Surviving HR: Screening Job Applicants Part 2

In part 1 of this topic I talked about screening job applicants for production type positions.  In the continuation of this topic we are going to talk about screening for administrative type positions and the differences in my methods.

Step one: Confirming eligibility
Did the applicant follow the directions on how to apply?

As when I screen applicants for production positions I always make sure applicants for my administrative positions followed the directions for applying.  I am a little more lax when production applicants don’t include a cover letter or answer my litmus question, however for administrative positions its very important that the directions are followed as it shows me that they pay attention to details.

Are they qualified?
I usually require at least some upper education and relevant work experience for my administrative positions.  Its not to say that if someone does not have this experience that I don’t consider them, I just file them in my maybe pile as my second best candidates.

Step two: Reading resumes
Depending on the type of position you are hiring for you will be looking for different things in the resumes you are reading.

1. Long term work history – Positions in administration require a lot more training than production positions and therefore I want to know that a candidate can commit to a position.  When a candidate lists jobs they had for only a few months on a resume it tells me that they may be job hoppers.  The optimist in me wants to think that they just have not found what they are looking for, but the realist sees short term work history as a red flag.

2. Type of work history – While I tend to look for relevant work experience for my administrative positions I also look for candidates who have other types of professional experience in other industries. One thing I see a lot are candidates with a long history in one industry that is completely unrelated such as dental hygiene, cosmetology, or in the medical field. Most likely they are looking to make a career change but unless they mention that in a cover letter I generally don’t put the applicant on my “must interview” pile.  To me it looks like they are again just looking for any job who will take them and may not be in it for the long haul. I recently interviewed a candidate who had just completed a degree in Journalism and had been substitute teaching during his last semester.  I interviewed him because during his initial phone interview he said he had not found a job in Journalism that appealed to him so he was looking into other industries. During the second interview it was very apparent that there were no substitute jobs during the summer and he would most likely just be buying time until the fall.

3. Internet research – As with my production applicants, I also look up administrative applicants on Facebook to look for similar red flags. With these mid to upper level positions I do look a little closer at how the applicant presents themselves on social media and how they write posts. Since a huge part of my administrative positions revolve around data entry and proofing, a well presented social media presence can be telling.

4. Presentation of resumes – Again, since a huge part of my administrative positions revolve around data entry and proofing, I expect a valid applicants resume to be free of typos and grammatical errors.  Being in the industrial arts I also look for resumes that have artistic flare and something that catches my eye.

Now that we have our chosen resumes, its time to schedule some phone interviews!

What stands out to you on a resume?



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