A resume is one of the most important aspects of a successful job search campaign and can be a determining factor when deciding whom to call for an interview. When receiving resumes it is important that you know what you are looking for in terms of experience, education and skills to help weed through the resumes quickly and identify potential candidates. Individuals with resumes that communicate skills and experience relating directly to your job description and operational needs should be interviewed.
Here are different tips to consider when reviewing resumes:
- Review the job description. Note minimum requirements needed and refer to them often as you review resumes. If you need help with developing effective job descriptions, refer to my previous post.
- Check work experience for applicability to the position for which they are applying, length of time in each position, promotions or awards received and reason for leaving each position.
- Check educational background for qualifications necessary to successful job performance.
- A steady career progression can be a green light when reviewing a resume because it shows that the individual is interested in going to the next level.
- A “hop-scotch career path” can be a red light when reviewing a resume because although times have changed and people no longer stay in jobs for years on end, seeing successive job changes from day one of their career can signal a problem in the future.
Identifying the Best Candidate
After reviewing resumes, it’s time to decide which individuals will be the best candidates to interview for the position at hand. I’ll discuss interview tips in my next post.
Here are a few guidelines that can help save your company time and money when going through the resume pile and finding qualified individuals who are likely to be a good fit with your company.
- Know what the job requires. If the candidate is reporting to someone other than yourself, it’s important to discuss with the position’s supervisor what they require and desire of a candidate to fill that position.
- Get good at spotting promise. Identifying a candidate who is self-motivated and has a passion for learning independently may have a better chance to align with your organization’s culture. If you’re looking for someone that is a strong team player that can bring a diverse group of people together, then look for keywords that indicate this passion in their resume or cover letter.
Spotting promise or potential may sound easy, but it can be challenging. At the Management Development Center at Fort Hays State University, we work with employers to identify and hire the right candidates through training at your organization and through public workshops throughout the year. To learn more, click here.
Additionally, you can seek help through any of the Kansas Small Business Development Centers located across the state.
About our Author
Saul Sanchez is a Human Resources undergraduate student studying at Fort Hays State University. He blends his classroom education with real world learning working with FHSU’s Management Development Center (MDC) as a student intern. He takes his learning one step further by guest blogging about small business HR issues via a co-operative learning opportunity developed between the FHSU MDC and the Kansas SBDC.