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A candidate's resume should explain who they are, professionally and personally, and how they can benefit your business. — Getty Images/Paul Bradbury

Every recruiter or hiring manager will look at a candidate's work experience, skills, education and other basic information, but checking off these basic items doesn't always translate into a good hire for your business.

According to ERE Recruiting, on average, corporate job openings receive 250 resumes. Narrowing down your candidates can feel impossible, especially if most meet the standard requirements you set for the position. That’s why it’s crucial to consider other aspects when evaluating new talent for your business. We outlined a few important factors to keep in mind during your hiring process.

[Read: 5 Tips for Hiring the Right Employee]


You shouldn’t have to decipher a resume; it should read clearly and be free of useless technobabble or business-speak. Candidates who try too hard to impress you with such dialect are often unqualified, overconfident or they’re aware of their talent/experience gaps and are attempting to distract you from them.

Resumes should make your life easier, not consume your limited time. ZipRecruiter recommends not wasting your energy pursuing an applicant if there are frequent misspellings, grammar issues or incoherent thoughts on the resume.

Specifics about the job posting

Does the resume look like a copy-and-paste of others, or did the candidate craft it to the business? The specifics listed on the resume, such as skills and experience, should be relatable to your company. For instance, if you’re a fintech company, you probably don’t care about a candidate’s summer lifeguarding job during college. Only invest in candidates who tailor their resumes to your job posting.

The use of hard facts

Focus more on candidates who use hard numbers (such as “increased sales by 250%”) in their resume rather than irrelevant fluff. Applicants should not only claim they’re quality workers, but also prove it with facts.

A resume should tell a story about an applicant’s education, experiences and interests, not just list jobs or skills they think you want to see.

A list of references

If a candidate provides you a list of references without you even requesting it, they’re confident in their business connections and past performance and experience. A strong candidate will be up front with solid references, while someone who has been fired or laid off will state "References available upon request" or leave it out altogether, which is a possible red flag.

[Read: Avoiding a Hiring Mistake: How to Make Sure Your Next Hire Is Your Best Hire]

Employment gaps

If a candidate took a few months or years off from work, you shouldn’t give the benefit of the doubt without an explanation. If their resume expresses a three-year gap between their last job and the current date, don’t waste your time chasing them for an explanation they didn’t already provide you up front.

An online presence

Glassdoor noted that many hiring managers consider a candidate’s online presence to understand the value they add to their industry. While there are legal complications to requiring an applicant to maintain a digital presence, consider crediting a bonus point to those who link to social accounts on their resumes.

The candidate's story

A resume should tell a story about an applicant’s education, experiences and interests, not just list jobs or skills they think you want to see. Seek out resumes that paint a clear picture of a candidate’s journey so you can better know them as a person first, and a potential employee second.

For instance, Ideal stated that understanding a candidate’s personality and values allows you to better determine whether they’d be a good fit for your team and company culture.


While experience is part of the basic requirements of a resume, see past the amount of jobs an applicant has had and instead focus on how long they remained at each company or in reach role. This information will evaluate the candidate’ loyalty and value.

Keeping these additional factors in mind during your hiring process will help you narrow down your options to only those best-equipped for the position. Be aware of red flags, and don’t settle for less than your business deserves.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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