How to Read a Resume Critically

It continues to amaze us that the people who we refer to as “serial embezzlers” continue to find jobs in dental practices. One skill that dentists, and others involved in the hiring process, seem to lack is the ability to read resumes critically.

Here is the 2019 resume of one serial embezzler. She has used different names at various times including Unique Wells and Unique Edmond. She has a lengthy criminal record, and her own page in our Hall of Shame — https://www.prosperident.com/hiring-alert-nevada/ .

Unique-Edmond-Wells-resume-Aug-2019

So let’s take a forensic look at her resume and the attached reference letter. A few things pop out:

  1. Work experience on the resume is limited to two corporately-owned dental practices. Many practice owners do not bother checking references, and thieves know that there is a bit more work involved in obtaining a reference from a large organization like a university or DSO than a solo practice. Embezzlers know that listing large organizations is enough to deter prospective employers from reference checking.
  2. Her statement that she is willing to relocate for a job anywhere in the US is a bit overeager for the dental office manager or financial coordinator jobs that she is applying for.
  3. The “some college” she has listed for education is concerningly vague. Most employers would expect to see which college, years attended, program studied etc. on a resume. It looks like Unique is trying hard to give as little past information as possible.
  4. On the subject of vagueness, Unique lists no home address for herself.
  5. Of course, she is not specific about which Henderson, NV Pacific Dental office she works in. There are actually four offices. She would not want you to call that office only to find out that she does not work there.
  6. We tell practice owners to place no value whatsoever in written job references, because they are easy to forge. There are several clues to that fact that this reference letter is not real.
  7. The reference letter is not on letterhead. Even if it was, that would provide no validation; letterhead is easy to forge. However the fact that this letter is not on letterhead, and is signed using a “script” font from a word processor, creates strong questions about its credibility.
  8. Google searching suggest that the consultant, Kara Stevenson, and her company, do not exist.
  9. The phone number listed for Kara Stevenson was answered by Unique when we called.
  10. When reading the reference letter, one should be wondering in what context a consultant would be in a position to observe Unique’s work when her experience is limited to two DSOs. Most DSOs do not employ in-office consultants.
  11. The lavish praise heaped on Unique seem inconsistent with the insurance coordinator position that she claims to have held for the past nine years. According to the consultant, Unique pretty much walks on water. If she really had the attributes “like an in-house consultant”, “110% loyalty” and an “ownership mentality”, and was working for a DSO , and was willing to relocate, Pacific Dental Services (with over 700 offices, and growing by 80 per year) would have certainly promoted her by now, probably more than once.

Hiring is a challenging process. It is difficult to find the right person, particularly in a booming economy with a labor shortage. In this all-consuming process, it is easy to lose the skepticism that needs to be there. To make a clumsy pun, Unique is not unique. Many resumes have false, misleading or incomplete information. Many applicants have attributes that they do not want you to know about. We can never forget to question the completeness, internal consistency and reasonableness of a resume.