On July 7, 2020 I interviewed Andrew Poole, Director of Engineering and Business Development at Poole Fire Protection, Inc. http://www.poolefire.com/. Drew has been with the firm for about 6 years. He was kind enough to discuss with me the critical role that resumes play in hiring their new employees. Here is some of what I learned.

Most surprising to me – photo on resume

Drew mentioned that he recently received a resume with a photo of the candidate on it.  To my surprise he liked seeing it.  I suggested in my experience adding a photo is a bad idea.  He stated that the Fire Protection Engineering space is a very tight knit industry.  By seeing a photo of someone it may remind him of conversations he has had with that individual in the past and that can play a significant role in the consideration process.  I like it when my firm held beliefs are tested!

I take resumes with a grain of salt. Even if the resume is not the best, I’m still going to read through it and see what their experience is and what they can bring to the table.

Andrew Poole, Director of Engineering and Business Development, Poole Fire Protection, Inc.

What Drew likes to see

Drew likes people to get to the point and he wants resumes to be the same way. A long, wordy, paragraph format is not going to get a lot of attention from Drew. Some of his preferences are:

  • The resume does not have to be fancy, but make it more than just boring plain vanilla
  • Concise writing
  • Use of bullets
  • Focus on your knowledge and delivery of Fire Protection engineering

How critical is it that a resume be perfect?

It is not.  This was another good reality check for me.  Drew says that while a sharp resume is always better than one that is not, he focuses on experience and the candidate’s ability to convey it concisely.  He understands that he is working with engineers and not English majors.

Beyond the resume… what Drew likes to see during an interview

After we kicked around the role a resume plays in a candidate’s evaluation, I broadened the subject to the interview process. One thing that Drew likes to see is energy. He gave the example of two candidates he interviewed. One was engaged and animated. The other kind of sat their like a bump on a log. With the two candidates being roughly equal on paper, it was an easy choice to go with the more lively candidate. Some of what Drew looks for in an interview lincludes:

  • Candidates who have performed due diligence on their company and what Poole Fire Protection is all about
  • Candidates who are not overconfident
  • Candidates who are prepared with good questions

Odds and ends

  • Drew prefers resumes arrive in PDF format. It’s a better guarantee for consistency.
  • Poole Fire Protection does not use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS.)
  • Drew recommends college graduates focus their resume on “what things you contributed to the industry and what you want to get involved with” vs simply an academic profile.
  • Drew may or may not check given references.  He will do his own reference checking.
  • Regarding gaps in work history, all Drew is looking for is a simple explanation. Don’t leave it out and don’t over do it.

News at Poole Fire Protection Engineering

Recently PFPE was contracted to engineer the life safety, fire suppression and fire alarm systems in four COVID-10 medical facilities. PFPE is hiring! Look on their website for open position descriptions http://www.poolefire.com/.

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