When it’s your job to do the hiring for your company, it generally means your eyes are going to have good workout. Reading resumes is a big part of your responsibilities. And it stands to reason you may come across your fair share of run-of-the-mill resumes that tend to read the same.
“Works well with others”, “team player”, “fast learner” – these are just some of the commonplace descriptions job seekers use to make themselves look hire-worthy. The most critical of hiring managers know, however, resumes offer numerous telltale signs about a candidate – and not all of them have to do with their skills and experience. They’re aware some “small” things can have big implications.
So what small things should you look out for on a resume? Here are three:
1. Proper spelling and grammar.
A little while back, in one of our blogs, we referenced the legend of rock group Van Halen’s standard concert contract which included M&Ms with all brown ones removed. The point of including this bizarre request on their rider was to ensure their concert promoters paid close attention to detail. The same concept applies here.
Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors found on cover letters and resumes speak to a bigger issue than having a poor handle of the English language. It communicates your candidate was apparently not willing to take the time and effort to ensure his/her first impression was as stellar as possible. Utilizing spell check is generally all that’s necessary to ensure correct spelling. Be wary of job candidates who have failed to do this.
2. Vague statements.
It’s not uncommon for job seekers to overinflate their experience and skill levels. Many resumes come complete with statements such as “Helped to grow the company substantially” without providing any further explanation of exactly what they did. Look for resumes that provide quantifiable statements such as “Closed $1 million worth of sales within the first three months.”
Take it from resume writing expert, Vicky Oliver who offers up some excellent examples on ZipRecruiter.com. “A strong candidate will back up any resume assertions with facts”, she says, “‘Increased sales by 200% during FY 14.’ ‘Increased productivity by 25%, meriting an internal award for excellence.’…Statements like these are facts. Statements about teamwork, being a ‘people’ person, and ‘leadership skills,’ unless bolstered by facts, are fluff.”
3. Short employment stints.
Some job seekers are of the mind the more experience they show on a resume, the better they look as candidates for a new job. It’s important to read between the lines, so to speak. Place focus on the length of time your candidates have spent at each of their jobs. If you notice they went through several short stints at a variety of workplaces, there may be a bigger issue at hand. We suggest no more than 3 jobs in 5 years.
Are they difficult to get along with? Do they not take employment seriously? You may want to clarify the reasons for the numerous short stints if you decide to bring such candidates in for interviews. The old saying, “Past predicts future” holds true for those who change jobs every few months.
What other things should you look out for on a resume? Get expert advice from the recruitment experts at Hire Value Inc. a call at 403-978-3827 today!