Candidate Review: 5 Things to Think About When Viewing Resumes
The job hiring process is complicated and long. In fact, the average corporate job posting receives 250 applicants
So if you're a hiring manager looking to find the best candidate for a job opening, it's important to know how to review resumes effectively. But this can be easier said than done.
For this reason, we've created this guide outlining 6 things to think about when viewing resumes. This way, you'll find the best person for the job.
Develop a Description of Your Ideal Candidate
Before you look at any resume, you should start by creating a description of the ideal candidate for this position.
What types of things are you looking for? What elements are essential? What things are optional?
Identifying these types of things will help you more effectively go through your stack of resumes.
In this candidate profile, make sure you include the following:
- key characteristics
- relevant experience required
- desired education level (high school, bachelors, or masters degree)
- the most important skills
Once you have these things outlined, you'll be able to more accurately find the candidate you're looking for. When you have this created before you start, you'll be able to perform your resume review in a more organized way, instead of just going off of your gut feeling.
You'll have a list of concrete items that you can use to make the best selection. You can also use this list in the rest of the hiring process.
For example, this is the perfect foundation for creating relevant and worthwhile interview questions. With these main topics covered, you'll be able to craft targeted questions that will get you the best candidate possible.
Do a Preliminary Look-Through
Next, it's time to do a first look-through of all the resumes you've received. Think of this as your first impression with each of the candidates.
Look for easy-to-find qualifications that will help you sift through unqualified candidates. For example, if you're requiring 3 years of work experience and a masters degree, you can toss out all of the resumes that don't have those two things.
Make sure they use proper grammar and spelling. This will help you understand if a candidate pays attention to detail or not.
Also, see if resumes have an overall professional look and feel. If they don't, you may want to place those in the maybe pile.
Look for Tailored Messaging
When people are applying for jobs, it's common for them to send the same resume to many different employers. But in most cases, this is a negative.
Instead, candidates should take time to customize their resume to each specific job posting. Look for resumes that specifically address things you outlined in the job description.
Top applicants will go through the process of reflecting your desires with their experience. When you see this, be sure to take note of this added effort. Often, this is a good sign that the candidate is thorough, dedicated, and willing to put in the necessary work to get the job done right.
And who wouldn't want those qualities in an employee?
Check the Appearance
When it comes to viewing resumes, appearance is crucial. This is your one shot to impress a potential employer, so it's important that candidates knock it out of the park--especially because 40% of hiring managers spend less than 60 seconds
reviewing each resume.
When it comes to professional appearance, look for the following qualities as you're reviewing resumes:
- Margins are even on all sides
- There's a good balance between white space and copy
- The font is readable and appropriate for the industry and position
- Has the candidate used design elements to make their resume more readable, including bullet points, lines, and section headers?
- Do font sizes, colors, and cases match throughout the document?
- The resume is overall well-polished and professional
While some of these things may seem like small details, they matter. A resume is the only look you get into a potential employee
so it needs to be well done. If not, how can you trust them to be a strong team player?
Look for the Intangibles
Now for the intangibles. You've reviewed the candidate's hard skills, including specific qualifications and skills.
Next, you should look for soft skills, including more subtle talents and traits. These often aren't explicitly stated, but you can find them throughout the resume.
These can include the following:
- The ability to handle complex situations
- Problem-solving skills
- The ability to work well with a team
- Self-starter who can take initiative on projects
- The ability to think outside the box
- Strong people skills, being able to get along with lots of different personality types
- Strong communication skills
- Humility and the ability to be taught
As you read through resumes, see which of these things shine through.
Consider the Cover Letter
Another important thing to consider? Check out your candidates' cover letters.
After you've taken a look at resumes, move on to cover letters. Often, these can give you an even deeper look into your top candidates.
In a cover letter, again look for customization to your specific position. It should also be well organized, clean, and easy to read.
You'll also want to look for specific achievements that the candidate mentions. This is their chance to explain some professional achievements that set them apart from the crowd.
Make Viewing Resumes Easier and More Succinct with a Plan
Now that you've read all about viewing resumes, it's time to put these skills to work. Take a look at all of your potential candidates and use these tips to find your future employee.
Want to learn more? Contact us