A job candidate’s resume is their first introduction to you, the hiring manager responsible for matching the best talent with the right roles. Hiring mistakes are devastatingly costly to everyone involved – starting with you, your HR team and your organization. They hurt candidates, too, so you want to avoid them at all cost. It’s critical you practice due diligence and know what to look for in a resume. Don’t settle … you can’t afford it!
What to Look For
A pile of resumes can be daunting by their sheer number alone. But there are some key criteria with which you can quickly narrow the field. These include:
- Relevant recent experience: How long did a candidate spend in their most recent position? If it was a short time, what happened? Or, are they still there, but looking to make a move after a short tenure? Most importantly, is their experience there relevant to the position for which you are hiring?
- Career progression: Especially if you’re hiring for a specialized or senior-level position, successful career progression is essential. Has a candidate had increasing levels of responsibility? And, did those responsibilities align with what you’re looking for in a prospective hire?
- Company recognition: Credibility counts! There are certain positive – or negative – assumptions you can make based on which companies a candidate has worked for. Assigning the right frame of reference is difficult if an individual has only worked for obscure organizations you’ve never heard of. If you don’t recognize a person’s past employers, you need to dig deeper.
- Quantitative results: Single out individuals who, in past roles, have delivered on their objectives. Look for data, percentages and dollar figures to justify their successes.
- Professionalism: A resume presents an applicant with a chance to put their best foot forward. Look for proof of this. For starters, there should be no typos, spelling or grammatical errors. Also, pay attention to the language and tone of the resume and any accompanying materials. They should be professional, honest, confident and upbeat.
What to Avoid
Just as there are positive resume characteristics, there also are some red flags to avoid, such as:
- Templates: If a person can’t create their own resume, how innovative will they be as a member of your workforce?
- Dishonesty: There is simply no room for dishonesty, or even exaggeration, in resumes. The truth will come out. Any apparent lapses in a person’s integrity or ethics are not something you want to take on.
- Unnecessary length: With some exceptions, resumes should be limited to one or two pages. Every word should be relevant. For instance, you probably don’t need the details of a job held in 1988.
Screening and hiring the best talent for your business is no small task. Let the pros at PrideStaff Fresno blend your requirements with our extensive experience in talent management for areas including administration, customer service, healthcare, production and distribution, IT, finance and legal support. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.