Hate Reviewing Resumes? You're Not Alone.
You have an open role on your real estate team and you need to fill it – pronto. So, you post your real estate assistant job ad to Zip Recruiter, Indeed, or maybe Wizehire and the resumes start pouring in. Great news, right? It should be easy to quickly review a pile of resumes.
Well, if we’re being completely honest… resume review is kind of a drag. Chances are, 70% or more of your applicants aren’t even close to qualified. It can feel like you are taking shots in the dark.
“Do I interview the person who has the perfect job history, but used three weird fonts?”
“This person says all the right things but can’t seem to spell any of it. What gives?”
Bottom line: resume review is boring. And hard. And it’s important that you get it right. Your dream assistant is likely hiding somewhere in that pile and you need to find them!
We review thousands of resumes every month, and we can review your resumes too. (More on that later) But, if you want to knock out your resume review and find your perfect assistant, here are some tips from recruiting pros to help you find your 4-leaf clover.
Helpful Tips & Guidelines
- Stay on top of it. When you post your job ad, schedule time in your calendar to review resumes every day for the next week.
- Keep your list of MUST HAVES nearby for reference. Your goal with resume review is to eliminate a resume as soon as you see a non-negotiable disqualifier. Yours may vary but they might include:
- License or education
- Years of experience
- Typos or misspellings
- Commute time
- STOP reading and send to the decline pile as soon as you see that an applicant is not qualified.
- If the resume passes the MUST HAVES test read through the resume in more detail. For many jobs, 60% – 70% of resumes can be sent to the decline pile in 20 seconds or less.
- For the remaining 30% – 40% read the resume to determine if they appear to have the skills and experience required for the job and consider writing style and presentation.
- Listen to your gut. If you are on the fence, your gut is likely right that they are not a good fit. However, if you are new to interviewing, you may want to give the applicant the benefit of the doubt until you start to trust your instincts.
Are These Red Flags? No! Not Necessarily.
- Job Hoppers
Most employers avoid “job hoppers” – and rightfully so. However, not every job move indicates a red flag. If an applicant’s resume meets all of your requirements but they’ve had three more jobs in the last three years, invite them to a phone interview. They may have valid reasons for their job moves.
Oh, and make sure to ask what would cause them to stay at a job for three years or more! If you like what you hear, move them forward and call those references (or hire us to call them for you).
- Resume Gaps
Gaps in resumes are commonly looked at with suspicion. After all, they might have left a job off of their resume, or maybe they were in prison? Or, maybe they went back to school, took time to have a child or care for a sick parent, spent a year traveling around the world, or volunteered with the Peace Corps. A gap in work history can mean many things, and most of them are good things. Try to not leap to the worst-case scenario.
Invite the candidate to a phone interview and ask good questions. Remember, when they complete the employment application they will need to list all of their past employers and dates of employment, and sign the form attesting to its accuracy. And, you are going to call their references, right?
- Strangely formatted resumes including overly-detailed or overly-styled resumes.
Some resumes are awkward, hard to read, or just plain weird. Sometimes (ok, often) a resume is a reflection of its owner but sometimes, people just don’t know how to craft a resume. Unless you are interviewing for resume writers, how much weight should be put into the quality and design of their resume? The answer is…it depends.
Your Marketing Director should have a visually appealing resume. Your Transaction Coordinator? Well, you might need to give them some grace. If it is free of grammar and spelling errors and they meet your criteria, invite them to a phone interview to learn more.
One Red Flag to Always Take Seriously
Typos and spelling errors.
Look, there is no getting around it. If someone can’t proofread their resume, there is little chance that they will proofread emails to clients when they are powering through their inbox. One small typo in a resume is forgivable. Misspelling common words are never ok.
Pro Tip: Out of every 100 resumes you should aim to send 15 to 20 resumes forward and request a phone interview. Expect that 25% of the people you invite to interview won’t follow through with an interview.