We surveyed 10 hiring executives to find out what stands out most to them when reviewing candidate applications.
1. Concrete Information
The impulse to amplify one’s skills and experience is too great while writing a resume, and many tend to give in to this. However, an effective way to evaluate a resume is to see if the candidate can provide concrete information instead of ambiguous claims. For instance, if a candidate claims to have re-engineered a system to make it faster, see if he has provided ambiguous info (much faster) instead of concrete info (3 times faster).
- Rajnish Kumar,
Demand Generation Manager at HackerEarth
2. Error-Free Writing
Good communication is a necessary part of almost every job out there. When I am reviewing a prospective employee’s resume, I want to see minimal spelling and grammatical errors. Because the resume is typically the first impression employers get of applicants, I expect time and effort to be put into making it as perfect as possible to ensure a positive result.
- Jeff Arnett,
CEO of Arnett Credentials
3. Creative Solutions
I look for ingenuity and drive. Someone who can help me solve my problems and is willing to dig in. My business is ever-changing, so I like to see change on a resume – whether it’s taking a risk with a project, speaking up about ways to be for practical or sharing new information that benefited former workplaces or their clients.
- De-de Mulligan,
President of Mulligan Management Group, LLC
4. Critical Thinking
One of the best skills to see on a resume is critical thinking. Hiring an employee with good critical thinking skills can be a tremendous asset to any company. Critical thinking skills show that the employee most likely has good problem-solving skills and can make good decisions about important issues they may face.
- Jason Kay,
CEO of Retreaver
I love seeing problem-solving skills on a resume. In the workplace, problems will arise and it’s always an amazing asset to any organization to hire an employee that can identify a problem, brainstorm with the team, find a strategy, and create a long-lasting solution. Those are the kinds of people employers want to hire.”
- Deborah Sweeney,
CEO of MyCorporation.com
6. Decision-Making Ability
Good decision making is one of the most important skills I consider when hiring a new employee. In money lending, we must consider a variety of things before approving a loan- so having someone who can efficiently ask the right questions to help make high-value decisions would be a great candidate.
- Sacha Ferrandi,
CEO of Source Capital Funding
7. Able to Deliver Results
Resumes stand out when you have moved the ball somewhere it hasn't been before. You've walked the walk when it comes to innovation and disruption. Did you create a new process that revolutionized your work systems? Did you launch a new program? Did you change the way that your company advances diversity, equity, and inclusion? It's great to demonstrate that you've delivered results, but that can happen when you ride the momentum. Delivering results as a result of real hustle, ingenuity, and grit will separate you from the pack.
- Mohan Sivaloganathan,
NE Executive Director at The Mission Continues
8. Personal Information
I like to learn something personal about the individual — hobbies, something they do in their free time, passions outside of work. Looking at résumés can get very tedious very quickly, so it's nice to be reminded that you're reading about a person, and people have really diverse interests in and outside of work
- Matt Martinez,
People Operations Manager at B12
9. SEO Skills
For any business with an online presence, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) familiarity is an incredible skill set to have. Since SEO is a new tool that is always changing and developing, there are not as many experienced professionals. When I see an applicant has SEO knowledge, I always give them a callback.
- Chris Smith,
Founder of Networthy
10. Experience as a Manager
Past managerial experience. Soft skills are one of the few transferable skills no matter what the role. It also signifies the person was probably promoted from a previous technical role to a completely different skillset: managing others.
- Scott Asai,
Founder of ScottAsai.com
Emily Banks who is a Bay Area native that got tired of San Francisco’s cold beaches and decided to move to San Diego. She is currently the HR editor for 365 Business. When she is not typing away on her office keyboard, she can be found eating street tacos in the sunshine.