Resumes Subject to “Elimination Factors”


How do hiring managers whittle down a stack of resumes? One way is to eliminate candidates based on what Sharon Graham of Graham Management Group calls “elimination factors.” Over several days, we’ll be looking at the five elimination factors Graham cites (read a version of her article here). The information comes from a research study to evaluate 1,000 randomly selected résumés received in 2009, which Graham Management Group, a Canadian firm specializing in career transition strategy for six-figure professionals, recently performed. First, an overview:
Elimination factors are the primary features that will eliminate a candidate’s résumé from serious consideration. Typically, when a recruiter receives a résumé, the initial review is perfunctory. Most busy recruiters have an abundance of résumés at any one time — both in their computer and on their desk. Therefore, to conserve their time, recruiters “screen out” résumés that they do not perceive to be a perfect fit. This “screening” process is performed either by assessing hardcopy résumés, or by perusing a databank of résumés on-screen. Either way, the objective of the recruiter is to exclude résumés that contain elimination factors — with the ultimate goal of weeding down the number of résumés, prior to performing an in-depth review and selecting a few contenders to interview.
Typically, individuals who pass this initial screening process and secure interviews present few elimination factors in their résumés.