6 Things To Look For During Your Next Resume Review

The never-ending pile of resumes continues to grow, and it can seem like a monotonous and annoying process to go through them and sort out the good from the bad. To help you sort through that pile a little faster, here are some key things to look for in a resume that shows that the candidate may be a good fit for the position.  

Did They Customize the Job Objective or Summary?

Applicants should have a job or career objective at the top of their resume. It should be customized to your position, utilizing key words or phrases from your position description. This will tell you whether they are really interested or just applying to apply. If it includes a summary section about his or her work experience, education, achievement, and skills, it could be helpful to you, because it paints a better picture of the candidate and how they view himself/herself.

The Appropriate Work Skills Highlighted

It’s no secret that candidates apply to several different jobs at the same time. But this means that they should be tailoring their resume to each job they apply for. As you look over resumes, make sure that the right skills are emphasized, and that the job descriptions highlight the relevant accomplishments. Typically, these should be towards the top of the resume, so that you can find them easily. Watch for phrases that are cliché’s (teamwork, enthusiastic, etc.).

Clear, Concise, and Correct

Most jobs require excellent communication skills, which makes it very important that a candidate’s resume is clear, concise, and correct. Resumes that practice this should only be one or two pages long. This means no spelling or grammar errors, not too wordy, and clear sentence structure that gets to the point quickly. Someone that can communicate clearly and correctly in their resume shows a strong attention to detail and a dedication to doing things right the first time.

Great Formatting

Another essential piece to a resume is excellent formatting, because it makes the resume easy to read and skim. It should have clear and distinct sections and headlines that stand out, and short bullet points that have important keywords that relate to the open position. Above all else, make sure the resume format is consistent.

Too Much Personal Information

Some candidates will try to make their resume stand out by including extremely personal information, such as their interests, hobbies, or family details. While these things may play an important part in the candidate’s life, it isn’t professional or relevant. A resume that keeps it professional and sticks to work experience is a good sign that the candidate has a high level of common sense. However, work related or college related activities are appropriate, especially if they demonstrate leadership or management abilities. 

Lying on Resumes

Believe it or not, lying on resumes is a very common occurrence. Be on the lookout for gaps in employment, false statements about their education or degree, or wrong employment dates. While you want to believe the best in people, little lies like this can happen frequently, so it’s best to double check everything.

Going through resumes may not be the most exciting part of your job, but it’s still an important task to find the right fit for your organization. Knowing what makes a good resume helps you weed out the ugly and be on your way to hiring a qualified candidate.

What do you look for in a candidate’s resume?  


Katie Roth

Katie Roth has been in a leadership role in the employment industry for the majority of her career. Currently, she is Manager, Talent Acquisition for Oasis, a Paychex® Company. Katie is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is certified by both the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), as a Senior Professional in Human Resources, and the National Association of Personnel Services, as a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC).


May 10, 2017

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Katie Roth