Although most people are truthful when composing their curriculum vitae (CV), some may be tempted to omit negative facts or to exaggerate their achievements. Analyze each CV carefully to help select interviewees, and prepare questions to ask them.
- Note specific points of interest in the CV to discuss later.
- Assume a certain amount of creative editing in a CV.
- Look for any inconsistencies in the facts provided.
- Ask yourself if the presentation and style of the CV create a positive impression of the applicant.
Looking At Structure
Analyzing the structure of a CV can tell you a lot about a candidate’s ability to organize and communicate a set of facts effectively. A well-structured CV will be concise and normally no more than two pages in length. Usually, it will contain educational and career histories in reverse chronological order to emphasize the candidate’s most recent activities. Relevant skills are often highlighted. However, there are many ways of presenting a CV, and the most important factor to consider is whether a CV presents information in a logical and easily digestible form.
Once you have looked at the overall structure and style of a CV, examine the information provided. Consider whether the applicant’s qualifications and work experience are relevant and meet the required levels you are seeking. Does the candidate have any other useful skills? Does the CV contain any background information that builds up a picture of the candidate’s personality? Can you get an idea of the speed and direction of their career progress?
Dealing With Gaps and Inconsistencies in a CV
Breaks in chronology and inconsistencies in the facts provided may be a result of simple error. On the negative side, however, they could provide clues to a candidate’s attempt to falsify or hide certain information. You must therefore carefully examine the chronology of the applicant’s educational and career achievements and ensure that all dates provided follow a logical sequence. Are there any periods of time unaccounted for? For example, is there a gap from the end of one period of employment to the beginning of the next? Does any other information supply account for this gap? Do periods of employment overlap with periods of education? Be prepared to give applicants the benefit of the doubt, but compile a list of questions to help clarify inconsistencies.
- Look for gaps in the Chronology of the CV.
- If necessary, verify qualifications with relevant institutions.
- Estimate the average amount of time spent in each job
- Judge whether the candidate is making a logical career move.
- Consider if the style of the CV indicates a well-organized candidate.
Always concentrate on the section dealing with career history first when assessing a CV to decide whether to shortlist an applicant for an interview.