8 Must do’s when assessing CVs

Working through prospective CVs can be a very tedious task if you don’t have a system in place. Not everyone will tick all the boxes which makes the decision making process even more challenging. So how do you determine who are potential maybe’s, definite no’s and how do you decide on who to call in for an interview? Having a system in place will take away the CV sorting headache. It will also ensure that you are more consistent in your decision making and evaluate everyone on an equal playing field while maintaining the flow of your recruitment process.
It is important to adopt a process that works for you, so feel free to take or leave any of these tips; here is how I go about evaluating CVs:

Step 1 – Checklist


When you created your job spec, you should have made a list of the essential criteria in terms of skills, knowledge and experience to list the position. In an ideal world the CV’s you get should be a match for those criteria, but in reality they’ll tick some but not all the boxes. Your first step is to tick off how many criteria they meet anything below 5 out of ten is probably not worth considering, but six or seven out of ten may be worth interviewing. Create a checklist and systematically work through the pile of CV’s. This is your first step to the screening process.


Step 2 – Remove No’s


Don’t waste time on candidates that really don’t come close to meeting the mark. There are plenty others out there that will. Create a ‘no’ pile so that you narrow down your field of potential people.


Step 3 – Review Maybe’s


It’s rare to get a perfect candidate that fits every single one of our criteria. Remember that perfect candidates rarely exist and with that in mind, don’t look for perfect, just look for potential. How many of the criteria do they meet, is there a good blend between hard and soft skills? Are the criteria they missing skills that they could possibly learn on the job or are they skills that they absolutely need to know before starting?


Step 4 – Check their online presence


What people share and post on Facebook or Instagram can show their true colours. People that are serious about their careers will be careful about what they post and will probably have security settings on their personal profile so that they are only sharing posts with close friends. Look out for red flags of postings that are rude or offensive.


Step 5 – Check availability


Check that prospective crew are still looking for a job. It could be that they were hired yesterday, in which case you can remove them from the maybe pile.


Step 6 – Check references


Don’t assume that what the CV presents is true. Take the time to check references personally. Most supervisors don’t want to give someone a bad reference even if they weren’t the best crew person as this may hinder their chances of future success. However, if you ask the right questions you should be able to draw out whether there were any interpersonal issues or skills that they were incompetent in.


Step 7 – Prepare your interview questions

Ensure you include behavioural style interview questions so that you can assess the candidates values and whether they have the right soft skills to be a team player.


Step 8 – Get interviewing


Once you have your shortlist, prioritise the ‘maybe’ pile immediately start to arrange interviews. Good candidates are often snapped up quickly, so you will want to move quickly to secure the best crew.