It’s certainly no secret that a candidate’s resume is very telling. Typically your introduction to the person, this document offers an overview of their skills, experience and education. In most cases, you use the resume to determine whether they have the basic skills needed to move on to the interview phase.
While the resume content is important, it’s not the only part of the page that matters. The savviest hiring managers know how to draw more information from a resume by carefully analyzing its format. Use these tips to read between the lines of the stack of resumes on your desk.
Capacity to Communicate
A candidate’s resume should clearly explain the responsibilities associated with their current and prior positions. After reading it, you should have a solid understanding of their skill set and whether they have the basic knowledge needed to succeed in the role you’re trying to fill. Resume formats that support this sentiment were likely written by candidates with solid communication skills, while those that leave you uncertain probably were not.
There’s plenty of different resume formats to choose from, but they all work to present the candidate’s skills and experience in an easy-to-understand manner. If you’re having trouble following the flow of the resume, take this as a sign the person’s organizational skills aren’t exceptional. Writing a perfectly polished resume is challenging, but candidates with solid organizational skills won’t have a problem creating a presentation that makes sense.
Most job openings receive applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds, so pay close attention to the way candidates market themselves. For example, a career changer who uses a traditional chronological format — instead of the more suitable functional presentation — likely isn’t the savviest marketer. The best candidate may not possess the most impressive skills and experience, but how they handle what they do have is very telling.
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