How to “Read” an Applicant’s Resume – Instant Hiring Video Tip

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.

Focusing on Job Applicant Behavior for Better Hires – Instant Hiring Video Tips

Discover the “red flags” that can alert you to future problems from job applicants.


If you want to give yourself an idea of how an applicant will behave once he or she is hired, do yourself a favor and pay some attention to their behavior during the hiring process. Keep in mind that an applicant should be on their very best behavior during the hiring process so anything other than that should be a red flag.

In particular, beware of people who are creating problems for you during the application and hiring process. For example, they are not following your directions when it comes to submitting the appropriate paperwork; they’re difficult when it comes to setting up a first or second interview claiming that their schedule is so busy that they can’t fit you in.

Other red flags can be applicants who deliberately create challenges and obstacles for you during the application and hiring process. Some hiring managers think it’s a good idea to have applicants fill out an employment application to see how thorough they are at filling it out. If you have to reach out to an applicant to get a hold of critical documents or information that should’ve been provided beforehand, chances are that applicant will require a lot of hand-holding and supervision as an employee as well and who has time for that?

Applicants should be jumping through hoops to meet any requirements you’ve established for the position. After all, they’re the one looking for a job right?

In my experience and in my client’s experience things only go downhill when poor behavior is exhibited during the application and hiring process.

People are generally on their best behavior during the hiring process so it should be a red flag when you see anything other than that. An applicant that gives you grief during the application process will probably also give you problems should you choose to hire them. Generally speaking, you can expect their behavior to get worse and deteriorate over time.

For better hires, keep an eye on an applicant’s behavior during your application and hiring process and don’t be afraid to trust your gut if you start to see some red flags.

How to Define Job Expectations for Better Hires – Instant Hiring Video Tip

Setting clear job expectations BEFORE you start recruiting ends up saving you a tremendous amount of time and hassles.


One of the keys to consistently making better hires time after time is knowing exactly which characteristics, attributes and skills you’re looking for and then making sure the candidate you ultimately hire has “it”. This requires a thorough knowledge of the position you’re hiring for.

Too often I see companies using outdated job descriptions in jobs ads and that leads to potential candidates and hiring managers focusing on irrelevant and unrelated criteria. And unfortunately that typically leads to bad hires.

First and foremost, it’s key that you have a good idea of which key skills and attributes will increase a potential hires chance for success. If you don’t already know, ask employees in your company who work closely with that position which skills or attributes they think are essential for success. During exit interviews ask departing employees what they felt made it easy for them to do well in their position if they’re leaving on good terms of course.

An updated job description is also must. Look over the job description. What are the key functions and duties the position performs? What key skills and attributes will facilitate that?

Does the person need to be organized?

Do they need to be detail orientated?

Do they need to be creative?

Do they need to be able to write code?

Once you’ve determined what key skills and attributes your ideal candidate will possess, I recommend placing your focus on finding candidates that have what you’re looking for. Your chances for finding employees who will perform well for you should be greatly improved.

Employers Need to Get in Touch with Reality: The Workplace of the Future Is Here!

The problem isn’t that 60 year olds still don’t talk – and even dream – about retirement. But a combination of lack of financial preparedness and mental readiness is keeping a lot of seniors working longer.

A recent article in Fortune Magazine, obviously written by a much younger reporter, wasted no time in drawing a dramatic picture of the workforce of the future might look like. She started the article with:

A man parks his bike and unbuckles his helmet to reveal baldness and salt-and-pepper eyebrows. A woman in orthopedic shoes makes her way into an office building, while another peers through her bifocal glasses at her smartphone, the font on the screen bumped up a few sizes for easier reading. No, this isn’t an ad for Celebrex. This is a glimpse at the workforce of tomorrow.

YIKES! This isn’t the future – it’s now! Worse, except for the bike and orthopedic shoes, it’s me! And I’m not alone. Currently 7.3 million American workers age 65 years and older are still working. (Fortunately I’ve got a few years before I’m included in that stat.) According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that number will nearly double to 13.2 million by 2022 as again Americans defer retirement, or as many futurists more aptly predict, they will re-define retirement. (In my opinion, these BLS statistics are grossly underestimated, just as predictions of a mass exodus of Baby Boomers from the workforce won’t come to fruition. Yes, Baby Boomers may leave a job or career they held for several decades, but then many if not most, will start another.)

Contrary to the inferences of the article, the generational gaps between young and old are not distinct. It’s just as likely to see a young worker unbuckle his helmet and see a completely bald head as well as a “geezer” unleash a full head of hair, even a ponytail. Likewise, young and old workers now use smartphones, although it’s a foregone conclusion that most older workers can’t see a bleeping thing without those bifocals or large fonts. And in a digital typing race – or more accurately a keystroking competition – young workers will win hands down.

But regardless of how the similarities and differences between older and younger workers is portrayed, what the workplace looks like going forward will be undeniably different. Certainly a lot more gray hairs, bifiocals, and pictures of grandkids will be visible along with tube tops, flip flips, body piercings, and tattoos. Age spans of 40 and even 50 years will be common. This generational shift and age divide inherently will require every organization to address everything from healthcare benefits to ergonomics.

