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The gathering and the studying of résumés is the first step in the hiring process.
The average résumé reader spends no more than 25-30 seconds on a résumé before deciding to either discard it or save it for a later more in-depth review. Yet a powerful résumé can make a major difference in a successful hiring effort.
One of the cardinal rules of hiring is that it can be extremely difficult to tell much about a candidate from the résumé alone.
Experienced hirers primarily use résumés to screen out non-qualifying candidates. Ideally, creating an objective system of reviewing and scoring résumés allows the hirer to be fair and consistent.
What to look for in a résumé:
- Passion: Does the candidate appear passionate about your job opportunity?
- Pickiness: Does the cover letter with the résumé and the résumé itself give evidence that the candidate REALLY wants to work for your organization? Did they include a professional summary highlighting the value they can add to your organization?
- If you see a coherent argument why they have thought about you seriously and WANT to work for you, you’ll know they aren’t applying for many other jobs.
- A custom cover letter, even a customized résumé, is a sign that if you do make the candidate an offer, he/she is likely to accept it.
- English: English mistakes on a résumé usually reflect a lack of concern over the quality of work the candidate will do.
- Brains: Candidates who have proven they are intelligent will generally be more appealing to you. Look for high GPA’s, standardized test scores, honor societies.
- Selectivity: Look for evidence that somewhere in the candidate’s history he/she has made it through a difficult application/selection procedure. (E.g, hard-to-get-into school, working for a company with a difficult application process, highly selective branches of the military.)
- Achievements: Past performance predicts future success. The résumé should tell you what the candidate did, and how well. Concrete examples include dollar figures, numbers, and percentages. Each of these will help you understand the candidate’s past record.
What to watch-out for in a résumé:
Believe it or not, lying on résumés is on the rise. Over 60% of H.R. professionals say they find inaccuracies on résumés.
What do applicants lie about?
- Number of years they have worked on a job.
- Accomplishments such as taking credit for something they didn’t do.
- Reasons for leaving the previous job.
- Salary at previous jobs.
- Comprehensive background check.
- Education verification.
- Criminal, Civil & Sex Offenses check.
- Employment verification.
- Reference check.
- Professional licenses & certifications verification.