3. Resumes should have the inclusive dates of employment for each position. If there are dates not accounted for, see if the cover letter explains. Or, if it’s a highly qualified candidate, you might ask him or her by phone
If there are no inclusive employment dates given for past positions, this could be because the candidate didn’t stay very long. You may want to eliminate candidates with no dates from consideration–perhaps they’re not reliable–or take the extra time to check with the candidate if he or she is otherwise highly qualified.
And if candidates changed jobs often, you will want to know why. Were they laid off and hired elsewhere, or did they move to a more responsible position?
You’ll also want to check the dates in between positions to make sure there is not an unexplained gap in time. Candidates often take time off to be with their children or to take care of an elderly or sick relative. This is all acceptable, but if the cover letter doesn’t explain the absence then you should ask. In this economy, candidates could have been laid off or unemployed for long periods of time, through no fault of their own.
So if the candidate has the minimum and preferred qualifications and consistent employment experiences, put him or her on your positive list.