Ten Steps to Effectively Review Resumes
Since the economic fall in 2009, unemployment rates have fluctuated widely over the last decade. Additionally, with a millennial and Generation Z rise in the workforce, many employers are feeling effects from a generation not afraid to job-hop or constantly be on the hunt for the next big thing. In turn, many hiring managers have observed from their growing stacks of resumes, a wider availability of interested job applicants. As the employer, to effectively determine which resumes will lead you toward the top job candidates, keep in mind the following helpful steps:
- Check the Introduction. A surge of resumes often follow each job posting especially if posted electronically, and many of these resumes have canned cover letter introductions or none at all. Usually, unqualified or half-interested job applicants ignore writing such introductory statements. For those who do, pay attention to any personalization, correct spelling and grammar, attention to details, and the overall presentation.
- Scan the Resume. Observe the general format, and assess the applicant’s organization and clarity of the content areas. Also, look for the applicant’s contact information – no sense in moving forward without it…or with questionable contact information (i.e. unprofessional email addresses or 800#’s).
- Confirm the Minimum. Look for clear statements or indications that the individual meets the minimum qualifications of the job position (i.e. 4-year college degree or licensure).
- Skim the Summary. An applicant who provides a customized summary statement of his or her qualifications and experience helps you to quickly see if the person’s characteristics fit your expected job profile.
- Target Key Words. Quickly go through the resume, and capture important keywords and terminology you expect the applicant to be familiar with. While acknowledging any use of industry acronyms, misspellings cast doubt on the applicant’s actual industry familiarity (or, at least, attention to details).
- Identify Relevant Experience. A list of generalized work experience is a clue to stop and place the resume in the “no” pile. Take note of resumes itemizing specific work roles, experiences, and responsibilities that address entirely the job posting elements and job position criteria.
- Review the History. While checking for any questionable timeline gaps, note the applicant’s connection of work experience. Keep in mind that, while an applicant may not have direct job experience in preferred areas, consider how certain work experiences may be applicable or transferable. For example, you may have an experienced office administrator applying for an events planning coordinator job opportunity.
- Note the Miscellaneous. What other positive items (i.e. awards, industry / professional association membership, volunteer leadership) stand out?
- Rank and File. Be sure to stick with your list of the key job criteria, discuss potential job candidates with other members of management as needed, and place each resume in the “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” folder.
- Screen and Schedule. Email and/or call your “yes” folder job applicants, request them to call you back, and see how they respond or follow-up to help you determine whether or not they make it to the next stage of the interview process.