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6 Ways to Spot Good Résumés

Any restaurant or retail manager knows her constant challenge is the revolving door — as soon as good employees get trained, it’s time to look for new ones.

But becoming good at spotting strong and weak résumés can save you time in your schedule and help you snatch up top talent.

Signs of a good résumé:

  • Clear, concise and correct. Résumés should be no longer than one page. Especially when applying for entry- or intermediate-level positions that won’t last more than a couple years, anything longer than a one-page résumé by an applicant can be just plain cheeky. Look for signs someone took time to do a good job. Is all the relevant information there? Are there spelling errors?
  • Personal flair. Has an applicant lived in other countries? Served as a youth mentor? Spends free time painting murals? Too many hiring managers look for the candidate who checks every box of work history tailored specifically to the job at hand. But especially when hiring workers who will interact with customers, finding people with character-building interests can be a good way to inject life into your workforce.
  • Follows directions. This is a two-way exchange between applicants and hiring managers. Want better résumés? Post specific instructions on your website. If you’re looking for a “One-page summary of work and educational history that highlights your ability to perform under pressure, interact well with people, and learn on-the job,” say so! Then look for applicants who heed these guidelines.

Signs of a bad résumé:

  • Self-indulgent. Résumés that create a long bullet list out of what could be a simple sentence can signal a person who doesn’t show restraint. A C.V. is just a glimpse of one’s achievements and experience, not a laundry list, and not a mini-essay.
  • Trying to be funny. A résumé is generally not the place to show off one’s sense of humor. Consider whether someone trying to be too funny in a résumé (especially if it’s offensive) has the right judgment you’d want in your restaurant or retail store.
  • Unspecific. No matter how many jobs a person applies for, each résumé should be tweaked according to the particular job sought. A résumé that’s clearly a copy-paste of text likely meant for a different type of job is a less attractive one.

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