As a recruiter, you’ll probably have plenty of CVs to look at before you fill a job position. Time often poses an issue in such situations, especially when you wish to make the most informed and best choice in a really short timeframe. On average, recruiters spend somewhere between 6 seconds and 2 minutes on every resume due to their limited time, which makes it that much harder to be certain about which candidate is the best choice.
Thankfully, there are things that can help you with this matter. If you know exactly what to look for in an applicant’s CV, you can scan the applications and look for the most fitting employee for the position. To be able to go through all applications and find the best one, you need to learn to differentiate between a great CV, average application, and bad candidate.
If you fail to do this, you might end up hiring a candidate that isn’t good for your business. Then, you’ll have to go through the entire hiring process again, not to mention make a bad hiring investment. These five tips will help you avoid making an expensive and disastrous hiring mistake.
Work experience shouldn’t be your biggest determinant, but it sure matters. When you look at a candidate’s CV, check this section carefully. Where they worked and for how long can tell you a lot, starting from their skills and past obligations, to how long they’ve stayed in each company. This should also tell you what questions to ask during the interview.
However, when you look at the work experience, remember that not everything can be seen in it. Sometimes a candidate with little experience is more qualified for a position than a candidate with a lot of experience. Your goal is to search for relevant experience only, one that could contribute to the workplace and that demonstrates gained skills you’ll need in the organization.
Some candidates send out the same CVs to many job positions, which is something you can easily notice in the work experience section. If the applicant lists every single job experience in this field, regardless of what your demands in the job description are, it is a clear sign that they are not so interested in that specific position. Also, some will use varied, often irrelevant experience to make this field longer and more appealing. Remember – quantity does not matter here, quality does.
Instead of choosing a candidate who has dozens of experiences in different fields listed, select one who has few experiences that are directly connected to the position offered. This candidate has the experience you need and has obviously bothered to tailor the application to impress you.
Some other things to look in these sections are signs of accomplishments and progression. If you notice promotions or increased responsibility, it is a good sign that the employee was valued in the previous workplace.
2.Skills and Competencies
Skills and competencies can be seen not only in the educational background of the applicant. The education is important, especially if you’ve had a degree or specialization requirement listed in the job description. However, as a recruiter, your job is to determine whether the candidate possesses the skills and values your company needs. This goes far beyond just education.
So, in addition to looking at the educational background of candidates, skim the CV for things that demonstrate their qualifications and skills. Many skills aren’t gained through education and are built as a result of work experience and life experiences.
Evidence of such skills and competencies are hard to assess, but not impossible. Search for these in the job experience section and the skills section, as well as the projects the candidates have listed throughout the CV.
Don’t just look for the hard skills such as degree, machine operation or computer skills. These skills are directly applied on the task in hand, but the soft skills have equally high importance when you’re selecting an employee. Soft skills are what make it possible for the employee to fit in and actually use those hard skills. In your CV evaluation process, search for skills such as communication, motivation, flexibility, leadership, problem solving, and of course – work ethic.
Sometimes a candidate with great hard skills can be a bad choice because they lack the soft skills that allow them to use these. Focus on both types equally.
3.Personality and Values Hints
In the CV, look for hints that showcase the candidate’s personality and values. This is important for the company’s culture and can tell you how well the employee will fit in your team. If you have specific demands for this, make sure to list them in the job description. Then, search for the keywords that point out to those traits in a candidate.
Determining this is as challenging as detecting the soft skills, so your task is to at least provide yourself with some basis for the interview questions. When you actually meet the selected candidates, you can better determine their values and personality. Their behavior during the interview, as well as their online presence and behavior, can tell you a lot about their values.
You’ve posted that job description for a reason. If a candidate didn’t bother to tailor their CV and answer your questions, you can throw their resume at the bottom of the pile right away. A great CV is a tailored one. When a candidate takes the time to check the job description and write a CV that fits your exact demands, this demonstrates interest and values to the employer.
When reading the CV, look at the job experience and education fields to see if the information there is relevant to the job position you are offering. If candidates are providing you with more information than you need and experiences or skills that have nothing to do with the position, you might want to look elsewhere.
You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this is definitely something you should do with a CV. A good candidate will dedicate his or her time on making the CV appealing. The organization and formatting of the CV show quality in an employee, and makes it easier for the employer to evaluate the candidate.
Order and Organization
When you’re looking at CVs, focus on the order and organization of the information. The most important information should come at the top and be emphasized for easier detection. A candidate who organizes the information well and highlights the most important information has obviously spent some time on tailoring their CV for your offered position.
A CV that isn’t properly formatted and looks messy can be very challenging to read and look at. These CVs are usually written in a hurry and are very hard to evaluate.
Before you look into anything else in the CV, try to find contact details. You’d be surprised to learn how many candidates fail to provide contact information. If you don’t have a way to reach them, you can’t really consider them as candidates for the job.
Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
Missing a mistake in a resume is common and understandable, but too many mistakes are a sign that the candidate didn’t edit the resume before sending it to you. Considering how many affordable resume services there are now, a CV with mistakes in it is considered highly unacceptable.
Many applicants choose to edit their resumes with some professional help to impress the recruiters. They use companies like Careers Booster, UK Careers Booster, and Resumes Planet. This does not make them less qualified or bad candidates. In fact, it means that they are dedicated enough to even spend some money to grab your attention and demonstrate their qualifications. These are the candidates and CVs you are looking for.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right person for the job is hard, especially if your job position raises interest in many candidates. You probably have many obligations and tasks to dedicate your time to, so going through all CVs with care might not always be an option for you.
This happens to most recruiters. They have limited time to look at all CVs, especially since the majority of applicants simply send out their resumes to every job they find. In the pile, you’ll find candidates with irrelevant qualifications or insufficient qualifications. If you learn how to scan the CVs without spending too much time on each applicant, you can check all candidates and select the best ones within the time you have.
About the author
Jennifer Sanders is a writer and an editor from London. She loves sport, to listen to music, and to communicate with different people. Find Jennifer on Twitter.