Can’t see the forest through the trees? Even in personnel selection, you should sometimes dare to look back to the basics. With this article, we will help you to sharpen your senses for the essential aspects of the application process, no matter whether you are an HR manager or a hiring manager from the specialist area.

Employees are the most important resource of any company. Whether small or large, regardless of the industry – everyone is vying for the best applicant in order to be successful in the long term. But how do I recognize “the best applicant”? The application documents are a decisive selection criterion in any case!

The resume – Here candidates score with correctness, structure and clarity

When it comes to resumes, first impressions are very crucial.

Just like you, every recruiter or hiring manager has numerous applications in their hands every week. The most striking thing about them is the similarity of the sample templates. Do you value a certain degree of individuality and creativity in your selection? Then it will most likely not be Mr. or Mrs. Right.

In addition, you should keep an eye out for data that is not comprehensible, as a resume is also embellished once in a while. Numerical errors can also allow conclusions to be drawn about a candidate’s attention to detail. You can also tell how much commitment the applicant has put into preparing the resume by the completeness and detail of the individual career stages. But remember: Nobody is perfect. Just pay attention to points that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Does the person not have to be perfectly detailed? Then maybe you’ll leave a little typo to the left.

Is the resume clearly designed and well structured?

Order is a must! A clearly arranged and well-structured resume is also essential in an application. In most cases, an appealing resume comprises a maximum of 2-3 pages. After all, you can also tell whether candidates have understood the position by the fact that only the positions of the career path relevant to the job are listed in detail.

How should you handle gaps in your resume?

Does a life always run in a straight line? You shouldn’t immediately discard every candidate with a gap in his or her resume if the applicant otherwise has a promising profile. It would be a shame if a good applicant slipped through your fingers in this way. There are many reasons for gaps, whether they are self-inflicted or caused by special private or professional circumstances.

Does the effect of the application photo correspond to the external appearance of your company?

A photo has long since ceased to be a requirement in the application, but the motto is: if it is attached, the quality should also be right. The picture should show the applicant without pixels. A successful portrait makes for a professional first impression and rounds off the overall package. However, don’t be caught judging the photo subjectively, so that you are biased in the further application process.

The cover letter – The art of convincing with both creativity and standardized norms

Why a sample cover letter can’t be the fast track to a job?

Many companies now place little value on a cover letter. Is yours one of them? Our tip is to always look at your resume first. If it raises any questions, it may be worthwhile to take a look at the cover letter! A clever applicant does not use the cover letter to repeat the resume, but to add content that might be interesting for you.

A promising recipe for a successful cover letter usually includes a little spice. Individuality and creativity are welcome helpers to get the flavor. Don’t be too bothered by the typical phrases, but rather keep an eye out for the valuable info. Admittedly, penibility is often a bit too thick, but it can help you in the application process to draw decisive conclusions and is, accordingly, literally a friend of HR’ers. Woe betide the applicant who makes himself known by giving false company or name information. On the other hand, concrete information regarding salary expectations, working hours (let’s think of part-time positions) or availability (notice period, planned vacation, times when you can be reached by phone) are welcome. Even if your company already collects some of this information during the application process, we see it as a useful and service-oriented gesture.

Small details often turn out to be relevant decision criteria.

By looking at the certificates, you can quickly see whether and to what extent the applicant has made an effort in preparing the documents. Ideally, they should be scanned in neatly and legibly without a magnifying glass and merged into a PDF file. The naming of the file names can also give you an idea of the applicant’s organizational behavior (does the naming follow a scheme F?). – someone knows a lot about folder and file structures). Additional effort has been made, if resume, cover letter and certificates arrive in a PDF. The applicant cannot simply send this document to any other company. Sometimes the documents even correspond to your CI (wow), but beware: even here you can overdo it and “healthy” is in our eyes everything with measure and purpose!