Although it can seem simple for hiring managers or resume reviewers to just stick the facts, ma’am, when it comes to sorting applications, we all know the process isn’t that cut and dried. Sometimes a candidate has all the right skills, but the cover letter is a snoozer. Or, a charming introduction might mask the fact that the candidate’s job experience is sorely lacking. Knowing this, it may difficult to make fair hiring decisions. Let’s take a look at how to evaluate resumes and the rare find they might be introducing.
During the resume-gathering period, you may be facing hundreds of applications. There will be some obvious ïnoï job seekers, and likely a few definite ïyesï applicants. Our concern today is that ïmaybeï pile. When you are going through the piles of submissions and strike upon a candidate who may not exactly match the job requirements but still catches your eye, you’ve discovered a rare find. Perhaps they have a great cover letter that demonstrates their knowledge of your company. Or maybe they have some intriguing work experience that you think could benefit your business. When it comes to resumes and the rare find, you have to look a little closer.
Do a Double Take
The ïmaybeï pile candidates pose a particular challenge that many managers relish. If you are one of them, you want to read more carefully to see what you missed the first time through. The job seeker may have asked an interesting question in the cover letter or made an enticing suggestion for a product improvement. These are the candidates you wish you could chat with, even outside the hiring arena. Does the applicant seem to think outside the box or show skills you’d find beneficial to your company? Maybe this rare find had a talent that no one on your current staff does.
Check for Traits
The key factors you should be looking for are character and drive. If an introductory letter seems to indicate the candidate has ambition and intelligence, it can be worth bringing him or her in for a job interview. Then you will have a chance to look for that spark of brilliance in person. Of course, there are some factors you shouldn’t quickly overlook no matter how charming a cover letter is. Poor grammar and spelling likely won’t go over well in the professional environment, and bad communication skills, which will be obvious in the interview, can be deal-breakers, too.
Use Your Own Experience
When you are seeking resumes and the rare find, it can be helpful to think about your own career path. It’s unlikely you took a direct route to your current position. What skills did you pick up along the way that helped you be successful? Do your rare find candidates have any of these skills? What characteristics and experiences do they seem to have that will work well for your company? If your gut is telling you to at least interview these unlikely candidates, go for it.
Now that you’ve found some diamonds in the rough, take another look at the job requirements listed in the open-position listing. If you know deep down that you want a manager who can shake things up without worrying about hurt feelings, one of your rare finds might be just the solution, even if he or she doesn’t have the required experience. Maybe you are looking for an innovative leader who can breathe life into a staid environment and inspire others. Those traits might be more important than whether the candidate holds the ideal college degree. You can take the time to truly assess the needs of the open position and whether the resumes and the rare find are holding the key. Not everyone’s selling points as an employee are easily demonstrated within the confines of a standard cover letter and resume. It is up to you to take a closer look at intriguing candidates and the unique traits they may bring to your open position. These can be more important than whether the applicant holds a college degree or gets along well with team members. Be on the lookout for fascinating work experience or intelligent writing before you winnow down your list of potential interview subjects. You never know who you will find. In addition to learning how to match resumes and the rare find, you can learn how to make solid hiring decisions and improve your companies using the resources at Mighty Recruiter as a guide.