Employer holding resume in hands and reading

Tackling a huge pile of resumes can be daunting! Here are five tips to help you zero in on quality candidates to look at more closely:

1. Look for Organization

A resume doesn’t need a dazzling design (substance over style!), but proceed with caution if the layout is confusing, jobs are out of order, or it looks thrown together in five minutes. Resumes that are clear, concise and well laid-out may be indicative of how much effort a candidate has put in, and clues to their communication and organization skills.

2. Be Careful With Buzzwords

A lot of job seekers stuff their resume with keywords. While this may help them stand out during automated resume screening, you need to look a little deeper. Skills spread out across a resume within the context of past jobs are a good sign—look for practical, real-world application.

3. Attract the Right Applicants

There are some job seekers who will apply to anything that looks good, even if they are not qualified. To help limit this, be precise in your job postings; be specific about duties and expectations, as well as the skills, experience, and technical knowledge required for success.

4. Look for Accomplishments

An application with solid facts and figures says a great deal. If a resume highlights accomplishments such as revenue earned, costs cut, time saved or number of clients managed, you have a much fuller picture than one with general statements without quantifiable data.

5. Ask for Cover Letters

Candidates should generally provide a cover letter regardless, but make a point of asking for it. A good customized cover letter should tell you about a potential employee’s personality, goals and what they can specifically bring to your organization. Paired with a behaviour-based assessment tool like our Workstyle & Performance Profile, a cover letter can help you get a  sense of an applicant as a person, beyond just their experience and skills.

Resume screening requires that you have a clear picture of the ideal candidate you’re seeking and that you have dedicated time to focus on this important task. When in doubt, an experienced recruiter can be an invaluable asset and bring keen expertise to finding the best fit for your team.