From Hired To Hirer: What To Look For In An Applicant’s Resume

By Michelle Brooks

One thing that most self-employed people won’t miss is submitting resumes to apply for jobs. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, and you never quite know whether the contents of your resume will be attractive to potential employers.

However, when you start your own business and hire your first employee, you can find yourself in the new position of viewing resumes from people wishing to work for you. The following information may help you learn what to look for to hire your first employee with confidence.

Professional Design

You can generally tell the difference between someone who has relied on professionals to create a resume and those who have decided to throw something together roughly with basic word processing software. Generally, templated designs are clean, easy to read, and eye-catching.

When you are presented with high-quality resumes, you may find that the applicant has an eye for detail and wants to make an excellent first impression for their potential new boss. These attributes may be some of the many positive ones they could have to benefit your business.


Depending on the type of job you’ve advertised, education can be one of the most crucial considerations. You want to ensure that the person applying has a background in what you’re seeking or even a qualification.

Education and qualifications are not always paramount in jobs where experience and on-the-job training can be more than satisfactory, but it may help you narrow down the options.

Job History

Unless you have advertised explicitly for high school or college students to perform summer work with no experience necessary, the job history section of a resume can be worth examining to help you narrow your search.

The more relevant work experience the person has, the more likely they may fit into your advertised role. Pay close attention to their most recent history, accomplishments within their job, and contributions to their past workplaces.

It may also be worth looking for any strange gaps in their employment history or job titles that sound exaggerated. Around 30% of job applicants lie or exaggerate on their resume, so see if you can spot anything unusual.


References are people who have happily agreed to have their names, workplaces, and contact information included in resumes so future employers can contact them. You can learn a lot about someone from their past bosses, so it’s always worth looking at these when you identify the most suitable candidates.

Warning Signs

Firing people can be a drawn-out process, which is why the resume reading process can be so crucial. If you can learn everything there is to know about applicants and their work ethic before hiring them, you may save yourself a lot of time and effort later.

Look for any warning signs that may appear in resumes, such as no references, demotions in workplaces, high job turnover, and unexplained employment gaps. These may all be innocent, but you may need to question them if such applicants make it to the interview stage.

It can be strange to think that you were once someone submitting resumes, and now you’re the one reading them to find a suitable employee. Before you rush into hiring someone, take the time to look for the information above. It may just increase your chances of finding the perfect person for the job.

Michelle Brooks is an independent writer and blog editor. She specializes in e-learning, general education, career, and self-development.

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