The major workplace transformation however will be driven by technology and globalization – and working with those conditions requires new skill sets. The definition of work has changed … and will change again sooner than later. Even basic workplace issues like accommodation for the physically impaired or disabled won’t matter because many jobs can function remotely -from a worker’s home, his winter domicile, and even a rehab or assisted living!

In preparing for the workplace of 2020, the reason to employ either or both young and old should have nothing to do with age. The critical criteria for hiring or retaining employees must be based on skills, experience, and knowledge. And in a world that changes so quickly and where change doesn’t always evolve as much revolve, age will become less of a reliable indicator of experience and knowledge.

Employers need to get a grip on reality and start planning for the future workplace. For many companies seniors will be an asset. For others it is young workers that will provide the horsepower and fuel to grow business. For most organizations, the blended generational workplace will be the right recipe. But it will take a lot more creativity to make it work than just saying “we hire regardless of age.”

This article originally appeared in The Total View, a weekly online newsletter that focuses on hiring, management and retention strategies. The Total View is written and published by Ira S. Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions and is distributed with permission by The Chrysalis Corporation. Subscribe for FREE to The Total View by typing your e-mail address in the newsletter sign-up box on the right side of this page.


8 Reasons Why Employers Need to Recruit Differently

Recruitment is undergoing a change. You can thank technology for part of the change. But much of the credit must be given to social media. The change isn’t just cosmetic or incremental. It’s revolutionary. However and whenever you look at it – Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter – the growth stats and usage is phenomenal. People are talking, 24/7. Word of mouth is spreading like wildfire.

But management at most organizations, particularly human resource professionals and recruiters, fail to grasp the importance of social media and engaging and building talent communities. Why are so many companies not adjusting to this reality?

The primary reason in my opinion is ignorance or as renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow described it – unconscious incompetence. Many senior and middle managers just don’t know what they don’t know. They equate social media to Facebook and Twitter and say “they just don’t get it.” Neither did the leaders in Egypt, Iran, and Yemen and look what happened to them. Social media isn’t just about sharing feelings and gibberish. Beneath all the noise coming from social media is a fundamental change in the way we communicate. And recruiting is about communication. It’s about branding, marketing, and public relations.

A second reason management and recruiters fail to adjust is a mindset that time is on their side. What’s the rush? The experienced leader thinks that he or she has seen things like social media come and go, and the business weathered the storm without being the first to jump on the bandwagon. But that was when we lived in a world where yesterday’s news was tomorrow’s headline. Today we’re talking real time coverage all the time.

Social media is changing everything. Social media isn’t like the keypad replacing the rotary dial on the phone. It’s not about the fax replacing mail delivery. It’s not about the PC replacing the typewriter. Social media isn’t a tiny step of innovation but a giant leap in how we communicate. Social media also highlights how quickly innovations pervade our daily lives compared to just the gradual changes just a few decades ago.

For example, while it took nearly 38 years to get 50 million TV viewers, it only took 3 years to have 50 million tuned into an iPod…and nearly 200 million new members joined Facebook in 2010 alone. Traditional forms and methods of recruiting are becoming the 8-track relics of finding and hiring new employees. The 8-track might still work but no one is buying them.

Let’s get to the point. Social media is not about putting butts in seats. A recent article on the ERE website describes the situation perfectly.

“Social media will not lead to immediate mass new hires or pipeline. It is a vehicle to take people on a journey. A journey that people will board at different junctures. But when reaching the destination, the goal is that they are either someone who wants to work for your company or that they are a Brand Ambassador. Brand Ambassadors are people who may not want to work for you, but they engage in your community, participate in discussions, sing your praises to friends and act as a champion of your brand.” (Source: )

The current global recruitment landscape is changing. The Perfect Labor Storm is real – a war for talent is the result. The ERE article offers 8 reasons why recruitment of employees moving forward will never be the same and businesses need to respond to the change today.

1. Talent is geographically mobile and happy to move for the best job;

2. Talent is more demanding, not only in pay but career progression and training and development;

3. The experienced talent pool is shrinking in volume;

4. The convergence of talent, as recruiters fighting in a smaller talent pool attract candidates across different sectors;

5. The graduate pool is scarily becoming “less skilled” as graduates come out of universities with watered-down degrees, ill-preparing them for working life;

6. Talent is less loyal and happy to switch companies every two years on average;

7. Competitors are getting smarter in mapping out talent pools and attracting your staff away;

8. Recruitment agencies are failing to be creative in attracting unique talent to their databases, hence perpetuating “recruitment chess” of the same talent across companies.

The time for pondering is over. Recruitment 3.0 is not coming – it’s here..


This article originally appeared in The Total View, a weekly online newsletter that focuses on hiring, management and retention strategies. The Total View is written and published by Ira S. Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions and is distributed with permission by The Chrysalis Corporation. Subscribe for FREE to The Total View by typing your e-mail address in the newsletter sign-up box on the right side of this page.