form of demonstrating pedigree,
especially in software engineering.”

He says that recruiters often are wowed by top computer science
schools, like University of California, Berkeley, Stanford
University, or MIT. Past experience at top tier tech companies
like Google, Facebook, and Amazon is also a major plus.

“But if you’ve got a cognitive science degree from a university
that I’m not familiar with, or you’ve only worked at companies
I’ve never heard of, maybe I’m not going to bother,” he says.
“The problem is that you’re going to miss a lot of really good
talent by doing that.”

Instead, Gray recommends de-emphasizing the résumé by
implementing procedures like coding tests that demonstrate a
candidate’s skills. That way, companies and recruiters will
prevent excellent talent from slipping through the cracks just
because they lack a flashy résumé.

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