3 HR Processes Human Resources Practices Screening Resumes

Screening Resumes

Hiring decisions should never be made based solely on resume information. The main purpose of reviewing resumes is to evaluate whether to inquire further about a candidate’s skills, abilities and potential fit in your organization.  The decision to phone screen or invite a candidate to an interview should be based on whether their educational background, functional skills, experience and achievements are a match with the open position.

  • Develop a profile of key skills and core competencies acquired from service which are applicable to the open position’s role.
  • Leverage internal veteran employees to understand military distinctions and translate military roles into civilian equivalents.
  •  Check to ensure education and job history are provided (including work during military service).  Does the candidate meet the minimum education requirements?  Are the veteran candidate’s military skills and experience easily transferable to the civilian world?
  • Determine whether the candidate’s resume reveals qualifications required for the open position.  Look for evidence of distinctive leadership, teamwork and problem solving.  During the interview, you can further explore their level of responsibility, the actual job tasks performed and associated results achieved.
  • Identify whether the candidate has functional specific certification(s) that support the open position (eg, HazMat for truck drivers, Certified Public Accountant for finance positions)
  • Check whether the candidate belongs to professional associations that demonstrate commitment to their field of expertise.  Affiliations with any clubs, sports, coaching, etc. can also be a sign of leadership capabilities.
  • Check the candidate’s frequency of job changes.  Numerous job changes may be due to weak economic conditions; or it may indicate a candidate’s weak performance, a lack of career focus or simply inability to find a job in his/her desired field of expertise.

After reviewing resumes, prescreening candidates via a 20-30 minute phone conversation is an excellent way to focus the search and limit the number of face-to-face interviews required (see Phonescreen.doc).  A brief conversation with a potential candidate can confirm qualifications from both a technical and behavioral perspective, as well as assist in determining whether a more comprehensive face-to-face interview is warranted.  Note the ability to communicate quickly and efficiently literally saves lives, so be cautious not to mistake “military speak” for poor communications.