Most companies request that applicants send their résumés to either an email address or a business address because it is a quick and simple way to check skills and qualifications. This information will help you to determine if you wish to continue to the interview stage. Regardless of how many you receive, it is important to review all of the résumés consistently.
ABC’s of Résumé Reviews
As you begin the process of reviewing the résumés, it might be helpful to have three separate piles;
A – those résumés you know don’t fit your criteria,
B – those résumés that may need a second look, and
C – those résumés that are definitely interesting.
Establishing which résumés fall into which category can be done by going through these steps:
1. Is there a cover letter? For the most part, unqualified applicants fail to write a cover letter or a cover email message (depending upon the position).
2. Scan the résumé to obtain an overall impression of the applicant.
3. Identify the easy-to-find qualifications. For example, if your position requires a college degree, does the applicant have one? If not, reject the résumé or place it in your “maybe meets qualifications” pile or electronic folder.
4. Read the description of what the candidate says they are looking for in their next job This could tell you how seriously the candidate is taking the job search and how carefully they are reading the ads.
5. Look for a summary statement of qualifications and experience. If the candidate has taken the time to customize their summary, it will enable you to quickly find the characteristics you seek from your job description. Make a note to check on the accurate, actual dates of employment. These résumés quickly fall into the “further review” or “B” pile.
One rule of résumé review that will never change is to look at proper spelling and grammar. Your quick, first skim of the résumé should yield an overall impression of your candidate’s grammatical style and attention to detail. A résumé can be a simple way to assess a candidates worth. Assuming the candidate’s résumé passes an initial inspection, the Hiring Smart process can move forward.
At this point, you should have found enough similarities between the applicants’ résumé and your job description or requirements for the position. Place the résumé in your A, B, or C piles. Red flags are items that are not clearly explained on the résumé or in the cover letter, and may include:
¨ employment gaps,
¨ evidence of decreasing responsibility
¨ short-term employment at several jobs
¨ multiple shifts in career path
Next, you can conduct a telephone screen interview or set up a face-to-face initial interview with the prospective qualified candidates.