8 Must-dos when assessing CVs

Working through prospective CVs can be a tedious task if you don’t have a system. Not everyone will tick all the boxes, which makes the decision-making process even more challenging.

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So how do you determine who are potential maybe’s, definite no’s, and how do you decide whom 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 essential 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 specification, you should have made a list of the essential skills, knowledge and experience to list the position. In an ideal world, the CVs 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 five 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 CVs.

This is your first step to the screening process.

Step 2 – Remove No’s

Don’t waste time on candidates that don’t come close to meeting the mark. There are plenty of 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, those perfect candidates rarely exist. With that in mind, don’t look for perfect. Look for potential. How many of the criteria do they meet? Is there a good blend between hard and soft skills? Are the criteria that they are missing skills that they could learn on the job, or are they skills that they 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 serious about their careers will be careful about what they publish. They will probably have security settings on their profile to only share posts with close friends. Look out for red flags of postings that are inappropriate or offensive.

Eight must-dos when assessing CVs

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 lousy reference even if they weren’t the best crew person, which may hinder their chances of future success. However, if you ask the right questions, you should 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 to assess the candidate’s 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.