How Recruiters Evaluate Candidates to Guarantee Their Resume Reflects the Required Skills

Last updated Sep 30, 2022

When you’re job hunting, your resume is your most important tool. It’s what recruiters will use to determine if you’re a good fit for the position they’re trying to fill. But how do recruiters assess resumes?

There are a few key ways that recruiters evaluate candidates to ensure that their resume reflects the required skills. Here are a few of them:

1. Review the resume for format and content.

2. Compare the resume against the job description.

3. Consider the resume’s overall appearance and professionalism.

4. Check for grammar and spelling errors.

5. Assess the candidate’s experience and skills.

6. Determine if the resume is tailored to the specific job.

7. See if the candidate has included relevant keywords.

8. Consider the resume’s length and overall presentation.

Each of these factors is important in its own right, but when taken together, they give recruiters a well-rounded picture of a candidate’s resume and whether or not.

The steps listed above are simple, standard, boilerplate steps recruiters take to ensure the candidate is at the very least, worthy of a preliminary interview.

Beyond these, what other steps do recruiters use to ensure a candidate’s resume matches the skillset they’re looking for?

Using Technology for Recruiting

Resume Assessment Platforms

In today’s job market, technology resume assessment platforms like have become increasingly popular among recruiters.

These platforms allow recruiters to quickly and easily scan resumes for specific keywords, skills, and experience. They also help to identify resume red flags, such as gaps in employment or inconsistencies in a candidate’s work history.

Video Interviews

Interviewing through video alleviates much of the time spent scheduling and meeting a candidate face to face. It also helps to ensure that resume screening has been done prior to the interview so that time isn’t wasted on a candidate who

Search Engine Optimization or SEO

Companies like IBM use micro websites to target keywords to reach very specific job seekers. Applying SEO to job pages and career sites will allow recruiters to target specific qualifications. In most high-tech industries, tech recruiters are looking for quality over quantity.

Social Sourcing

LinkedIn is the biggest professional network for this. LinkedIn allows for recruiters to not only find candidates via profiles but in targeted groups, discussions, and more. Actively connect with technical talent via knowledge-sharing websites and industry-specific message boards. Other than LinkedIn, you can use various social media avenues like Facebook, Graph Search, GitHub, and Google+ to reach out to the greater technical community.

Using Applicant Testing

Testing candidates on the skills they say they have is one way of testing the validity of their resume. It’s also important to know that they have the desired skills for the job they are applying for.

Psychometric Testing

The process of putting numbers into psychological data to measure aptitudes, abilities, and personalities. This test is widely used in the corporate world, from graduate level to management. It is more effective when used as one part of a selection process, backed up by other tools such as interviews and role plays.

Test-Based Credentials/Completion of Certificates

Great for programming and highly technical skills. If your candidate already has a certificate of proof of skills in certain areas e.g., Perl, PHP, SQL, etc. Freelance sites such as oDesk and offer users Expert Ratings for free or at a nominal fee, as a means to benchmark their skills. Some resumes already include these, but you can also use them to test your candidate’s skills.


Relatively new to the field of online testing and credentialing, it uses crowd-sourced questions that are then reviewed by the Smarterer team. Adaptive testing techniques allow them to accurately assess one’s abilities in 10 questions or less than a few minutes. As one of the co-founders explained, “we’re out to fix the ‘skills’ box on everyone’s resume…it’s the most important resume element, but what does it mean when you say you’re ‘proficient’ at Excel?”. Tests take no longer than a couple of minutes and cheating is difficult as there is a 20-second timer on each question. Employers can create their own tests – perfect for trying to test specific skills and knowledge.

Set Your Own Testing Challenge

Recruiters can use coding challenges to screen candidates when they are hiring programmers. This is a way to test if someone can actually do the job they are applying for. They can also use certificates or test-based credentials to prove that someone has the skills they say they have.

Other Things a Recruiter Can Do

As a technical recruiter, it doesn’t mean all candidates will be sourced online – like any recruiter you should also.

  1. NETWORK. Both on and off-line. Meet up with various local community leaders and attend local technology meet-ups.
  2. UNIVERSITY. Work directly with professors to develop partnerships with departments, student organizations, and alumni networks.
  3. COLD CALL. Reach out to companies in the area and introduce yourself as a technical recruiter.

Final Thoughts

The article discusses the many ways that recruiters assess candidates to ensure that their resume reflects the required skills for a given position. Recruiters use a variety of methods, including resume assessment, candidate assessment, social sourcing, using applicant testing, psychometric testing, test-based credentials/completion of certificates, and Smarterer. They can also set their own testing challenges. In addition to these strategies, recruiters should also network, and work with universities, and cold call companies.

When it comes to resume assessment, candidate assessment, and how recruiters evaluate candidates, the most important thing is to use a variety of methods in order to get the most accurate picture of a candidate’s skills and abilities.

By: Curran Daly + Associates


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