When You’re Reviewing Resumes, Here’s What You Should Focus On

When You're Reviewing Resumes, Here's What You Should Focus On

Every company wants to hire top candidates, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. We are currently in a candidate-driven market, meaning that the best talent is snagging two or three offers at a time – making it extremely competitive for employers. So how can you discover the “diamonds in the rough” early on in the process to secure the best candidates on the market? Look for these things when you’re reviewing resumes:

  1. Qualifications

This may seem like a given, but there’s more to it. Think about your absolute must-haves for this position. There should be less than 5 non-negotiables. If you go through resumes trying to check off every single thing listed on the job description, you will miss out on those *almost* completely qualified candidates. As long as someone has your non-negotiables, most candidates can learn the other stuff pretty quickly. Plus, you get the bonus of being able to train your specific style and invite new ideas as they learn.

  1. Relevant Industry Keywords

Of course, you want to hire someone who has experience in your industry. So, even if a candidate hasn’t been in this specific role, keep an eye out for relevant roles. Titles and levels can vary so much, you may be looking at someone who is a lot more qualified than you think.

  1. Key Soft Skills

More and more employers are placing higher importance on soft skills, as they should be. While you can train and educate on many job skills, you cannot teach an employee to work well on a team and communicate effectively. While a candidate’s resume might not have a laundry list of soft skills, you can pick up on them throughout their job descriptions. Look for things like teamwork, communication, organization, and creativity.

  1. Career Advancement

If you’re truly trying to find that “diamond in the rough,” don’t focus on the actual positions a candidate has held, but instead the trajectory that they have made throughout their career. Have they worked their way up the career ladder? This could be noted by title promotions, measurable achievements, or growth in responsibilities.