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5 Steps in Reviewing a Resume 

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5 Steps in Reviewing a Resume 

Recruiters and hiring managers do the most complex and tasking job in the organization. A big part of the success of the company is dependent on their hiring skills. They are responsible for hiring the people who will be part of the company. Thus, one of the essential skills to have in this profession is the fast yet thorough reviewing of resumes.  

Reviewing a resume is not merely reading and understanding; this is more than that. The main objective of a resume review is to properly select the right applicants for the next phase of the hiring process. It needs good gathering and analyzing skills to identify who among the candidates are qualified for the next phase and who is not. Just so you thought that reviewing would be easy, then think twice because when you are bombarded with at least a hundred or two resumes a day, then you’d better be fast because you might miss the right talent for the post.  

As they say, practice makes perfect. Well, we should say practice makes you fast and efficient in reviewing resumes because there is no other way to figure out a resume but to check tons of it till you become a pro. We have listed here at least five easy steps to review the resume easily and quickly without missing the best applicant in the pool.  

Step 1: Check the Cover Letter 

Most jobs now, especially offered in job listing sites require cover letters. This letter is a document attached to the resume where the applicant expresses her intent to be a part of the company. Checking the cover letter will give you the idea of who is interested and who has the skills for the job because this is where the applicants share their skills and experiences. You can also see from here their confidence and self-awareness level as a professional. Moreover, from here, you can already glimpse the personality of the applicant.  

Step 2: Scan the Resume 

Resumes are wordy, ranging 2-3 pages, and this giving hiring managers an information overload. While it is good that you read them line by line, doing it 100 times in a day would lead you to burnout. That is why if you have a stack of resume to review by now, start by skimming each resume. Quickly scan each and spot the keywords for the necessary skills and experiences required for the job. Besides, try to look for wrong grammar and spelling and immediately eliminate them since you know who pays attention and who does not. By doing this, you can identify who is ready and who presents them well professionally.  

Having a hard time scanning resumes? Use this resume scanner for to save time: 

Step 3: Dig in the Skills and Qualifications 

In this step, you have already sorted the potential resumes aligned and related to the job description. Now, you should start the second read, particularly on the education and skills background. Sort out the skills that are most relevant to the job. Check which resumes highlighted the specific skill for the job; this means the professional behind this has a high level of self-awareness that he knows what he can do and what is needed for the job compared to those who just listed the skill to be noticed. Since not all skills can be listed, set a specific parameter on what set of skills you would likely require for the job, if you are decided to let them enter the next screening level, you can personally ask them about it.  


Watch out for these mistakes in resumes and save your time in reviewing them: 


Step 4: Validate the past experiences 

You now have a shortlist of all qualified candidates. Then to further know them, take time to check their employment history. Employment history is the past experience of an applicant before he applied to your company. Scrutinizing this part of the resume will reveal what kind of employee is your applicant before. In the employment history, check their recent duties and responsibilities if it is relevant to the current job. One thing to watch out too is the dates. Ask if you must them or validate through their past employer how they are doing before. Ask for an explanation if there are significant gaps between employments. In this stage, too, hiring managers often discover who the frauds are since some are listing particular employment that does not exist or is employed in the company but listed another position to qualify in the job. If there are already red flags like discrepancies in the records and upon validation, eliminate that candidate from the list.  


Step 5: Evaluate if the applicant is going to land the interview. 

You have already checked the cover letter in the final stage, scanned the resume, and validated its contents. At this moment, your sound judgment and discretion are needed to determine who will land the interview. If you have a shortlist of 10 candidates, choose the top 5 objectively, if possible, according to a scorecard as personal choices sometimes causes resume review bias. After notifying, who proceeds to the interview, do not immediately eliminate the other five. Keep them, and in case one cannot attend, you have a reserve applicant. By this, you do not need to go over the stack again to look for the best candidates for the job. If you see strong resumes in between the stages, keep it because if there are new job opening where their skills are already fit, you will save time in looking for suitable applicants. 


The entire hiring process is long and challenging for a hiring manager. That is why you need to develop skills and try to do some hacks to make your work easier, faster, and more efficient. As they say, working hard is good, but working smart is excellent. Try to use these steps in your next round of reviewing resumes. Hone your skills and quickly determine the best applicant that is fit and qualified for the job. Optimize the hiring process and get the best talents for the job. 

Written by Ariane Negishi

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