What to look for in a Resume?

In my opinion, this is one of the most controversial topics in the Strategic Recruitment Industry. On one hand, most recruiters don’t know how to review a resume and on the other hand, most candidates don’t know what to put in a resume or they stuff keywords that can get their resumes selected or worse, they copy the entire resume from their colleagues and friends.

Clearly, there is no right answer to this question. However, assuming that candidates have not copied their resume from someone else; we can get around to how a recruiter should go about reviewing a resume.

I will highlight, how will I personally go about reviewing a resume:

I start by looking at the formatting of the resume, the fonts used, the language used etc. The overall look and feel of the resume. Additionally, one must look at the grammar and spellings used in the resume. If a candidate makes grammatical mistakes or spelling mistakes, most likely candidates communication skill will be weak.

Most recruiters tend to do ‘CTRL F’ to find out how many times specific keywords are used/displayed in candidates resume to see if candidates are a fit for the requirement.

I tend to read the entire resume of the candidate to understand what kind of projects candidate has worked on, what are the roles and responsibilities candidate performed and most importantly, what are the achievements of the candidate. Did the candidate receive any awards or pat on the back for the work that he/she performed.

I also pay a lot of attention to words like, ‘involved’, ‘was responsible’, ‘worked with /along with other teams’; these words do not reflect the actual work done by the candidate.

Candidate stability throughout their career is an important aspect as this reflects the strength of the candidate to not only have experience of completing the job lifecycle but also the ability of the candidate to cope with difficulties/obstacles in the work environment. Most candidates who have multiple job hops in shorter time span (<3 years) are generally weak candidates as they mostly change jobs because they are not performing as per the expectations and or not able to cope with the challenges of the job.

I closely look at the academic background of the candidates. Specifically, for technology jobs, candidates should come from Bachelor of Engineering/Technology or Computer Science Background including Bachelor of Computer Applications /Master of Computer Application. Most candidates intentionally skip to include their year of passing or passing percentage, this is a red flag for me as candidates are hiding something. Either, they have a gap between their education and employment or they just barely passed their education and both of these things are a reflection of the candidate is weak.

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