Checklist for Reviewing Applications or Resumes

In a position announcement or in an advertisement that lists the required and preferred criteria that should be met by candidates, it is often useful to include a screening checklist for Reviewing Resumes or Applications which can help the search committee members quickly find out whether each candidate meets these criteria.

The major position requirements are documented in the job description, the charge, and the organizational analysis, which allows for a more comprehensive evaluation, despite the fact that it is impossible to determine or evaluate all of the requirements of a position from a written document alone. It is nevertheless important to check the applicants and their resumes against the essential selection criteria using the checklist.

Checklist for Reviewing Applications #


The following questions are typically asked of interviewees. Prepare to answer these and similar questions to provide honest insight into the role and the company.  

Employment applications can provide quite a bit of information about a candidate. Use the checklist below to ensure you get the most out of the application review process.

Did you look for the following?

  • Completeness. Examine to ensure the applicant completed all the information requested on the application form. Any information that is lacking could suggest the applicant is withholding something.
  • Availability. Are the applicant’s scheduling requirements match up with your staffing demands? Look for whether the candidate indicated part-time or full-time availability. Also, look for shift shifts. 
  • Employment eligibility. Did the candidate indicate they are allowed to work in the United States? 
  • Desired pay. Decide if the applicant’s pay aligns with your budget and expectations for the position.
  • Position desired. Look to see if the position the applicant is looking for matches your company’s open position. Unrealistic or incorrect expectations may result in inadequate person-job fit. 
  • Employment history. Look at the applicant’s tenure with former employers. Employees who often switch jobs may become bored and not be a proper fit for full-time employment with your company. 
  • Note: Most applications request a month and year designation for starting and ending employment dates. Applicants who only provide the year(s) they worked for a previous employer could be trying to inflate their tenure. 
  • Reasons for leaving the previous position. Inquire to understand why the applicant left their previous jobs. All previous employment should be followed up with anytime an applicant left their last job for “not getting along with coworkers” or terminated. 
  • Pay history. Investigate whether the applicant’s previous pay history is consistent with their salary request for the current job opening. 
  • Education. Some candidates list universities attended, even if a degree was not received. Look at whether or not a degree was earned and see if the applicant provided their GPA. 
  • References. Who is the applicant listing as a reference? Personal references should always be supplemented with professional contacts. 

Signatures. Did the candidate sign the application form? Their attestation is intended to confirm that the information they provided within the application form is correct.

Checklist for Reviewing Resumes #

Resumes provide basic information about a candidate’s employment history, qualifications, and accomplishments. Use the checklist below to make sure you get the most out of the resume review process:

Did you look for the following?

  • Aesthetics/format. Does the resume have bullet points? Are all fonts the same? Does the resume look clean? Resumes should be neat and presentable. 
  • Grammar. Resumes that include typos or obvious grammar errors may be another sign of a careless applicant.  
  • Previous job responsibilities. Identify previous experience needed for an individual to succeed in the role you are filling. Look at the applicant’s past job responsibilities and determine if they are consistent with the available position requirements.  
  • Job titles. Are the previous positions held consistent with the requirements of the open position? Did the candidate make realistic career progressions? Some applicants may exaggerate previous job titles to appear more experienced. 
  • Employment history. Look at the applicant’s tenure with previous employers. Employees who frequently change jobs may become bored and unsuitable for full-time employment.
  • Education. Some applicants list institutions attended, even if a degree was not obtained. Look at whether or not a degree was earned and see if the applicant provided their GPA. 

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