This Resume Has 120 Seconds to Live

You’re a hiring manager, and like many of us you’re pressed for time. So it’s understandable that sometimes a resume gets only a 30-second glance right before the candidate walks in. It’s understandable, but it’s not good … just a little more time spent in preparation can make a world of difference towards your goal of making the right hire.  Block out two to three minutes and look for the following: 

Numbers. Vital for any sales position – and for many others as well – is a candidate’s ability to demonstrate progress with real numbers, not just squishy language that implies they’ve done well. Any good salesperson knows things like their sales figures in relation to quotas, year-over-year growth, territory statistics and so forth … and that hard data should be all over the resume. Metrics and measurable outcomes beat vague language every time.

Story Time. This one may seem basic, but a resume needs to make sense. It’s a candidate’s first and best chance to tell their story in a logical, chronological progression. Does it tell a story simply and directly?

Progress. You’re looking for forward progression and growth. Has the candidate held a series of positions with increasing responsibility, or just the same job at different places?

Mind the Gaps. This is one you’re likely to miss in the 30-second sneak peek: look carefully at start and end dates of employment. Are there stretches of time that are unaccounted for? There may be legitimate reasons for those voids, such as a family situation or a relocation due to a spouse’s employment, but you’ll want to be sure to probe this in the interview. Another one to double-check is any entry that says “… to present.” Are they really still employed or were they terminated last month?

Two minutes, maybe three. Find the time and you’ll hire better every time.