Today’s open positions receive an overwhelming number of resumes. And handpicking the ideal ones from the pile? Sounds like an absolute nightmare.

That is exactly why it’s important for hiring professionals to continuously hone their recruitment skills – and resume review forms a crucial part of the process. 

So, in order to guide you towards making better hiring decisions right from the beginning, here are five resume review best practices tailor-made for recruiters and hiring managers to level up their game.

Top 5 resume review best practices that’ll surely change your hiring game

resume review1. Know what to look for

It may sound simple, but allocating equal time to review both hardcopy resumes and electronic applications is the first block to building a solid resume review strategy. The candidate has taken the time and effort to apply, so it’s only fair that you do the same.

It goes without saying that to find the right candidate, you need to understand the type of person you’re looking for. 

With hundreds of applications to go through, you don’t want to waste time reviewing a candidate who is unqualified for the role. 

With that in mind, start by quickly skimming each resume for the following points. Some of these will be red flags that indicate a candidate is unsuitable for the role. 

  • Have they met your minimum requirements?

Does your recruitment process specify candidates above a certain age, living in a particular area, or having a specific qualification? If so, you can immediately omit candidates that haven’t met the requirements right off the bat.

  • Does the document contain correct spelling and grammar?

Glaring errors highlight a lack of attention to detail and poor communication skills.

  • Do they have the desired qualifications?

Whether the role requires technical skills that need a training certification or you’re looking for someone with a degree in a specific field, check whether the candidate’s qualifications match the job description.

  • Do they have relevant experience?

Today, many employers rank experience as an essential criterion for a candidate to qualify for the job. Before you begin reviewing CVs, you should know what kind of experience you’re looking for.

  • Are there any gaps in their employment history?

It’s not uncommon for employees to take a work hiatus, but any gaps in employment should be clearly outlined.

  • What are the red flags when reviewing a resume?

As you sift through CVs, here are 10 red flags to bear in mind:

  • Unexplained employment gaps
  • Jumping between multiple short-term jobs
  • Failure to follow application details
  • Evidence of decreasing responsibility
  • No progression in responsibilities
  • Numerous career changes
  • A static career
  • Lack of attention to detail
  • Vague use of language
  • Unprofessional behavior on social media

Next, read through cover letters to understand each candidate’s goals and experience, and scan the CV for keywords relevant to the job description.

2. Make use of technology and tools

A recruiting conducting a resume review during an interview with a candidate. From free eSign software to candidate sourcing tools, the most successful agency recruiters are harnessing the latest technology to stay ahead of the curve.

Today, AI recruitment tools have made it easier for hiring managers to scan and analyze resumes efficiently. These tools help the recruiters to pinpoint primary skills on a resume, guiding them to spot the most relevant applicants from the crowd.

Automated resume screening solutions offer a wealth of benefits for savvy hiring specialists, including:

  • Enhancing the candidate experience
  • Making the resume review process more efficient
  • Improving data accuracy 
  • Refining data analysis
  • Reducing costs and time-to-hire
  • Eliminating unconscious bias

Also, online tools like HubSpot and PandaDoc integration can help you to streamline the recruitment process at various stages. 

They allow recruiters to generate and edit documents, create templates, merge crucial hiring data, and seamlessly sign client and employment contracts.

3. Assess the candidate’s online activity

These days, most recruiters use platforms like LinkedIn to find out more about candidates. So, if you’re not into the drill already, you’re certainly missing out! 

Not only is social media ideal for sourcing potential candidates, but it can also be used for screening purposes.

Start by searching the candidate’s name on a search engine to ensure there are no red flags or unprofessional behavior in their work history. Candidates can often hide some things or just forget to include them when writing a resume so this is a good way to uncover information beyond their resume.

Next, study the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. This will reveal the topics they are interested in, the way they respond to other posts, and the people and companies they engage with. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Recommendations: LinkedIn allows its members to endorse colleagues and clients. Genuine recommendations will provide valuable insight into the candidate’s capabilities and virtues.
  • Skills they’ve been endorsed for: Endorsements by the candidate’s connections will add credibility to their application.
  • Personal achievements: Does the candidate share pivotal professional achievements? Applicants that shout about their latest successes usually take great pride in their work and will motivate others to do the same.

4. Dig a little deeper

resume reviewIf a resume is unclear on a certain point, it’s down to you to find out exactly what the applicant is trying to communicate. Before you discard their CV, give them a chance to offer an explanation or provide context with a brief email or quick phone call.

It’s also worth considering a customer relationship management system, as it will enable you to manage clients, opportunities, and follow-ups all in one place.

5. Don’t limit yourself

If you’re struggling to find a resume that meets the specific requirements to fill a vacancy, don’t hesitate to reopen applications. 

Consider whether you can be more flexible in what you’re offering – perhaps you can offer hybrid working or increase the salary – to attract better quality candidates.

It may also be worth hiring a candidate that doesn’t quite meet your requirements but shows potential. In that case, you can offer on-the-job training. 

Bonus tip – If your company pays based on experience, on-the-job training may save you some money while also helping you shape the candidate from scratch to fit your company’s culture.

Whether you have one or multiple roles to fill, scouting for the right candidate may feel like finding a needle in the haystack. 

But you can make it significantly less daunting simply by specifying job requirements in advance, understanding the type of candidate you’re looking for, and taking a structured approach to your resume review process. 

Follow these best practices, and you’ll soon have the workforce of your dreams!