Step 1: The Initial Resume Assessment
The first step in hiring a temporary employee at Contact 1
Our initial resume assessment is neither an in-depth look for content nor a ‘make sure all of the skill sets match up’ type of assessment. It is a quick ‘look through’ on the resume to see if it is worthwhile to dig down and try to match this person’s experience with our jobs.
Greg and I do this a little differently but we are both generally looking for the same things. These aren’t in any order necessarily but #1 is absolutely the first thing I notice.
1.) Major gaps in employment and tenure: A manager from years ago told me that if he saw a gap in my resume of a year or more, he would just assume that I was in prison. Some gaps are easy to explain; i.e. someone took time off to stay home with children, or someone took a professional sabbatical or spent time on another worthy project. Given the stagnation in the job market over the last few years, I have suggested to candidates to make a note on the resume, explaining why their last job was in 2012.
For instance: 2012 – Present: Took time off from career to care for my newborn child
We received a resume this week of someone whose resume just ended in January of 2007. I called him to see if he had worked at all during that time. He said “no”. I bowed out of the conversation gracefully, I hope.
As for tenure, if I’m feeling a little surly I’ll count the number of jobs a person has had in the last 18 months but we’re really looking to see if a seasoned professional can hold down a job for a few years or if someone with less than five years of experience can hold one down for a year or so.
2.) Tense agreement: I had to learn to look for tense agreement on resumes as writing is not my strongest skill (could you tell?) but over the years my experience has been that when the tenses agree, the person is most likely an average writer. That’s a point in their favor.
3.) Font Agreement: One of my absolute pet peeves is when someone starts the resume in Arial 10 point font and then in the middle somewhere it switches to Times New Roman 11 point font. It means that they don’t pay attention to big details (let alone small ones) and I almost always put them in the “no” pile. I will, upon finishing this blog posting, make sure all the fonts agree……….
4.) Bullet Points: Being a former accountant, I like to see if a resume is linear in that all the bullet points match up and go down the page in a straight line. It’s weird, but I feel like if you can’t make the bullet points straight then you don’t know how to use MS Word well enough to be an administrative assistant.
By: Garrison Lindsey, Managing Director – Temporary Staffing, Commercial & Government Services