During any new personnel search, the resume review and interview process can be time consuming. In order to find the most suitable choice for your business, there are ten important things to consider while reading your next resume.
1) Job description
Have the job description, complete with education, work experience, and certification requirements clearly displayed beside you. Should the applicant not fit the job requirements, you will not waste time reading the entire resume or calling them in for an interview.
If you recognize the name, pull up their applicant file from previous hire attempts. Review your initial notes and determine why they weren’t hired before. If they didn’t meet specific requirements, you can specifically check whether they do now. If they still do not fit the job description, you can save time by not re-interviewing them.
Does the applicant meet the education requirements? If so, continue reviewing the resume. If not, the resume can simply be kept on file for another possible job opening.
4) Work experience
Look at the applicant’s most recent employers. What do you know about the companies? How long has the applicant worked at each job? If they have over 5 years experience at their most recent job, you may only want to contact that employer rather than contacting employers from many years ago. If they tend to switch jobs frequently, you may want to contact several past employers to find out why.
5) Achievements, awards, and certifications
If certain certifications are required for the job, immediately note the applicant’s certifications. If they do not meet the requirements, you won’t waste your time reading the entire resume. Likewise, note achievements or awards that clearly display their work ethic or educational experiences.
If the applicant provides references, do you recognize any of the names? Note the reference’s position and employer. If an applicant is listing their mother as a reference, chances are they haven’t made many distinguished contacts.
Some applicants may simply write down experience or educational information without offering specific dates. They may be hiding the fact that they worked at 5 businesses in a one year span or that it took them 10 years to achieve an Associate’s degree. If the resume is too vague, but the applicant does have potential, it would be wise to clarify dates.
Also, some of the most meticulous applicants will include very specific statistics. For example, they may say “increased sales by 54%.” Such specifics can highlight their career achievements.
Whether the resume is one or two pages, it should be clearly organized, neat, and professional looking. The overall appearance can be very important. Those who print their resume on resume paper probably have a better chance at the job than those whose resume has a spaghetti sauce stain.
Avoid focusing on information that may bias your opinion. Such information includes age, address, and school information. Even if you think the applicant may be too old or if they graduated from your rival school, this does not mean they are not qualified for the position. Instead, focus on content that is directly related to the job description.
10) Grammar and spelling
Note any obvious grammar or spelling errors that may signal that the applicant is careless. If they cannot take the time to proofread an important document, how serious will they take their job?
Unfortunately, many human resource managers simply skim through a resume and don’t take the time to fully comprehend the applicant’s ability. Some make a decision within 10 seconds of reviewing the resume. It is important to remember that although a resume can provide great insight into the applicant’s work ability, it cannot be the only deciding factor. If the applicant has potential, follow up with an e-mail or phone call to clarify details. You can then decide whether to pursue an interview. By taking time during the resume review process to ensure that only the most qualified applicant is hired, you can increase your business’s employee retention rate.
About Andrew Jensen & his Optimization Strategies for Success™
As a business efficiency expert, Andrew helps small to mid sized businesses, start-up companies & nonprofit organizations thrive through developing and implementing business optimization strategies. Andrew’s efficiency consulting addresses the entire scope of a business: its processes, customer service, management, employees, marketing, public relations, and communication. His goal with each client is steady improvement, from the perspective of cutting costs as well as increasing value. Contact Andrew to begin a thorough critique of your business operations. Begin your company’s improvement journey today.