3 Tips for Hiring Managers: What to Really Look For on a Resume

Business.com / HR Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

HR managers receive resumes of all different styles, shapes and sizes and it is apparent that writing a resume is not an exact science,...

Human Resource professionals around the world receive resumes of all different styles, shapes and sizes and it is apparent that writing a resume is not an exact science, and neither is reading one.

However, our resume consultants at Resume Companion, an online resume builder, have devised 3 easy to follow tips to guide you on what to focus on when perusing through a stack of resumes.

Does the candidate have a career objective?

We always suggest to our users that a career objective is only necessary with a few types of resumes:

  • The resume contains a variety of work experience. In this scenario it makes sense to list a career objective as the previous work experience is scattered across different industries and the resume is not directed. If you find they don't have a career objective in this scenario, ask yourself if they really want to work in your industry.
  • The candidate is an entry level jobseeker or a student. It is quite imperative this type of candidate has a career objective, again, to inform you of their intentions. If this is not apparent on their resume they may still be undecided on a career path.
  • A candidate re-entering the workforce, possibly due to illness, imprisonment, homecare or a long spell of unemployment should list a career objective. Do not expect them to go into detail about their absence from the workforce on their resume but a general indication of why they were absent is would be ideally found in their career objective

Are previous companies described on the resume?

Regardless of whether you are familiar with all types of industry and job roles, a candidate should describe succinctly their previous company. Look out for descriptions including overall revenue, headcount, products or services sold and amount customers or clients.

Not only does this help you understand the scope of the candidates work experience outside of your own industry but it also reveals that the candidate possesses commercial awareness and the ability to think outside of just their own responsibilities.

Are you able to scope out resume achievements from responsibilities?

You may be aware you need to consider a person's achievements on their resume but do you know what to look for?

It's a fact that most people create a resume without considering their achievements, and usually they have at least a few to mention. Here are some achievements you may look out for:

  • Customer satisfaction rates. Does the candidate meet any customer satisfaction rates or did they even mention how many customers they dealt with per day, week, or month? This is especially true of the service industry.
  • Delivery Targets. Does the candidate elaborate on the scope of their delivery network or mention any time deadlines they met? This type of achievement links with transportation and logistics roles.
  • Inventory levels. Does the candidate describe the size of the inventory level in dollar terms and any key performance indicators such as space or costs saved in line with a budget? These types of achievements fit well with warehousing/manufacturing and stock/inventory controllers.

These are just a few examples of what to look for in terms of professional history. Our key advice is to not to expect a standardized resume across the board but know that each resume may or may not contain certain information dependant on the candidate's professional background, experience and intentions for the position.

Photo credit: resumeswan.com

Joe Flanagan is a Senior Resume Consultant and Marketing Specialist at Resume Companion, the leading online resume builder with over 50,000 job phrases to choose from across hundreds of industries. Contact him at joe@resumecompanion.com and follow on Google+: Resume Companion on Google+. 

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