Sorting the best applicants from the rest

When assessing applicants’ profiles, the ability to read between the lines is all-important. Here are our top tips for sorting the best from the rest.

1. Beware blaggers

There is a big difference between somebody who knows the right things to include in their profile or CV and a candidate who is, frankly, a bit of a chancer.

As an employer and an expert in your sector, you know what the main responsibilities of a particular role are, and what it takes to be a success in the field. So if somebody claims to have completed superhuman workloads and revolutionised their former workplace single-handedly, they are probably best taken with a pinch of salt.

Learning to spot this type of candidate can save you a lot of time. Especially if you’re assessing a video, look out for overconfidence, florid and/or boastful language, and grand, sweeping claims.

2. Putting in a shift?

Which is preferable – somebody who’s worked for ten companies but left each of their jobs after eight months, or a candidate that has held relatively few positions but has occupied them for a number of years? There are no hard and fast rules – if you’re dealing in temp work then this is likely to matter less – but if you’re looking for permanent employees, ask yourself: why has this person been unable to hold down a job in the sector?

3. Qualifications

How many qualifications does a stellar job applicant possess? In some respects this is a sector specific question. In many industries, trade accreditations and good old university of life experience will preferable to traditional academic qualifications. But on the other hand, it depends what sort of candidate you are looking for. It’s your call. Does candidate X have a barrel full of A-levels and three degrees from a top-ranking university? The real question you need to think about is, does that matter to you?

4. Experience

At the end of the day it’s all about experience and the ability to do the job, so it goes without saying that you should always be on the lookout for candidates with a proven track record.

The hard part for any employer is finding a fool-proof way to sort the best from the rest. Here at, we make all the relevant information about each job candidate available at the click of a button, so you don’t have to do the hard work – simply sit back and watch experienced candidates come to you.

Tony Wilmot is co-founder of

Further reading on recruitment

Ben Lobel

Delphine Hintz

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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