Posted February 11, 2016 by

Multitasking doesn’t matter to recruiters

In college recruiting, employers don’t value multitasking as one of the skills at the top of their list. While multitasking may demonstrate effort, it does not necessarily produce the best results. Many students list multitasking on their resumes because multitasking is a popular soft skill candidates have been taught to list on their resumes. The bottom line is recruiters want to hire candidates who produce results.

Anne Grinols, Assistant Dean for Faculty Development and College Initiatives at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, asserts that employers care more about hiring candidates who have outlined their accomplishments in detail on their resumes over candidates who have simply listed lots of popular soft skills at the top of their resumes.

Photo of Anne Grinols

Anne Grinols, Assistant Dean for Faculty Development and College Initiatives at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business

“Job candidates who say they can multitask think they are saying they can accomplish more than others because they can focus on more than one thing at once. However, multitasking can also be seen as a negative. I think this is because efforts to multitask have had unfortunate results: poor outcomes and burnout of those trying to do it for extended periods of time.

In the real world, most of the time, results count more than the process to achieve them. A good process is more likely to result in consistent, good results; so process matters. But it matters precisely because of the results, not on its own account.

Employers are more interested in outcomes than efforts. Multitasking refers to the latter. I would not use the term ‘multitasking’ on my resume. Instead, I would indicate expertise in multiple areas, timely production and excellence in outcomes.”

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Anne Grinols serves as Assistant Dean for Faculty Development and College Initiatives in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. She teaches in Baylor’s full-time and online MBA programs. Her research areas include interpersonal communication, ethics, and online education. As assistant dean, she supports faculty development in teaching and research, and has a leadership role in the ethics initiatives in the business school. Before coming to Baylor in January 2004, Grinols was director of management communication for the University of Illinois Business School, where she taught management communication and critical thinking for business from 1996-2003 and oversaw the MBA Communication Center.

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