Fast Track Your Hiring Process: Know What to Look for When Reviewing Resumes

By Scott Thomson | Thursday, 20 Dec 2018

As CVs start rolling in, the challenge for a recruiter is in identifying the right talent for the job at hand. To help make your hiring process more effective, here’s a simple guide of what to look out for in talent resumes.

Before you begin sorting through the CVs, it is a good practice to look at the role you’re trying to place. Start by identifying the “must haves”, things that cannot be compromised. These are the mandatory criterias that are essential to the job. By doing so, you can already compile a more manageable list of candidates for your role.

Achievements & Past Accomplishments

Depending on the seniority level of the role, different requirements apply. Experience and past achievements are more important when hiring for a mid-level to senior role. So while the use of generic descriptions to illustrate experience may be a dismiss-able offense for junior candidates, it is a red flag for more senior candidates.

The use of generic terms and descriptions can mean a multiple of things, all of which are less than ideal. Perhaps the candidate is using a resume template, or they lack specific knowledge in the industry, or they’re deliberately using vague language because their experiences don’t qualify. All these are potential red flags in a candidate.

An important point to note when evaluating a CV is whether the candidate is overly process driven. A good candidate is one who is mindful of results, thinking about performance from a holistic point of view. A sign of an exceptional candidate is one who provides quantitative evidence for their performance in the company.

Talent Skills & Character

While relevant industry experience is a plus, in some cases it may be more important that the candidate has the right skills and talent than the experience in the industry.

A way to see how well the candidate fits into the role is by looking at their set of skills and knowledge. Are the skills mentioned relevant to the role, this may be a parameter for recruiters to judge whether they have a sense for the position at hand. If they are presenting an overly broad set of skills, the danger there is that it may be an over exaggeration of their capabilities or that they do not fully understand the responsibilities of the role.

Overall Level Professionalism of the Resume

In this day and age, it really is unacceptable to still be using weird cutesy emails ( or to apply for jobs. Not only is it unprofessional, but it also shows how they perhaps do not care enough for the role or themselves to simply create a new email. Shying away from major signs like unprofessional email handles may be poor grammar and spelling mistakes in resumes.

A more subtle yet relevant indicator of a poor candidate that recruiters should look out for are discrepancies in the candidate resume. These may require a little more work to spot, but a simple cross check on LinkedIn or other social media with the candidate’s resume should allow you to find their background. If there are major discrepancies, you may want to re-evaluate how reliable the candidate is actually.


Scott Thomson

Managing Director, Links International

Hiring Process Resume Reviewing Resumes Links International CV achievements Past Accomplishments skills Character Professionalism

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