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Beyond the Resume
- Although searching CVs and online employee profiles are the standard way to discover potential job candidates, it is not always the most fruitful. When reading a resume, it is not only a flat and non-transparent way to view a candidate, it is often misleading. It’s both human nature and practice that causes an individual to exaggerate on her resume, often crafting enhanced perceptions of her past roles. Further, a resume doesn’t tell some of the candidate’s most important characteristics, such as: will she fit in with the company, or will her personality and skills aid or hinder the work environment.
- Make sure it’s a serious candidate Often, candidates will blindly apply for many positions. Of course, when something is intriguing for them, they will spend more time on the application. As an employer, make sure to check for such cues in the contact e-mail, the CV, as well as the Cover Letter. When reading a Cover Letter or Profile void of any signifiers to the company/position, that is an obvious sign that the candidate did not put much effort into the application. If there is little sign of effort or motivation (even if the resume is solid), it is likely that the candidate is either not that serious about the job, or is not that eager to make an impression.
- Take Advantage of References When interested in a candidate, you should definitely maximize the power of references. This is the chance to ask things about the candidate that you may never learn about from the Cover Letter or CV. Don’t only ask about skills and knowledge, but dig deeper to learn about how the candidate would fit in with your own company culture: is the individual social, involved in company affair’s and so on. Such questions would depend on the type of culture you are looking for within your company, and how you believe the candidate’s personality traits would mesh.
- The Interview This is the chance you get to really interact with and feel the candidate out. You want to make sure and maximize the time, getting a first-hand look at how the candidate could apply her skills. One way to do this is by having a ‘mock challenge,’ where the candidate would apply her skills in challenge that mimics something she would do on the job.
- Fitting in with the Office Culture Given the chance, it’s also a great idea to get a prospective employee in for an informal lunch or outing with the team. Even if for a short time, it could give a good idea how the candidate would fit in with the other team members, how she behaves in a social situation and how she manages under pressure.
- In Summary, it’s important to look beyond the resume when selecting a candidate. In an interview, go further than just asking about education, experience and skills – get hands on and find out how the candidate can actually perform – both in a task-related scenario, as well as a social, office-culture situation.
- Extra Contributing Sources: TheMuse.com, Guardian.co.uk
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