Reviewing Resumes and Identifying the Best Candidates

Reviewing Resumes

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.

Build a Great Resume - Avoid These Worst-Ever Resume Blunders
Via: LiveCareer – Home of America #1 Resume Builder
 

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.

Developing Accurate Job Descriptions and Success Profiles

job descriptions and success profiles

Developing job descriptions

Developing job descriptions is a challenging task for business owners. While it can be a daunting, and frankly not-so-fun task, it’s important to take the time to ensure that these job descriptions are accurate and well-written for a variety of reasons.

Accurate job descriptions give employees a better understanding of the competencies and skills which are needed to perform the required tasks for that position. This reduces the amount of misunderstanding that happens all too often when employers and employees are on different pages. An accurate job description should include information about working conditions, tools, equipment used, knowledge and skills needed, and relationships with other positions.

Poorly written job descriptions can cause confusion among employees as to what their duties are and communication issues may arise. Without providing some written clarity, different expectations can lead to poor performance, frustration, lower productivity, and higher turnover. And, as we know, turnover is a costly expense for the small business.

Here’s a few tips that can help you develop an accurate job description:

  • Arrange duties and responsibilities in a logical, sequential order. Begin with the task requiring the greatest amount of time or carrying the greatest responsibility.
  • Make statements clear, so that a person unfamiliar with your department or the job will understand what is actually done.
  • Do not try to list every task. Use the phrase “primary duties and responsibilities” at the beginning of your job description and proceed from there. You should also close with a phrase such as “performs other related duties and assignments as required.”
  • Identify all requisite training, talent, experience, education, and personality traits that would be ideal in this position. Separate requirements from preferred qualifications. Be certain that all requirements are truly job-related.
  • Relate each knowledge, skill, and ability to some function/task in order to be defensible (should the need arise) regarding hiring, screening, and selection.

 

How does a job description differ from a success profile? And why are both important?

A success profile is a tool to use to encourage maximum fit between the employee and job required. Developing the profile is a process which allows you to quickly and accurately identify the competencies and motivations needed for successful job performance. It’s crucial as a business owner that you compile a success profile because this will help you identify the profile of an ideal employee for key positions in your organization.

Here are a few steps to take to develop a success profile:

  • Define the mission of the job.
  • Describe the major outcomes/accomplishments required to achieve the mission.
  • Isolate knowledge, skill, and experience components.
  • Capture leadership competencies through resources and capabilities.
  • Identify the relevant workplace competencies that are required to succeed in this role.

An example success profile can be found here.

 

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.