What to Seek Out When Reviewing Resumes


Recruiters have a lot on their plate during the staffing search for the perfect candidate. There are certain approaches that do and don't work. Knowing which is which is vital, as making the wrong hire out of a sea of resumes can be highly problematic.

The average job recruiter now spends less time on average when reviewing candidate resumes, as higher numbers of applications make it difficult to determine whether they're the best fit for the position, according to MarketingProfs. That's a steep decline from the four to five minutes that has been self-reported by these hiring officials in the past.

In monitoring 30 professional recruiters over a 10-week period, it was determined that 80 percent of resume review time is spent on some certain key elements. The top of the page is almost always their first step, where they specifically seek out candidate' names. If any potential employee has skipped this important start, they should not be considered as highly as others.

After that, the work history of the applicant - namely their start and end dates in the past - and their education should be reviewed. Wherever a resume's writer went to college or the major they graduated in doesn't matter nearly as much as a consistent and coherent work history in this light. After these factors were considered, the only main aspect of business left was that of keywords, making sure the applicant matched at least a few of the job listing's expectations.

What makes a candidate stand out

Of course, these cursory guidelines can only go so far when it comes to determining the best applicant to land in the position itself. After those initial six seconds are over, there are some factors that go much further when a candidate is stacked up against the competition, according to the Stamford Advocate. One key element is that of a URL that links to professional job seeker profiles. Up to 86 percent of recruiters look at online profiles of those who they are interested in, and seeing that an applicant has made it easier to access that information means they're respectful of the expectations.

Another minor but key aspect of an application is that the job applicant uses consistent branding. Workers who go by various versions of their names in different contexts can unnecessarily confuse and frustrate others in the workplace. In contrast, the consistency shown by an applicant who keeps a single identity across various avenues of contact shows their professionalism. These applicants should be more highly considered.

They appeal to you

Another element of a resume that can help some applicants and hurt others is their weighing of an executive summary over an objective statement. The former is focused on what the applicant can bring to a business that chooses to consider them, while the latter simply states what an applicant's past is and what their hopeful history will be. One of these elements is much more appealing to the person who needs to make a hire than the other one, and as such it can be used as a simple entry point when considering employees.

In the same vein, if an applicant quantifies their achievements instead of simply listing them, that is another clue that they'd make a good hire. When someone is focused on playing themselves up, that pales in comparison to their ability to show a history of success and their roles played in past positions. Being able to show a cause-and-effect relationship of their achievements will help recruiters make a difficult decision much easier, as they know they'll have a staffer ready and willing to put the company's goals first.