If you’ve ever been part of a search committee to fill a position within your organization, you know how difficult it can be to weed through all of the applications you receive. Did you know that on average it takes a recruiter only six seconds to decide on an applicant based on their resume? While you want to hire the best candidate for the job, you can save yourself and your team a lot of time and energy by knowing what to look for in a resume.

First and foremost, it is important to look to see if the candidate has completed his or her job application. For example, if they have forgotten to submit a resume, cover letter, or other supporting documents, you may choose to move on right away. The following things are also important on a resume and will go a long way toward helping a candidate progress through the hiring stages:

  • Proper spelling and grammar
  • Qualifications – education, relevant work experience, skills
  • Relevant statement or objective – general statements show lack of attention to detail

In order to find the perfect person for the job, it is a good idea to also sort through a resume and look for quantifiable accomplishments at past employers. For example, “helped grow the business” is much less measurable than “added 15 clients over 3 months.” It is also smart to search for applicants on industry and job sites such as Monster.com and LinkedIn to see if their profiles there match the experience listed on their application. At the end of the day, knowing how to read a resume will improve your efficiency in hiring and help you select the perfect applicant for each job your company has to offer.


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