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Small Business Owners Must Look For Value in a Resume

-- 2012-01-11 1:00 am --

To find good employees, many business owners rely on resumes to find employees. What exactly, though, should a business look for in a resume to separate good applicants from bad applicants?

The resume is a quick snapshot of a potential employee. It will list simple data, such as a person’s date of birth, work experience and education. If this basic data is missing, it’s a good idea to reject that applicant.

There are other warning signs business owners should look for in a resume.

For example, if a resume is written in all capital letters or on pink confetti paper, that’s a sign that an applicant has been too lazy to study and understand basic resume formats. That laziness could carry over into that applicant’s work habits. This resume goes on the reject pile.

Any resume with poor grammar is a red flag. An applicant should know the difference between the words “its” and “it’s.” An applicant should capitalize the word “I” when speaking of himself. Resumes are not tweets to a buddy.

Is the company’s name misspelled? Misspellings are another reason for a business owner to reject a resume.

A resume with perfect grammar and spelling is a cause for joy to business owners. This resume shows that an applicant is a professional who cares about himself. He wants to impress upon a potential employer that he pays attention to details. This applicant deserves a second look.

The fact that an applicant took the time to learn a business owner’s name and spells it correctly is an indication that the applicant is meticulous and serious. This resume is also a keeper.

The cover letter deserves special attention because several key facts about an applicant can be found immediately.

A cover letter filled with phrases like “works well with others” or “I’m a team player” is an indication that the applicant is grinding out sausage cover letters. This cover letter is probably duplicated and sent to hundreds of employers.

Each cover letter must be unique and targeted to each individual business owner. It must be thoughtful and indicate that the applicant spent some time researching the company.

The best applicants will tell a business owner what their value is to a company.

Here’s one example: I mastered several techniques in Dreamweaver that create web pages 25 percent faster than the industry average.

When business owners see this on a cover letter, they know that this applicant is capable of producing a critical product quickly. Processing information faster than a competitor affects the bottom line and makes a company money. Business owners realize that this applicant has measurable value to a company.

No business can be profitable without topnotch employees. Good employees must be professional, skilled and show value that will help a company earn a profit. Knowing how to pick the right employee from a resume is a critical skill that every small business owner must master.