Last month in this space I wrote a piece on resume creation that was aimed at security job seekers. I outlined a series of steps candidates can take when preparing to write and send resumes that are easily tailored to different jobs. Done correctly, they will have a template to work from across their entire security career.

So, what does this mean for you, the hiring manager who will be responsible for evaluating that stack of presumably great resumes in front of you?

While human resource and talent acquisition departments often distill down to a manageable number of prospective candidates’ resumes, it usually falls to the hiring manager to evaluate each one and determine who has best presented themselves for a position. If candidates have done their homework, they will have customized a resume to reflect that they are perfect matches for your specific job. How can you differentiate?

The key to selecting the resumes of those most likely to be successful in the job you are recruiting for lies in you having a clear understanding of exactly what the job is to begin with. Confidence in making the best hire is a result of the solid groundwork done before the position is ever advertised.

In addition to the obvious identification of the education and experience required, prioritize skill sets and competencies you feel are key to success in the position. Take cultural fit into consideration and think through things that will be of importance to that level of potential candidates while remaining in alignment with your organization’s positioning and goals.

It also helps to have consensus across business lines if the job you’re recruiting for will have joint reporting relationships or support more than one function. Failure to have all internal clients on the same page may mean candidates that “wow” you fall short of the mark with others. Conflicting priorities can cause you to miss even the most qualified candidates.

Finally, before the recruitment began hopefully you were able to work with your organization’s talent acquisition partners to craft a job description that accurately portrays what you are looking for. Job descriptions are often poorly written, making it difficult for candidates to identify and then highlight how they match the key skills and competencies you are looking for. Even the most well-crafted resumes will miss the target you have in mind if the published job description is off the mark.

Despite the best preparation, hiring managers and job seekers can still miss the mark with each other. It is not a perfect science. Rather it can often be a matter of try and try again.

A slight change in a job description can mean a republication of a position for an entirely new candidate pool, so be sure you invest the time at the start of your search to know exactly who you are looking for.