How to Read a Resume and Hire the Right Person

  • Jan 19
How to Read a Resume and Hire the Right Person

The HR manager provides work with personnel at all levels, so their activity is multifunctional. They set the tone for the entire organization’s work and are responsible for supporting the whole business. But more directly, they hold responsibility for the work of the staff. Ensuring efficiency requires awareness, understanding of the company’s policies and direction, competence, and professional knowledge and skills. An HR employee participates in the formation of the company’s corporate culture, and must to monitor its compliance with goals, values and mission. But finding a good employee who fits perfectly can be challenging. So, knowing how to read a resume and hire the best candidate is essential.

How to Correctly Analyze a Resume

In many ways, an HR manager stands as a mediator between a company’s management and the team. They must maintain neutrality, be on the same page with management and staff, possess moral endurance, and have a strong will and emotional restraint. To ensure effective interaction in the team, one must keep a large amount of information in their head. An HR rep needs to “remember everything” and constantly “keep in sight” of all employees to provide timely assistance. So, when they read a resume, they search for the best candidate.

As a side note: you might wonder how job candidates can write a catchy resume. One tip is to try using a resume review service to make sure your resume comes out perfect and worth reading. That way, you can take a large step toward the interview process.

But back to the main topic – how to read a resume. Due to such a load of submissions, it might be less complicated to focus on screened resumes. Working with personnel requires mastery of communication skills and finding an individual approach to each potential employee. So, it becomes necessary to stay attentive and not to miss a single detail in the resume. Otherwise, applying a positive direction is extremely difficult. When the labor force supply significantly exceeds its demand, specialists face the problems of choice even more acutely. How do you catch your “golden fish” in an ocean of offers?

Selection at the First Stages

Of course, the highest percentage of “screening out” candidates occurs at the stage of reading and analyzing resumes. As practice shows, only about 15% of considered applications move to the next stage. And here, the specialist faces a new task – weeding out the majority to find the candidate who meets the requirements and, in the end, will occupy the vacant position.

The task is undoubtedly complicated because, today, not every applicant knows how to write a beautiful resume that fully reveals their skills and abilities. Therefore, a recruitment specialist must be able to read a summary and reconstruct the applicant’s “life path” based on it. During the resume study, the recruiter or personnel manager first determines how suitable the applicant is for the available position according to stated requirements.

Resume Work Algorithm

By learning to analyze the applicant’s information about themself in the resume, one can significantly save time. Especially when it all comes down to conducting interviews and simplifying the selection process. Knowing how to read a resume for screening purposes comes as a vital skill. But how exactly are resumes screened?

  1. Read resumes from top to bottom. Purpose: primary screening.
  2. Read from bottom up. Goal: Restoration of the life path.
  3. Content analysis. Purpose: What does the resume say?
  4. Preparation of interview questions.

After the pre-selection process based on resumes, HR pros conduct telephone interviews with interested applicants. At the same time, an experienced recruiter pays attention to the peculiarities of a candidate’s language and loyalty when setting an interview date. Moreover, they should be sure to ask simple questions at first.

Based on the results of phone interviews, the selected candidates are invited to an interview by a personnel specialist. The goal of the first meeting for the manager is to understand the extent to which the applicant corresponds to the company’s spirit. But it is also to determine the ideal candidate’s public image for the vacancy in question.

Interview – Candidate Evaluation Methods

This selection stage is the most important during the hiring process, precisely because of its decisive nature. The personnel manager interviews the candidate to obtain additional information about the availability of experience and skills necessary for the proposed job’s performance. Likely, they will also inquire about previous work activities. At the interview, possible contraindications due to the state of health are revealed. Moreover, the interviewer determines psychological compatibility with the company’s corporate culture and whether the resume seems accurate.

Types of Interviews

Several interviews will often help the hiring manager identify the most suitable candidate. So, it makes sense to choose several from the large pool of interview types.

  • One-on-one interview
  • Commission interview
  • Group interview
  • Behavioral interview – A method based on the candidate’s experience
  • Biographical interview – The interviewer focuses one ach stage of the candidate’s life path
  • Stressful interview – A method that creates a tense situation or even conflict
  • Projective interview – The candidate answers questions not about themself but about some unknown people or the world in general
  • Structured interview – A method which requires prior preparation. Standard answers to each question are prepared in advance. Candidates’ responses score on a 5-point scale by comparison with clearly-defined criteria
  • “Unfinished sentence” technique – A test which includes 60 unfinished sentences, divisible into 15 groups characterizing to one degree or another the system of relations of the examinee to themself, family, representatives of opposite sex, etc.

Results of the Interview

Based on the results of the interviews, the HR specialist analyzes the received information about the candidates, including:

  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Professional experience, skills and knowledge
  • Readiness for learning, orientation towards development
  • Willingness to cooperate
  • Motivation, labor values
  • Initiative, willingness to take responsibility
  • Focus on achievement
  • Level of self-esteem

And based on the conducted analysis, the results decide on a repeat interview or the need for a discussion of the candidate with the head of the structural unit. The appropriateness of such a meeting is further determined by the personnel manager, guided by the employee selection procedure established in the company. Ultimately, this proceeds from the information and test results obtained during the entire interview process.


A high-class HR manager must have absolute requirements for capabilities, leadership qualities, and high self-esteem. Furthermore, they must be able to assert themself, lead and publicly convey ideas. When it comes to knowing how to read a resume, they should be well-versed. Because they might sometimes have to choose a candidate without the availability of an interview.

Professionals in this field have high emotional intelligence. They make decisions and take responsibility for the results. When choosing people who can join the team and effectively cooperate in the company’s interests, a true professional uses an intuitive approach to prediction. This ensures the quality inherent in professionals. The ability to observe and analyze information and mastery of psychological methods of assessing behavior based on non-verbal signs can significantly help the resume screening process.

If you’re looking to learn more, VTR Learning offers a host of courses for HR professionals, many of which deal with the hiring process. Check out the course shop for more information.

Article written by Jennifer Broflowski

Last updated March 23, 2023