In a job market that is still struggling to gain traction, nothing is more damaging for business owners than not taking the time to properly review the cover letters and resumes that flood your desk when you placing a help wanted sign.

Given the fact that countless individuals are searching for work these days, job applicants need to stand out from the competition. As a business owner or human resources manager selecting the right applicant, be sure to take the time and properly review the data prospects submit.

It is possible to implement recruiting software into your Human Resources Department. These systems help track information regarding applications and the hiring process of individuals.

One way to improve the chances of hiring the right individual is by dedicating either the time yourself or the process of reviewing cover letters and resumes to someone else. If the task is passed along to someone who really doesn’t know what to look for or you have questions, you risk the possibility of selecting the wrong person.

So what should you look for when combing through countless cover letters and resumes?

• Look for a cover letter that is grammatically clean. It is important to check for consistency, especially when it comes to spelling, punctuation and the formatting of both the cover letter and resume. If your candidate can’t handle the simple task of putting together a cover letter and resume, how can they possibly complete assignments as your employee?

• It is also important to look for cover letters and resumes that are accurate and do not embellish one’s accomplishments. Honesty is the best policy as they say, so you don’t want to be hiring someone who can’t handle the truth.

• Look at someone’s recent work history and its relevancy to the job you’re trying to fill. Some individuals will send out resumes to job openings they’re truly not qualified for in hopes of getting a bite. If you’re hiring for someone to run your restaurant you are not as interested in a resume that touts one’s medical experience unless that person has changed careers and spent some time recently in the hospitality area.

• Search for a candidate whose resume doesn’t show countless jobs over time. While the applicant may try and spin it as having a lot of experience, it really shows that they bounced around in the workforce and may not be apt to stay long with your company if hired.

• Finally, take the time to group your applicants in several categories – strong candidates; possible candidates; weak candidates. Having a breakdown of candidates will make it easier for you and/or the individuals heading up the hiring process. If you have a job opening at your business, there is a good chance you are looking to fill it sooner rather than later. With that being the case, don’t waste time fumbling around with resumes when the right candidate may be just a phone call away.

Author's Bio: 

Dave Thomas is an expert writer on items like a gps fleet tracking system and is based in San Diego, California. He writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as a gps tracking device at Resource Nation.