Key Pieces of a Resume You Need to Look for When Reviewing Applicants

Reviewing resumes is a lot of work. What are the key pieces of a resume you need to look for? Here are 3 tips that will help you target how to look at resumes.

1. Look for the key skills and experience in the job description.

Think your resume review process begins when they come in? Guess again. In a good recruitment process, the job posting will list the key skills and experience the applicant needs to have. The job posting needs to be written with those areas in mind.

Then, once the resumes roll in, you look at the part that will let you know whether these key skills and the experience are there!

If the applicant has the necessary skills and experience, they go in the “potential interview” pile. If not, the resume isn’t chosen.

For example, if you want a person with forklift driving skills, you look at the resume to make sure that the applicant has driven a forklift. If the experience needs to be roughly two years’ worth, make sure that it is reasonably close — resumes that show 3 weeks’ experience are in the “don’t call” pile.

2. Look for desirable traits.

It’s always a good idea for employees to be responsible and able to follow directions. How a resume is put together can give you key indicators about that.

Once you know the applicant has the required skills and experience, take a minute to review the entire resume. Did the person do a good job of putting it together? If they did, it’s a good sign they will be apt to do a good job for you. It means they care about what they do and the quality of it.

But if a resume is full of spelling or other errors, doesn’t respond to the job posting well and is sloppily put together, it shows the applicant didn’t care enough to do a good job.

If they sent in a resume even though their experience or skills didn’t match the posting, they may not be able to follow directions well on the job.

3. Look for job hopping or unemployment.

Then, check the resume briefly to see if the person is reliable. When they were hired, did they stay a reasonable amount of time?

A resume that shows lots of short stints of less than a year can be a gigantic red flag. The person may not have been a good performer, or have had other issues, like tardiness or excessive sick days. They may just be unreliable or always looking for greener grass. You don’t want to hire someone like this!

Similarly, a resume that shows periods of unemployment can also be a red flag. It could be a good reason, like raising a family. But you should check the cover letter to see what the reason is. It may also indicate poor work performance or lack of work ethic.

You want people who have the skills and experience most important to the job, who are reliable and follow directions, and who aren’t job hoppers or chronically unemployed.

Let a Staffing Agency Help

A staffing agency can assist in every part of the hiring process, including drafting job descriptions and reviewing resumes. We’re happy to help. Contact us today.