10 tips for effective resume screening

by Staff Writer

Not a whole lot of companies are hiring right now. With high unemployment and limited job openings, however, those who are hiring are finding an influx of resumes and applicants for advertised (and unadvertised, for that matter) positions. As a result, the job of HR reps tasked with screening applications and resumes got a little bit more time consuming.

Having a process is important not only for efficiency, but for consistency as well. That’s why we put this list of tips for screening resumes taken from our favorite online articles on the subject. We hope you find this list helpful:

  1. 10 things I look for when I screen resumes and cover letters
    This article’s a bit old, but it’s still probably one of the best on the subject. One of my favorite tips from Ronnie is #10: dates that are clear and easy to understand. It’s important to understand gaps in employment as well as how long a candidate holds a job. A candidate that is vague or deliberately hides dates usually ends up in my NO pile.
  2. How recruiters screen your resume
    This article was written as advice to job seekers, but in the meantime outlines the exact process employers should take when screening a resume. It’s not like it’s some exclusive information…the advice goes both ways.
  3. Screening Resumes
    What’s great about this article is the stress on the importance of consistency within an organization. Especially for larger companies or those where multiple managers screen resumes and candidates. If two people are looking at two completely different processes or objective qualifications, you’ll be hiring two different kinds of employees.
  4. How to effectively screen resumes
    For many positions I need to hire for, I don’t just want someone who is qualified and can do the job, I want someone who takes pride in their work and has some kind of passion for it. Two tips from this article will help you find these qualities: look for accomplishments and detect a career path. If you see these on the resume, it belongs in the YES pile.
  5. 3 step resume screen
    Finding a simplified process for screening resumes is a great way to more efficiently get through a large response, but it will also help with organizational consistency (see above) as well. This article has a simple 3 step process that can effectively rule out a number of applicants without spending too much time analyzing them. Did they follow instructions? (more than half usually don’t) Is it well organized? (take a quick look and rule out those who’s applications are a mess) Does education and work experience fit the job description? (No deep analysis required, just a quick skim: yes or no) What you’ll be left with is a much shorter pile of qualified, organized, and thoughtful candidates.
  6. Tips for screening resumes
    All the above articles have great advice, but as you’ve come down the list it’s gotten more and more general. While there’s nothing wrong with that, many of you are looking for some more specific tips for improving your applicant screening process. This is it. Full of technical (and non-technical) advice for taking full advantage of the tools available to HR people of all kinds. Good stuff…
  7. Resume screening selection 101
    I like the secondary title better: I screen, you screen, we all screen! More tremendous advice for screening resumes and applications. My favorite piece of advice: look for “consultants”/Business owners. These people are usually either really good at what they do, or it’s an excuse for a gap in unemployment. If they have a career path, it’s usually the former, and usually worth an interview if the experience is relevant to the position.
  8. resume writing help resume screen out factors
    Another great article written as advice to job seekers, but this time it actually serves as much better advice for employers. Particularly the first two points that a candidate can do little about while writing a resume: numerous short-term positions and multiple unrelated positions. Either (or both) of these qualities on a resume should send a big red flag for someone who probably won’t work out. History tends to repeat itself.
    This article has made its rounds on the internet a bunch of times since it was first published in 2005. (I think this is the original…) Regardless, the advice still rings true. It’s a great easy read that outlines a natural process for screening resumes to narrow it down to your top candidates.
  10. Resume evaluation checklist
    Finally, here’s a very helpful tool for you to use when screening resumes: a checklist. Included are some general requirements as well as specific ones as well. You could even take this a step further and edit it to suit your own hiring guidelines based on your company’s specific hiring needs.


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