Discover how to get the most information from an applicant’s resume.
How to Read a Resume to Find Better Quality Candidates
Read any resumes lately? Chances are you’ve seen resumes ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other… Resumes that looked like pieces of art, resumes that went way over the top trying to gain your attention and resumes that a toddler probably could’ve done a better job on! Let’s face it, it’s getting more and more difficult to derive any benefit from resumes these days.
But that’s not to say there isn’t important information that CAN be gleaned from a resume to the trained eye. The challenge with sorting through and reviewing a lot of resumes is you begin to zero in on and focus on exactly what you’re looking for which is typically the content (employee work history, work dates, progression, etc.). Everything else becomes background noise… including some things that you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss.
For instance, if you’re hiring for a position where attention to detail is a necessary trait for the incoming employee, you should pay close attention to how the resume is presented. An astute applicant with a high attention to detail will not only use a pleasing font but the layout and structure of the resume will also be flawless. Are the indentations on the resume all lined up? Does the format look clean and crisp? Is the information presented in a manner where it’s easy to follow and understand?
In addition, look for spelling and grammatical mistakes. Written and verbal communication is a huge aspect of most managerial and higher level positions today so spelling and grammatical mistakes should not be overlooked. If you find a lot of spelling or grammatical errors, either you have an applicant who’s too lazy to spell check or they’re just incompetent. In either case, they’re probably not someone you want working for your organization.
How an applicant puts together and organizes information on their resume can be a huge indicator of the type of work they will produce if you decide to hire them. If an applicant turns in a sloppy resume you can probably bank on the fact that their quality of work will be sloppy as well.
Focusing on the structure, design and grammatical errors of a resume can be a great way to weed out unworthy applicants if the position you’re hiring for requires a high attention to detail and any sort of writing skill what-so-ever. So the next time you’re checking out resumes, don’t just focus on the content but take a look at the overall presentation and quality of the resume because it will lead to a higher caliber applicant making his or her way through your hiring process.