Reading every word on every résumé simply isn’t a luxury HR professionals can afford.
In fact, more than half of HR managers (56%) say they average less than one minute reviewing each résumé, according a CareerBuilder.com survey.
If you quickly scan résumés, however, you probably live in constant fear of discarding potential winners.
Advice: Spot-read résumés during the first round to determine if they merit a more detailed review. Use the following advice to make sure your quick read won’t reject promising candidates:
Jump to the end. Applicants often reserve the end of résumés for negative information, such as explanations about gaps between jobs and short stays with organizations.
Scan for key words. Look for phrases and words that match the title and description of the job. Search quickly for acronyms that indicate the training or education the position requires, such as SQL or MS Access for some technology jobs.
Move quickly past canned, generic descriptions. Such sentences often start with phrases such as “I have knowledge about” or “I’m familiar with.” Pick out key words such as managed, profits, supervised, results and accomplished.
Zero in on the length of time worked at each job. If there are large gaps, move on to the next résumé.
3 résumé-sorting mistakes
1. Reflexively discarding long résumés. Some lengthy résumés may merit a second look due to experience and qualifications.
2. Judging job-hopping too strictly. If such a résumé matches all of a job’s requirements, you may want to talk with the candidate and references for explanations.
3. Declining to get a second opinion. If you’re on the fence about whether to interview a promising candidate due to questions about the résumé, pass it on to another HR person or hiring manager for another opinion.
Online resource: Read our article, 10 ways to smoke out exaggerations on résumés.
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