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LeadingEdition: E-Newsletter for Purdue University Supervisors

Wading through applicant résumés:
HR can help, plus 6 steps for doing it yourself

Does a large applicant pool have you stressed? It’s terrific that so many people want to work in the position you have available, but you’re already spread thin with a vacancy on your team. How do you find the time to read all of these résumés, much less pick out the top applicants?

Thankfully, you have resources available to help you in your time of need. The Talent Acquisition Team or your Human Resources representative offers a variety of resources and services designed to meet your needs and adjust to your comfort level.  

We can offer the following:

  • Refer only the top applicants for your position (for example, the top 20 candidates)
  • Rate everyone in the pool to the help you focus on the top applicants
  • Screen candidates (for example, based on their salary requirements or their answers to questions we ask via email or telephone)
  • Point you to online tools and resources

If you want one of these services, contact us right away to discuss timing.

Should you decide to do it yourself, here are steps to help you successfully make your way through a large applicant pool.

  • Step 1: Before you begin looking at résumés, identify what would make someone successful in your position (beyond the minimum requirements) and write these things down. Examples may include progressively responsible and/or stable work experience, experience with a certain software or tool, experience in a particular industry, supervisory experience, etc. Don’t include soft skills, such as communication, that you can’t evaluate by reading a résumé.
  • Step 2: List these items in the order of their importance.
  • Step 3: Use your criteria list to stay on target throughout your review process. You now have an objective and standard document that will keep you consistent in your review of qualifications as you read each applicant’s résumé. Giving each applicant an equal opportunity is a key to successful hiring, yet sometimes we more stringently scrutinize the first résumés we read. 
  • Step 4: Once you identify an applicant who meets your pre-determined criteria, set aside the applicant’s résumé (or mark it in Taleo) as a candidate you want to consider more.
  • Step 5: When you’re finished, pat yourself on the back. You have completed your first pass of the applicant pool!
  • Step 6: Decide if you want to narrow the résumés further or move forward to begin the interviewing process. Always check with your Talent Team member or HR rep before contacting candidates.

Remember, we’re available to answer questions or offer guidance.

-   Melissa Martin, talent acquisition specialist

February 2012 issue


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LeadingEdition is an electronic newsletter for Purdue University supervisors.  It is produced and distributed by Purdue University Human Resources four times annually.  If you have questions, comments or suggestions relating to the newsletter, please call 49-41679 or email us.  Thank you.