Assessing candidate resumes effectively is crucial to identify the most qualified individuals for a position. Here's a recommended guide on how to assess candidate resumes:
- Review Job Description: Begin by thoroughly understanding the job description and its requirements. This will help you identify the key skills, experiences, and qualifications you're looking for in a candidate.
- Create a Screening Checklist: Develop a checklist of essential criteria, such as required skills, education level, years of experience, and specific qualifications. This will serve as your guide when reviewing resumes.
- Skim for Immediate Fit: Give each resume a quick scan to see if the candidate meets the basic requirements. Look for keywords and relevant information that align with the job description.
- Assess Relevant Experience: Pay attention to the candidate's work experience section. Look for roles that directly relate to the position you're hiring for. Focus on the candidate's accomplishments, responsibilities, and quantifiable results.
- Highlight Achievements: Prioritize candidates who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in their previous roles. Look for those who have made a positive impact, achieved goals, and gone beyond basic job responsibilities.
- Highlight Potential Flags 🚩: Multiple roles less than 2 years in duration is a major red flag. It can take organizations up to 1.5 years to remove non-performers. Keep in mind that people who job hop generally interview extremely well. Short-term positions should be accompanied with reasonable explanations (e.g. moved locations to be closer to family) and strong references from former managers.
- Check Education and Certifications: Verify that candidates have the required educational background and any necessary certifications for the role.
- Evaluate Skills: Assess both technical and soft skills mentioned in the resume. Check for specific skills mentioned in the job description and assess the depth of the candidate's expertise.
- Quantify Experience: Prefer candidates who provide quantifiable results in their work experience section. Numbers and metrics give a clear picture of their achievements and contributions.
- Assess Career Progression ⭐️: Evaluate whether the candidate's career progression is logical and demonstrates growth. Look for candidates who have taken on more responsibility over time. This is one of the most critical steps for experienced hires. Lateral / backward moves are generally a red flag 🚩.
- Examine Gaps: If there are gaps in a candidate's employment history, assess how they explain these gaps in their resume. Look for valid reasons such as further education, personal projects, or career transitions.
- Review Additional Sections: Pay attention to sections like volunteer work, certifications, awards, and affiliations. These can provide additional insights into a candidate's character and interests.
- Cultural Fit: Consider whether the candidate's resume reflects values and qualities that align with your company culture. This can be seen through their achievements, interests, and any relevant personal information.
- Avoid Bias: Be mindful of unconscious bias during the review process. Evaluate candidates based on their qualifications and experience, rather than factors like gender, ethnicity, or age.
- Compare Multiple Resumes: If you're reviewing multiple resumes, create a scoring system or a ranking mechanism to objectively compare candidates.
- Shortlist Candidates: Based on your assessment, create a shortlist of candidates who best match the job requirements. These are the individuals you'll consider for the next stages of the hiring process.
- Additional Review: If possible, have another team member or colleague review the resumes as well. Different perspectives can help identify strengths and weaknesses you might have missed.
Remember that the resume is just the first step in the assessment process. Once you've identified potential candidates, you can conduct interviews and other assessments to make a well-informed hiring decision.