Assessing CVs

Part Three
Image of a CV being Assessed with a magnifying glass

At first thought, receiving a large number of CVs sounds like a good thing, that is, until you start the job of sorting them. Fortunately, you can make this task much easier and less time consuming by implementing a simple method.

This is where the job specification comes in, essentially what you will be doing is comparing it against each candidate's CV to see who is suitable for the job, but before you start doing that, you'll need to split the details in the job spec into two lists: essentials and desirables.

Keep in mind that you need to be strict about what you define as essential and that there will usually be twice as many desirables as essentials.

Stage One

With your list of essentials in hand, scan through the CVs and remove any that don't meet these criteria.

Stage Two

Now spending a little bit more time on each CV, use the list of essentials to give each candidate a score. For example, candidate A has 4/7 of the essentials, candidate B 6/7 and so on.

This is also a good time to look for any inconsistencies such as spelling errors and grammar.

Stage Three

The remaining candidates should all be able to do the fundamentals of the job, now you are looking to see who is going to bring more to your company and the role.

This time, score each candidate using your list of desirables and total up all the scores.

Stage Four

After these 3 simple stages of refinement, you'll have a smaller selection of quality candidates and an understanding of who is more suitable for the role.

To make a more informed decision of who you would like to invite for an interview, take a closer look into each candidate by checking out their online presence and looking into their references.

Things to Consider:

•   It may be unlikely you will find a candidate that matches your criteria 100%
•   Try not to overemphasise the format or writing style of the CV, look for the quality of the content
•   Gaps in employment are not necessarily a negative, but an excessive number of jobs in a short time & the period of time spent in the job are
•   If there is a career/industry pattern or a random collection of jobs
•   Try to respond to each application even if it is an automated email

Part 2 - Knowing what you need Part 4 - Planning an Interview