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What to Look for

Being the great recruiter that you are, you've probably posted a really attractive job ad online, created a brilliant and efficient contact plan to reach those candidates and filled your inbox with tons of resumes for evaluation.

Now its time to go read them.

Of course, reading a resume and closely evaluating it isn't half as hard. What's going to break you is doing the same thing for hundreds, even thousands, of other resumes. With the bulk of resumes you'll have to sift through over the next few days, the best you can do is weed out the potential losers that made it to the pile. You'll have to find a way to figure out, in a matter of minutes of reading each resume, who you're going to schedule for an interview, as well as what to ask each one to elaborate on.

You'll need some clues. Below are some of the more useful ones to look out for, as well as how to read them better:

Examine how the applicant phrases his/her past responsibilities.

Be wary of applicants who use terms like "member of", "involved", "was part of", and the like. Some jobhunters believe that association-in any way whatsoever-with big projects like major ad campaigns, expansions, etc will win recruiters over. Don't be easily fooled. What you're really looking for are clues that suggest initiative, like "led", "organized", "developed" and other words that show leadership, responsibility and achievement. At the very least, look for statements of specific responsibilities, those that demonstrate a specific skill worth considering and talking about during the interview.

Look out for typos and other "little boo-boos."

Candidates who are reckless and careless with their resumes generally show a lax attitude towards making that good first impression, and are also prone to have the same attitude towards actual work.

Heavy techie and occupational jargon.

Whenever you're evaluating resumes for a position whose qualifications you don't fully grasp, ask for help from someone in the same field, preferably within the firm. Ask them what keywords to look out for. Don't get too impressed by applicants who like to use heavy words that they know you, as a recruiter, won't totally understand. They may know more about their field, but only you know who's right for the job. And if you decide to put some of these people up for an interview, try to find someone to do it with you, preferably the same one you consulted for keywords.

Consistent and advancing career path.

If a resume shows quite a number of past jobs, find the list that shows a consistent choice in jobs and responsibilities. Has the candidate used a certain number of skills consistently with each job? Have they had more responsibility with the next, or held a position higher than the last? Watch out for these types as these people tend to show ambition and focus. Weed out the ones that shifted from job type to another; lack of focus never did any firm any good.

Warning: job-hopper.

Look at how long the candidate stays on each job previously held. Be careful when a candidate spends less than a year on each of the last three jobs. Chances are, you're going to be next in line for that fling. Be open, however, when a candidate shows substantial achievement with each job held. You'd want to find out why a candidate with much to boast in a company left after such a short period.

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