A quick Google search for “resume mistakes” will land you in an endless spiral of articles advising job hunters about the most common resume mishaps. Somehow, nowhere in the mix will you find a similar article for the other side of the desk. That’s right – for all of the errors candidates make on their resumes, hiring managers actually make their own mistakes while considering those resumes. Here are four resume-reviewing mistakes you could very well be making.
Comparing One Resume With the Next
At some point during the recruiting process, you will have to compare candidates against one another solely based on their resumes. But that point is not during your initial review. When you are going through a pile of resumes that you are seeing for the first time, you should consider each one separately and not let the previous one affect the next. Put all qualified resumes in a separate pile for the next round of reviews.
Being Too Conservative
Candidates are often encouraged to create cookie-cutter resumes that cater to the traditional “cattle call.” While no resume should drift too far from the mold, you don’t want to confine your search to those that have a static “objective” or “skills” section. Each candidate will showcase his or her skills differently; don’t punish those who are bold and confident enough to deviate.
Trying to Find “The One”
You are indeed searching for “the one” who will fill the position perfectly, but you’re not going to find that perfect match in a resume. Too often hiring managers will get hooked on a particular submission and give a candidate a clear path to the job, sometimes even without interviewing other applicants. Reviewing resumes is the first of many steps, and you should approach the process accordingly.
Not Placing Enough Weight on the Cover Letter
A candidate’s cover letter is arguably more important than the resume, but the busy life of an HR manager often leaves these pivotal pitches skimmed or forgotten altogether. The cover letter is a clear indicator of both the candidate’s interest in the position and ability to present his or her strengths. If you’re going to spend more time on any aspect of a submission, it should be the cover letter.