They pile up in your inbox, your email, and on your desk. You advertised a position, and they came rolling in by the tens, sometimes even by the hundreds. What are the things that can help make candidate resumes really stand out? Here are just a few:
- Is there white space anywhere on the paper? Long ago, the thought was that hiring professionals wanted to know everything about their potential recruits. Today, the more concisely it can be stated, the better. If at first glance you can see paper around the words, it may be worth a second glance. On the other hand, if it reads like a book, even if the candidate is qualified, you may never have the time to actually study it.
- Do the candidate resumes provide you with a quick overview of their most relevant skills or competencies right up front? This so-called listing of core skills may be the most important thing a resume shows. If there’s a particular skillset that the job you are filling demands and the candidate has included that skill in an easy to read listing, that resume will definitely get a second glance.
- How readable is the resume? If the formatting is jumbled, if the information is presented in long paragraphs or in difficult to follow indentations, it’s probably not going to be read. The candidate resumes that present their information in a consistent and streamlined way definitely earn a higher priority.
- Are they telling you what you need to know or just what they want to tell you? This is a tricky point. If the candidate resumes give you verb-focused language, they are telling you what they have done in the past and therefore what you can reasonably expect them to do in the future. If, on the other hand they are telling you what they were “responsible” for or (in other words) what they were supposed to be doing in their last job, you have no way of knowing if they ever actually accomplished it.
- Last, but not least, are they telling you in their resume that your time as a recruiter is valuable? Candidate resumes that provide the most important accomplishments in a 1-2 page document have a better chance of that resume actually being read than the one that says too much.