It’s been awhile since I put together a post specifically for employers, so I think that it’s time. If you’re one of companies that are hiring right now, than chances are that you’re overwhelmed by resumes. I remember applying to a job back in January (before coming to America’s Job Exchange) and being told that 250 applied to the job. If you’re getting anywhere near that number, you need a system for reading resumes that’s efficient, but still makes sure that you’re thorough and can find the best candidate. I’ve been cruising the internet, and here are some of the top strategies that I’ve come across.
1. Know the job basics Having in mind the minimum requirements that a person need to meet. A Master’s Degree and 3 years in the field? Check out the education and time on the work experience first. If they don’t make those cuts, then there’s no need for you to continue reading. Put them aside.
2. Don’t look back more than five years If the resume includes their entire job history and goes back 10 or 15 years, then there’s no need to read it all. People change a lot over that time, and the most relevant experience will be what happened in the past 5 years. Only focus on that. It will save you a lot of reading.
3. Read that candidate’s name It may be surprising, but many people skip the name when reading a resume or cover letter. The name can be very important. What if you know the person, or have come across their resume in the past? Checking up on a person’s history with a company is very important before you bring them in for an interview. If they’ve applied numerous times for different position, then you might want to look more closely. Or, if you know you rejected a previous resume for a grievous mistake, then you should probably reject them again.
4. Look at the companies they’ve worked for What companies a person has worked for can tell you a lot about that person, and whether they will fit into your organization. Pay closer attention to what a person has done for a company similar to yours.
5. Skim for patterns Generally, people will fall into a pattern in their work, and those patterns will translate over to a position with your company. If it looks like they’ve remained static for 5 years, then working for a start up that requires people to grow may not be fore them. However, if they’ve been heavily promoted in the past, and have a number of accomplishments on their record, then they could well be someone to fit your job profile
6. Don’t be afraid to take off points for grammar It’s a tough job market out there, and there are a lot of candidates. Don’t waste your time on people who weren’t careful enough to proof-read such an important document. A missing comma is forgivable; misspelling the name of a previous employer is not.
7. Stop once you’ve found a reason Once you have a reason to reject a candidate, don’t keep reading. That’s just a waste of your time. Got some more ideas on how to read a resume effectively? Let me know on twitter!