Claims versus Evidence: Knowing When You’re Really Qualified for the Job!

It’s not a matter of whether or not you can do the job, but it’s a matter of knowing if you’re the right person for the job.



As a recruiter and career coach, I have worked with and have placed professionals at all levels. In many cases, candidates will usually tell me the same thing. They’ll say something like, “I can really do that job!,” or “This job is right up my alley!” Sound familiar?

It’s not until we “deep-dive” into their background that they finally concede that they may not be the best candidate. It’s not a matter of whether or not they can do the job, but it’s a matter of finding the right person to do the job. Additionally, it’s about making sure that we migrate the candidate and their background from being “Claims Based” to “Evidence Based” and capable of fulfilling the responsibilities of the position.

If you’ve read my article entitled, ” Roadmap to a Winning Resume,” then you know that having a quantifiable resume is critical to capturing the attention of the hiring manager or recruiter. Making sure that your resume contains the data necessary to demonstrate your skills is fine, but taking a few minutes to develop an “Evidence-Based Qualifications Summary” will prove invaluable as an addendum to supplement your resume when you interview for the position.

Your resume needs to be crafted in a way that increases your visibility for the position. The Evidence-Based Qualifications Summary is a tool that few people will use when going in for an interview, but it will set you apart!

When developing your Evidence-Based Qualifications Summary, you will use the job description that has been published for the position as your guide. Upon reviewing the job description, I suggest that you copy and paste the “Qualifications” for the position and, using an outline format, identify the “Years of Experience” and the “Accomplishments” to go along with each point. I would suggest that you limit the accomplishments piece of this exercise to three bullets per qualification, whenever possible.

As an example, here is a qualification requirement along with the candidate’s (evidence-based qualification summary) response for a Human Resources Administration / Generalist position:

  • (Requirement) Two years of administrative experience in a human resources office
    • Years Experience: 5
    • Accomplishments: Provided responsible, confidential administrative duties in support of the Human Resources Director, the Risk Manager and Department Managers.
    • Administered the performance evaluation system for professional, union and non-union employees.
    • Conducted pre-employment background investigation, exits interview, classification program maintenance, salary and benefits administration plan.

Obviously, this is for one bullet in the list of requirements, but you can clearly see that this candidate has more experience than they are seeking, and is able to identify his or her specific accomplishments.

In many cases, a position description may be written as a “professional wish-list” of the skills that the company is looking for in a perfect candidate to fulfill a particular role. Developing an evidence-based qualifications summary allows the hiring authority or recruiter to zone in directly to the hot points in the job description that may be the most important to them and their team.

Don’t worry if you’re not a direct hit on every “Requirement” or “Qualification.” I have seen instances in which the hiring company will make exceptions for someone who may be lacking in one area, but is able to demonstrate advanced skills in another area.

Using this document as an interview tool also eliminates the need for you to defend your resume or any piece of your background. It allows you to control the interview in a conversational way, rather than being reactive and asked to “prove” your claims.

The next time you come across an opportunity to apply for a position, it’s important to begin thinking about how you will develop an “Evidence-Based Qualifications Summary” to identify your background, your accomplishments and your success!

Go get’em!