Steven Ransom


Work experience The qualifications for a job should be based on which skills, traits, and behaviors are necessary to be successful in the role.

  • Generally, the first thing most people do when they look at a resume is looked at a candidate’s previous work experience.

A candidate’s work experience can be evaluated as an exact match to the current position (e.g., previous retail experience for a retail associate job) or a related match (e.g., previous experience in a customer-facing role).

Some things to look for in a resume for work experience are accomplishments and signs of career progression such as increasing responsibility.

  • For candidates without any previous work experience, interviewers may want to look for related volunteer experience.

Education Many jobs don’t necessarily require a minimum level of education but as college and university degrees become more and more common these days, education has increased in importance as a qualification.

  • For candidates without a lot of previous experience, interviewers may pay more attention to their education.

Professional certifications fall under the education category and depending on how essential interviewers feel they are, interviewers can look for a candidate’s certifications on their resume.

Skills, knowledge, and competencies A recruiter or hiring managers, they’re often faced with the choice of whether the skills or knowledge required to do the job successfully can be “bought” or trained on the job.

Evidence of a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and competencies are crucial things to look for in a resume but they can be harder to assess.

The assumption interviewers tend to make is that based on a candidate’s work experience or education, he or she is likely to have gained some of the skills, knowledge, and competencies related to the role.

  • Generally, the shortcut interviewers use here is to look for relevant keywords on a candidate’s resume for a desired skill or knowledge of a certain procedure.

Once interviewers feel confident that a candidate is likely to possess at least some of these skills required, interviewers can always further assess the candidate's abilities during the interview stage.

Personality and values Although most job postings list desired personality traits and values such as being friendly or a preference for teamwork, assessing a candidate’s personality and values from their resume can be hard to do.

  • Personality and values tend to be related to how well a candidate will fit into a company’s culture, their work team, and the job itself.

An interviewer can make some guesses about a candidate’s personality from their resume if they include their personal interests.

  • Generally, interviewers tend to use other sources of information to assess personality and values such as the candidate’s public social media profiles or their behavior during an interview.

The takeaways for what interviewers look for in a resume Here’s a list of what interviewers look for in a resume when screening candidates are:

  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Skills, knowledge, and competencies
  • Personality and values

While work experience and education are relatively straightforward, skills, knowledge, personality, and values can be harder to assess from a resume.

With recent innovations in resume screening technology, it might make more sense for you, the candidate to invest in a resume screening tool that automatically identifies qualified candidates to assist you in preparing your resume for an interview.

This way, you can spend more of your time engaging with them to assess how good of a fit you are for the company, team, and the job itself.

FYI: Resume screening tools typically fit into one of three categories, resume parsers, resume enrichers, and AI resume screening tools. Each of these tools is designed to help talent acquisition teams automate the resume screening process. They can be used in conjunction or individually.

Tip: In order to win the game, you must first understand how to play the game...

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about 2 months ago