If you are recruiting in the current climate you are very likely to receive a lot of great applications.  Wading through all these CV’s can be tough! Whether you are working with a Recruitment Consultant or reviewing advert responses, deciding who to meet and who to reject can be a difficult decision.

One of the key things to have in place is a strong idea of exactly what criteria you are focussed on:

  • What educational level do they need to be?
  • What work experience do they need to have?
  • How many years’ experience do they need?
  • What skills do they need to have?

Try not to judge someone on the presentation of their CV. Drill down on what it tells you about them. Do they have the right background for the role? Do they meet the education requirement? Do they have the skills you need? Making quick judgements might mean you miss out on the right person for you!

On the first review of the applications create 3 folders:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe

Then review the yes folder and arrange telephone or virtual interviews.  You need to move quickly to make sure that you do not miss out on the ideal candidate.

Follow this up by reviewing the maybe folder and getting back to the no’s to let them know.  When you are reviewing the maybe’s always bear in mind that a CV is only a piece of paper and no matter how well laid out it is it cannot represent the whole person. My suggestion would be: if in doubt, interview them!

Be aware of unconscious bias which occurs when people favour others who look like them and/or share their values or hold social stereotypes about certain groups of people. Everyone has unconscious biases and it is crucial for you to be aware of yours.  Having someone else to review the applicants with you is a good idea to eliminate unconscious bias.  This will help to ensure that the candidates you select for interview are the best ones for the job and come from diverse backgrounds; as this will add to the diversity of your team and hence widen ideas and performance.

Be systematic and view them as they come in. Do not let the CV’s build up as then it will seem to be a real project and you may not take the time to give each CV the attention it deserves.

Ask questions. Just because something isn’t on someone’s CV it doesn’t mean they haven’t done it. For example, if you need someone who has first time passes in the ACA exams and that is not mentioned then pop the candidate an e-mail back to ask them.

The key approach to reviewing CV’s is open mindedness. Do not make snap judgements and take the time to find out more – do not assume.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and would like any further tips on selecting applicants for interview and beyond please do get in touch by emailing philip@alan-mitchell.co.uk.  We are offering a free half an hour with our qualified and experienced careers advisor who has over 20 years’ experience in recruitment and has reviewed thousands of CV’s for short lists.  This is an excellent opportunity to ask for ideas on any recruitment or career related issue.

Also please follow Alan Mitchell on LinkedIn for regular updates and insights.