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What are some tips for screening résumés?

Screening a stack of résumés can be a daunting task for even experienced recruiters.

So, is there a method that will make the résumés-screening process easier and still ensure employers select the most suitable candidates?

There is an organized approach that has been integrated into the résumés-screening process by the wisest recruiters and has proven its effectiveness. This method is well worth consulting and widely applied so that screening résumés is no longer a haunting experience for recruiters.

Know the positions/vacancies.

Become familiar with the job and its position description in order to efficiently and accurately compare the experiences listed on a résumé with the requirements of the job description. Things to consider might include the following:

First of all, be sure job descriptions (especially for vacancies) are up to date. Meet with hiring managers to make sure any duties, skills or credentials that may have changed have been included or removed as necessary.

If the job description is significantly out of date, a job analysis may be needed to get an accurate description to ensure a proper hire.

In addition, understand what qualities a person in the job should have to ensure success in the position, such as the ability to work independently, being results-oriented, strong teamwork skills, etc.

Create an evaluation grid.

To help organize the résumés, create a spreadsheet to chart and rate the résumés as they come in. This chart may be altered for different positions. Some ideas for creating the grid include the following:

The first step is to list the résumés alphabetically (by name) or numerically (in the order received) along the Y-axis (down the column on the left).

Then, list the qualifications to consider along the X-axis (across the row at the top). Include such headings as credentials, competencies, educational requirements, certifications, years of experience, supervisory experience, accomplishments, relocation needed, gaps in employment, spelling/grammar errors. Identify which categories are “must-haves” in order for the candidate to be considered for the position.

Organize résumés into three folders.

As you chart the résumés on your evaluation grid, organize them into three folders as follows:

Folder “Yes”: meets all criteria.

Folder “No”: does not meet must-have or minimum criteria.

Folder “Maybe”: meets must-have criteria and some additional criteria, but not all.

Review each folder.

Now, more closely review each folder; ensure the “No’s” really do not meet minimum requirements and the “Maybe’s” don’t belong in one of the other two folders. Sometimes, as we go through the process of organizing, we get better at it, and résumés reviewed early on might be misclassified.

Then review the final “Yes” folder for more specific information and question each résumé. For instance:

-Are there actual accomplishments to support the competencies required?

-If job-hopping is not uncommon for the industry, does the applicant’s job history indicate movement that exceeds the norm?

-Are there any unacceptable writing or style errors?

-Are there any unexplained gaps in employment?

Sort the final folders.

Put those résumés that do not meet the above questions into the “Maybe” or “No” files as warranted. Organize the remaining resumes in the “Yes” folder in the order of those with the most positive answers on top, followed by those that may be more questionable, but are still acceptable. Select those on the top to interview first, followed by the remainder of the “Yes” folder if more interviews are desired.

Hopefully, this organized résumés-screening methodology will help recruiters no longer tiresomely struggle with the process of selecting and recruiting the most suitable candidates for the organization.

According to SHRM


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