The most important thing about screening a resume is to remember it is not just paper, it is not just an online profile and it’s not just an application! You are viewing the qualifications of a person. Remember that nervous feeling when looking for a new job? People tend to put the best of their best on the resume, so put yourself in their shoes. How would you want your resume treated? You must humanize.
Reviewing a resume properly doesn’t start with the resume, it starts with the screeners understanding of the job, company and industry that is hiring. Any market is a competitive market and everyone wants top talent. With that said, every company has a different job description for the similar jobs.
People who in some cases don’t work in talent acquisition and have never written a job description now find themselves writing down buzzwords and the verbiage that best describes what they have done. Keep in mind there are many terms on a resume that may only be specific to someone’s previous employers. Research the requirements of the role you are screening for! See if there are other products, acronyms or systems that are the same or similar. You don’t want to pass by the right person for the job because of a term you may have been unfamiliar with their terminology. Understand what you are looking for and what you are looking at to comprehend the talent in front of you.
If a resume is missing something it could be that specific skill wasn’t jotted it down. There are people who believe in the one page resume, who often have several versions of their resume, and there are those that apply to jobs by using an online profile. In some cases you are only able to see a snapshot of someone’s qualifications. Read between the lines.
Emails and online prescreens can be great tools, but in the business of hiring a phone call cannot always be replaced. If you don’t see it all, ask questions! You may find exactly what you were looking for; get a new lead or a referral. There are times during a conversation I realize individuals may fit another role I am sourcing for, a role a team member has or even another job with a different division. Today’s “No” may turn into tomorrow’s “Yes,” so finding out more about what someone is looking for in their job search and what they qualified to do can’t hurt. Finding the right person for tomorrow’s opening could be the conversation you had with someone two months prior. Pick up the phone and ask questions.
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