10 Steps to Effective Resume Review

effective resume review

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in May 2019 was 3.6%–still trending downwards from 4% at the start of the year. Although this may seem disheartening to some recruiters, the news isn’t all bad. While the unemployment rate remains at its lowest since 1969, turnover is still high. A 2019 BLS report concluded that nearly 3.5 million employees voluntarily left their jobs in April 2019. That’s a 2.4% quit rate – the highest since 2001.

With this growing opportunity for recruiters, many employers are seeing larger stacks of resumes on their desks. In light of this, here are ten helpful steps to more effectively determine which resumes will lead you towards top candidates.

1. Check the Introduction

A surge of resumes often follows each new job posting, many of which use canned cover letter introductions or none at all.  Usually, unqualified or half-interested job applicants ignore writing such introductory statements. For those who do, pay attention to any personalization, the quality of spelling and grammar, attention to detail, and the overall presentation of the cover letter.

2. Scan the Resume

Observe the general format, and assess the applicant’s organization and clarity of thought.  Also, look for the applicant’s contact information. After all, there’s no sense in moving forward without it…or with questionable contact information (i.e. unprofessional email addresses or 800#’s).

3. Confirm the Minimum

Look for clear statements or indications that the individual meets the minimum qualifications of the job position (i.e. 4-year college degree or any required licenses).

4. Skim the Summary

An applicant who provides a customized summary statement of his or her qualifications and experience helps you to quickly see if the person’s characteristics fit your expected job profile.

5. Target Keywords

Quickly go through the resume and capture important keywords and terminology you expect the applicant to be familiar with. While acknowledging any use of industry acronyms, misspellings cast doubt on the applicant’s actual industry familiarity (or, at least, attention to detail).

6. Identify Relevant Experience

A list of generalized work experience is generally a cue to stop and place the resume in the “no” pile.  Take note of resumes itemizing specific work roles, experiences, and responsibilities that address the job posting elements and job position criteria in their entirety.

7. Review the History

While checking for any questionable timeline gaps, note the applicant’s connection of work experience.  Keep in mind that even if an applicant may not have direct job experience in preferred areas, certain work experiences may be applicable or transferable. For example, you may have an experienced office administrator applying for an event planning coordinator job opportunity.

8. Note the Miscellaneous

What other positive items (i.e. awards, industry or professional association membership, volunteer leadership) stand out?

9. Rank and File

Be sure to stick with your list of the key job criteria, discuss potential job candidates with other members of management as needed, and place each resume in the “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” folder.

10. Screen and Schedule

Reach out to your “yes” folder job applicants, request for them to call you back, and see how they respond or follow-up to help you determine whether or not they make it to the next stage of the interview process.

Top Tip: Now is also a great time for you to screen candidates for potential tax credit eligibility if you haven’t already! (Not already set up with SDPHire? Ask us how you can start saving up to $9,600 on each qualified new hire!)

What do you think?

Let us know in the comments below your own tips for powering through a stack of resumes. Interested in learning more about SDP’s applicant tracking, onboarding, and new hire tax credit solutions? Let’s talk to see if any of these services could be a good fit for your business! And be sure to check us out on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn for even more HR tips & tricks!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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