The second in a ten-part series, this article discusses the pitfalls that can occur when reading resumes, and highlights the importance of developing an insight into applicant motivations and attitudes.

How important is a resume in recruitment?

Choosing candidates to interview out of a stack of resumes can be a difficult process, particularly in the current climate of higher unemployment and smaller profit margins.

Resumes are usually a summary of a person’s work and life experience and often act as the only means by which to gauge an individual’s job suitability before meeting them. As a result, experience becomes the marker by which a hiring manager assesses the suitability of a candidate in the first recruitment phase.

Experience is, of course, important but it needs to be considered in context. Is the experience being presented relevant to the specific role being applied for? Reflecting back on writing a job advertisement, it is essential for a hiring manager to have a clear understanding of the current and future key competencies needed in order to succeed in a position.

Added to that are attitudes and motivations. Skills can be taught but innate mind-sets and motivations are often unchangeable. This can be seen in job applications; for example organisation-specific responses to key selection criteria shows diligence and respect for company values.

‘RESUMES ARE PURELY HISTORICAL STATEMENTS AND THEY DO NOT TELL YOU ANYTHING ABOUT WHERE THE CANDIDATE WANTS TO GO’

 Whilst resumes are a useful tool for understanding a candidate’s history and gaining a brief overview into their career, they are blunt instruments. In order to reduce staff turnover, increase productivity and ensure long-term success, a hiring manager needs to have a deeper understanding of a candidate’s potential, limitations and motivations.  These factors are relevant not for the past, but for future performance.

Caliper’s range of assessment tools provide in-depth insight into an applicant’s personality and removes much of the guesswork from the hiring process.