Some tools are so familiar that we sometimes neglect them. That’s the way it is with job seekers’ resumes. They’re the best tool to use when confronting a hiring decision, and they should be valued and used as such.
According to research published in 2015 by the Brandon Hall Group, only 5% of companies adequately evaluate resume content during the initial screening process. Perhaps this is why 95% of the employers surveyed admitted to making bad hires each year.
Unlike a job application or an online questionnaire, a resume is wholly the creation of the applicant and it gives the employer insight into the applicant’s mind. Interviewers should assume that every word on the resume is there for a reason. The candidate has decided which skills, job duties, education, and experiences he or she wants to advertise. The manner and style of the presentation has been determined by the candidate, and that too provides valuable insight.
Read the resume closely, checking and cross-checking content, names, places, timelines, job titles, and awards. If the facts don’t line up, set that resume aside and look for a better one. By screening resumes effectively, the hiring manager avoids wasting time on interviewing unworthy candidates.
While studying the resume consider these items: Does the information align with reality? What were the applicant’s intentions with each particular statement? Why was it included? What questions does it raise? Ultimately, these are the questions that should be asked during the interview.
Interviewers should give resumes the attention they deserve. Ignoring this important tool is tantamount to setting out in a rowboat with just one oar. Proper use of resumes keeps hiring managers from going in circles.